When you tell people that you’re traveling to Wellington, most people will give you the look that makes you look like a lunatic! They’ve got a fair point though, after all, who goes to New Zealand to explore the cities, even if it is only the capital city!
On crossing over from the South Island to the North Island by the Interislander ferry, we reached Wellington and decided to get a taste of the city. We were living at the lovely property called The Dwellington, which in simple words felt a lot like home. We asked Noah who runs the place for recommendations on the best things to do in Wellington. After a heavy breakfast early next morning, we started out on the route mapped by him!
Honestly, we had pretty low expectations so we were ready for what was to come.
While local transport in New Zealand can be expensive, you can pretty much cover most of it on foot. That way, you also get to cover a lot more.
Wellington In A Day
Est. Time Spent: 20 minutes
We crossed the main train station and started walking towards our first stop which had us passing by the Queen’s Wharf. The Queens Wharf is the city harbor, where all the ferries are parked. There were enough benches throughout the stretch to sit and gaze at the seawater.
Despite the bright sun, we took our chance and some pictures too.
Walking here was honestly one of the best ways to start exploring Wellington! The vibes felt friendly and lovable. And we were looking forward to our day in the capital city.
Te Papa Museum
Est. Time Spent: 3 hours
After the scenic walk by the Queen’s Wharf, we reach the Te Papa Museum, the National Museum of New Zealand. We put our bags in storage and headed to Level One to explore. We opted to explore the museum on our own instead of taking a guided group tour worth $20 (NZD).
In a 5 floored building, each floor was dedicated to exploring and understanding the history of New Zealand, the Maoris and the immigrants. It was no ordinary museum, the history of New Zealand was divided across eras, each floor had a set-up of information, pictures, figurines and interactive activities that made this educational experience fun and enjoyable at the same time.
By the time we got done with the museum tour, it was lunchtime. And it was time to kick in the next phase of our plan- exploring the cafes and bars of Wellington.
We had our list of recommendations in place thanks to Noah.
Coffee & Craft Beer Trail | Wellington
Wellington has successfully positioned itself as the coffee capital with the number of cafes that are brewing in the city. It is also a vibrant hub for craft beer breweries and culinary delights from across the world.
For our day in the city, we decided to get a quick taste of the favorites in the city!
Est. Time Spent: 45 minutes
Our first stop was Scopa, a mid-ranged Italian eatery at Ghuznee Road. We gorged on the Margherita Pizza which almost transported us back to our Italy days of binging on Pizza. We also ordered a Hot Chocolate, which literally was molten chocolate in a cup. Sinful yet satisfying!
Flight Hangar Coffee, Wellington
Est. Time Spent: 20 minutes
After a hearty lunch, we walked up to Flight Hangar Coffee. We were quite excited to visit since this one café had been recommended by both, the locals and tourist websites.
We had reached a little before closing time but managed to order a quick cuppa of their most signature Bomber blend coffee.
Cappuccino and the traditional NZ Flat White were an instant calling!
Mind you, Flight Hangar Coffee didn’t disappoint one bit. It lived up to its reputation & we wished we had more time to hang around this cool café, which seemed like the ideal location to work, read a book or catch up over conversations!
Pour & Twist Coffee, Wellington
Est. Time Spent: 90 minutes
The next stop was the new frenzy in town, Pour & Twist Coffee. We had read about it in AirNZ’s inflight magazine and had made a note to visit this interesting coffee shop which only served manually made coffee instead of using coffee machines.
When we got to Pour & Twist, we found ourselves in a small, tastefully done place with a quick coffee-to-go feel to it. The café was owned by a lovely Malaysian couple, Elaine and Zooyi, who recommended we try the Grey Marble coffee. With charcoal in my coffee, I was a little skeptical but I chose to see what they have to make. The Grey Marble ($6.50) is an iced tipple made with activated charcoal powder, coffee, and a blend of cream and milk.
And just like that, right in front of us, they made an amazing cup of cold coffee with an earthy flavor to it. While enjoying the refreshing coffee that had just been served to us, we sat there for much longer just chatting with Elaine and Zooyi. We discussed the origin of Pour & Twist, recommendations on what to do in Wellington, life in Wellington and of course, Indian food and spices.
We left on such a happy note, feeling like we had made friends while we traveled!
The Garage Project, Wellington
Est. Time Spent: 60 minutes
It was beer-o’ clock, so we walked up to the best brewery in town- The Garage Project. In their base outlet, we went to grab ourselves a beer and found a rather busy place with lots of visitors, gulping down some delightfully smooth beer and finger food whilst in the middle of conversations. We could tell we had hit the bull’s eye with this spot in finding the local favorites.
The staff was kind enough to let me taste a couple of brews from their signature collection before I could buy me a pint. And after all the traveling and beer tasting, I can tell you that these guys had some interesting flavors to offer like White Mischief and Aunt Sally’s Slice of Sunshine. You could buy the tester’s menu to decide your flavor.
We had quite a ball as we sat and chilled at the Garage Project!
Rogue & Vagabond, Wellington
Est. Time Spent: 60 minutes
And finally, we needed to go to an equally awesome place to end our day on a great high! So, we headed to R&V- Rogue & Vagabond. We had earlier spotted this place when we were at Pour & Twist but decided to come back later.
Rogue & Vagabond didn’t just have a hip name, but the décor spoke for itself full of colors and pop art. Walking in, this place had an energetic vibe and we were in time before the live music started.
R&V had a younger, office going crowd who seemed to be catching up with friends after a long day of work.
On the tap, there was a wide range of beers available, including Gin Beers, Tequila Beers and more.
R&V was the perfect place to chill over a few beers, conversations and live music.
Est. Time Spent: 15 minutes
It was dinner time! And we were already back to our stay, The Dwellington. Instead of cooking in, we took a short 5 minutes’ walk to the Thornedone Chippery. Noah said that they offered the best Fish & Chips in town. And I absolutely love fish & chips, so duuh! My dinner had to be it.
We placed our order at the counter and in less than 10 minutes, we got a piping hot box of freshly fried Hoki fish and house chips (more like potato wedges) with a slice of lime to take along.
For both the quantity and taste, Thornedone Chippery is worth its value.
We spent the rest of our evening, chilling at our lovely stay, The Dwellington. The place had the vibes that would instantly make you happy! Wellington is so underrated. We’re glad we didn’t chase the touristy things to do, but we had such a great time, walking around, talking to people and enjoying the vibes of Wellington. We definitely wish we had more time in the capital.
Until next time!