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Back Your Backyard: 12-hour information to Wellington

The proud capital of New Zealand, Wellington is well-known for its quirky, colourful streets, its love of fashion and events and its bustling hospitality scene.

The neatest things to see, eat and do: From retail therapy to cosy eateries and hole-in-the-wall bars, this city encompasses the melting pot that is students, workers, tourists and creatives.

READ MORE:
* Back Your Backyard: 12-hour guide to Wānaka
* Back Your Backyard: 12-hour guide to New Plymouth
* City guides: Wellington through the eyes of a local

MORNING

Prefab

14 Jessie Street

Start the day the right way with excellent coffee and simple but perfectly executed food at popular brunch spot, Prefab. There’s a reason this café is constantly ‘heaving’; the service is efficient and the food is fast, fresh and delicious. Simply put, Prefab is outstanding and has settled in as a longstanding Wellington favourite.

Moore Wilsons

Corner of Tory Street and, College Street

Head just around the corner onto Tory Street and pay a visit to Moore Wilson’s, Wellington’s ultimate supermarket. Visiting a supermarket might seem like the last thing you want to do on an outing, but with a huge selection of artisan and speciality products, Moore Wilson’s is the perfect spot to stock up on supplies.

City Gallery

Te Ngākau Civic Square, 101 Wakefield St

Following that, why not head to the capital’s waterfront and check out City Gallery Wellington? This contemporary art gallery has dynamic exhibitions and events showcasing art and artists from New Zealand and beyond. Be sure to snap a photo of the infamous Quasi presiding over Te Ngākau Civic Square – he is not to be missed.

The rejuvenated Hannahs Laneway.

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The rejuvenated Hannahs Laneway.

Hannahs Laneway

End the morning in Wellington’s coolest precinct, the Hannah Factory Laneway just off Dixon Street. There’s been a rejuvenation of this once forgotten part of town thanks to the arrival of a number of small artisan food producers. Check out and sample goods from Wellington Chocolate Factory, the Fix & Fogg window for small-batch produced peanut butter and toast from a menu unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and Leeds Street Bakery for beautiful bread.

AFTERNOON

Precinct 35 and Milk Crate.

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Precinct 35 and Milk Crate.

Ghuznee Street

With a slightly heavier bag courtesy of local chocolate, peanut butter and carbs, the lush goodies found on Ghuznee Street will only add to the load. Spend some time modelling locally-made garments from emerging New Zealand designers in the changing rooms of Twenty Seven Names, ENA and Caughley. Next, browse through Precinct 35’s beautiful selection of local and international homewares (yes, of course, you need that cute new bowl for your porridge) with a coffee and treat courtesy of their roommates at Milk Crate.

Enjoy Contemporary Art Space: inviting exhibition spaces are continually refreshed.

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Enjoy Contemporary Art Space: inviting exhibition spaces are continually refreshed.

Enjoy Contemporary Art Space

211 Left Bank, Cuba St

Make the most of Welly’s art scene and retreat inside Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, a bright and welcoming gallery tucked away on Cuba Street. The inviting exhibition spaces are continually refreshed with new and experimental art from emerging and established talents, and a well-stocked library offers visitors plenty of interesting art and culture reads.

Wellington Apothecary

110A Cuba Street

Ready for a breather? Escape into Wellington Apothecary’s serene home and let’s get you kitted out with a range of herbal remedies. From small-batch botanical tonics, soothing teas, natural skincare and medicines, these herbalists have all the oils, creams and infusions to have you looking and feeling your healthiest.

Grab a beer at the Garage Project Taproom.

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Grab a beer at the Garage Project Taproom.

The Taproom – Garage Project

91 Aro Street

By now, you’re likely feeling a little parched. Wellington’s hills will do that to you. Take a late afternoon saunter along Aro Valley and duck into Garage Project’s taproom, 91 Aro. Choose from around 18 rotating craft beers on tap, their greatest releases canned or bottled, a cellar range (for extra special occasions) and their natural wine selection. After just a couple (and perhaps some well-crafted bar snacks) you’ll have a taste for Garage Project for life. Luckily, their brewery is just across the street so you can fill up on some hops to takeaway.

Get some carbs at 1154.

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Get some carbs at 1154.

EVENING

1154

132 Cuba Street

An ode to the year which marked the first time pasta appears to have been mentioned in text, 1154 celebrates that staple Italian dish that the whole world has learnt to appreciate. Running on the premise that pasta is already so good, there’s no need to dress it up with outrageous ingredients, 1154 make the staples here, and they make them damn good – think carbonara, bolognese and tortellini with sides of greens, olives or the already infamous garlic and rosemary rolls. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan eaters you too can rejoice, this place ensures you feel just as welcome with their easy-peasy dietary menu that makes putting together a meal a walk in the park. It’s about quick and casual dining here, the kitchen team is in every day early hand-making your pasta and the layout is set out in a way that encourages community and interaction with strangers, take a seat at the big wooden communal table for that beautiful moment that is dining amongst strangers.

Puffin

60 Ghuznee Street

This rustic speak-easy style wine bar is the perfect setting to converse about the day’s adventures with your favourite people. Located in the former Cadbury Brothers building, the name was chosen for being memorable and having absolutely nothing to do with wine. Walk down the beautifully tiled entryway and you’ll come upon a glass-panelled door adorned with the unmissable hand-painted ‘BAR’ in gold and black lettering. Slip into a plush velvet booth and while the rest of the night away over a selection of natural and organic vino (or a classic cocktail or beer if you so wish). Oh – and say hi to that cheeky taxidermy peacock for us.

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