Big Night Out: Wellington
The nightlife's red hot - the jazz is as cool as the breeze
Sunday 15 February 2004
Wellington is one of the Southern Hemisphere's most dynamic and diverse cities. The Windy City is cosmopolitan and scenic - and as Wellington's main areas are all within walking distance of each other, getting about is easy. It's not enormous, but it's got everything you could want: shopping and eateries in the Lambton Quarter, offices in Willis, funky markets in Cuba and nightlife in Courtenay Quarter.
Wellington's bars and restaurants are justly praised for the huge variety of local wines and the fresh food at low prices. The nightlife is excellent, and there is a good public transport system, with regular buses and trains throughout the city and outer regions. Don't miss a ride on the red cable cars and trolley buses with their overhead wires.
CO2, 28 Blair St, is one of Wellington's hippest venues, serving champagne and sparkling wines. Another popular favourite is the recently revamped Matterhorn Bar and Lounge, 106a Cuba Street, which serves good retro-style cocktails. For something more chilled, head to the Q Bar and Lounge, 26c Courtenay Place, where you can shoot pool or down divine chocolate martinis.
For foodies, Wellington is heaven. Logan Brown, 192 Cuba Street (00 64 4801 5114), is famous for its innovative use of fresh local fare. Best of all are the taster plates of starters and the mini-sized dessert portions. About £27 per head.
Anise, 161-163 Cuba Street (00 64 4381 2212), is the creation of Paul Blain, whose mentor David Thompson is the chef credited with putting Thai food on the map. Expect Kiwi classics such as kumara (native sweet potato) and lamb shanks. Around £20 per head.
Hummingbird Café, 22 Courtenay Place (00 64 4 801 6336), has a wide range of menus from light or substantial lunches, pre-theatre or late suppers and all-day weekend brunches. Approx £15 per head.
Don't miss Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Cable Street, (00 64 4 381 7000; www.tepapa.gov.nz) the new, interactive-style museum on the waterfront. Open late on Thursdays until 9pm. The city plays host to a number of major festivals throughout the year including the New Zealand International Arts Festival (27 February-21 March), the largest multicultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, offering classical, jazz, pop, opera, international writers and poets, Maori dance and theatre and modern dance.
The Motel Bar, Forresters Lane, plays funked-up jazz in a cool interior and is Wellington's coolest nightspot - if you can get past the velvet rope. For bohemian fun, head for Bar Bodega, 286 Willis Street, a legend in Wellingtonian nightlife, featuring live bands and top international DJs. Go to the Good Luck Bar, 126 Cuba Street, for Cambodian cuisine and live DJs. If you get the munchies, follow the locals and stars alike to The Chocolate Fish Café, 497a Karaka Bay Road, Seatoun, for the best late-night snacks and cakes in town.
Drive to nearby Lyall Bay and learn to ride the waves with Wellington's surf set or head north to Kaitoke Regional Park for a spot of hiking, swimming or even whitewater rafting.
Quest Travel (0870-442 3542; www.questravel.com) offers an eight-day self-drive tour of the North Island, taking in Wellington, from £1,199 per person, including return flights with Air New Zealand, seven nights' b&b accommodation, car hire and two half-day sightseeing tours, one of Wellington and one of the surrounding coast. Air New Zealand (0800-028 4149; www.airnew zealand.co.uk) offers return flights to Wellington from £667 per person. For further information contact Tourism New Zealand (09050 606060; calls cost 60p per minute; www.newzealand.com).
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Top 10 zoos in Europe, according to TripAdvisor
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The most powerful passports in the world
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...