Where the Locals Go in Wellington

From boutique shopping to cable car rides and all the best food in between, the National Geographic finds out how Wellingtonians take advantage of the capital city.

“Wellingtonians go where the wind takes them,” Carrie Miller writes.

“As the southernmost capital city in the world, set smack in the path of the Roaring Forties, Wellington is windier than Chicago and often experiences four seasons of weather – all in one day.

“The result is a resilient population passionate about the quirky, innovative city they call home. (They just don’t make plans too far in advance.) Wellingtonians go with the flow, and often a chance encounter, a change in weather, or a wrong turn charts an entirely new course for the day. This compact city (about 30 minutes on foot from one side of the city to the other) is built for exploring, and it’s a joy to get lost.

“The best place to start is with brunch, usually on Cuba Street. Try Fidel’s, Olive, or Loretta, all Wellington institutions and local favourites. Cuba Street starts humming on weekend mornings, so sit near a window to get energised from the buzz of the street scene.

“‘There’s always something happening in Wellington, but you have to go find it, because it changes with the weather,” says Ray Letoa, cocktail master and co-owner of the Roxy Cinema. ‘If you’re visiting this lovely city, how would you know where to go? You don’t – ask a local. Word of mouth is how we get around here.’

“New Zealanders have a saying: ‘You can’t beat Wellington on a good day.’ When the weather cooperates, Wellingtonians head outside to enjoy the sun and the Caribbean-blue ocean that surrounds the city on three sides. Strolling down the waterfront and people-watching is its own kind of bliss.

“When you’re hungry for dinner, head back to Cuba Street to wrap up the day at Matterhorn, Floriditas, or Logan Brown.”

Original article by Carrie Miller, National Geographic, July 18, 2017.

Photo by Krista Rossow.

Tags: Cuba Street  Fidel's  Floriditas  Logan Brown  Loretta  Matterhorn  National Geographic  Olive  Ray Letoa  Roxy Cinema  Wellington  

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