Big Night Out: Wellington

The nightlife's red hot - the jazz is as cool as the breeze


The vibe

The vibe

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.

Liquid

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.

Refuelling

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.

Go native

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.

Party

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.

Get active

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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor