Things to know when preparing for your visit to Windy Wellington!
Airport – Wellington Airport is nestled between the city and the Miramar peninsula. Air NZ pilots are expert at the approach, so don’t mind if you experience a few bumps on the way down.
Bags — many Wellington stores are phasing out single-use plastic bags, so we recommend carrying a reusable one with you.
BATS Theatre – the main Wellington local theatre venue, at the far end of Courtney Place, and which hosts plays, comics and a range of local creative performances
Brews — there are a range of local craft beers, breweries, and distilleries
to try for those who enjoy a tipple
Botanic Gardens – take the cable car or walk up the hill to get a taste of nature overlooking the city.
Coffee — NZ coffee is served strong, hot and everywhere. Wellingtonians are very serious about their coffee, and will take the time to brew you a perfect cup — just be aware that a double shot of espresso is the norm, so if you prefer something milder, ask for a single-shot coffee. But if you appreciate the bean, chat to the locals about the best city boutique roasteries to try.
Darkness — July is mid-winter in Wellington, so expect late sunrises and early sunsets.
Eventor – the conference app. We recommend downloading it to your device prior to arrival so you are ready for the first session.
Evensong – Thursday nights at New St Paul’s Cathedral by the Beehive
Ferries – depart Wellington Harbour near the TSB Arena, and are a great way to explore the bays
Frank Kitt’s Park – on the foreshore is a great place to hang out on a sunny day, and on most Saturday’s also hosts the Underground Market, and weather permitting, fire dancers have permission to practice there on Tuesday evenings.
Hills – while the central city is flat, the surrounding areas can be quite hilly. Be prepared for a climb or consider the buses — but know that the view at the top is worth it!
Ho Tohu – see the founding documents of modern New Zealand. Entry is free, and there are guided tours every day at 12.30pm. Enter at the National Library, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets (just past the Beehive).
Island Bay Marine Education Centre – is the place to go if you want to see the sea. The #1 bus will take you out there.
Jacket – an essential item. Even if the weather is fine, the wind can pick up quickly. There will be coat racks at all the venues.
Keep Left – whether driving, walking, or cycling, the custom is to keep to the left, and to overtake to the right.
Layers — the weather can vary wildly from day to day and hour to hour. Layers of clothing will help you stay comfortable no matter the conditions.
Lighthouse Cinema – is Wellington’s favourite tiny cinema, featuring an ever-changing array of arthouse and global cinema. You’ll find it tucked away on Wigan Street
Markets — Wellington is famous for it’s markets. Check out Friday Night Market at Southbank (off Cuba Street Mall) or Saturday Night Market at Lower Cuba (in front of the MFC) for delicious street food, or the weekend produce markets at Thorndon and Chaffers Docks
Mittens — don’t be surprised if you see a fluffy grey cat walking Cuba St like they own it. Mittens isn’t lost, and if you’re lucky you may even get a pat.
Moore Wilsons – a gourmet deli and grocery, just a few minutes walk from campus down Tory Street
Mosques — there is a prayer room on campus, please ask a local host to guide you as it is tucked away behind a staff-only door. The nearest mosque to campus is in Kilbirnie, and our local hosts can help you find the easiest way to travel there. More information on the Islamic Community Facebook here.
Ngāti Toa: the mana whenua here
Old Bank — a classic piece of NZ colonial architecture, with a wreck of a boat in the basement and a magical clock in the ceiling. Stop for a meal at Smith’s the Grocers and soak up the ambiance of a time gone by.
Onzo – is the city-wide dockless bike hire scheme. Download the app to unlock the iconic yellow bikes and explore the city by pedal power.
Oriental Bay — if you need a walk and some fresh air, consider strolling the curve of Oriental Bay. At night the lights make the bay magical, and if you’re lucky you may even be there for a burst from the fountain.
Power – NZ uses Type I sockets (three flat pins), 230V, 50Hz–ensure you pack an adapter suitable for both socket type and voltage.
Politicians — the NZ seat of parliament is the Beehive at the far end of Lambton Key. So don’t be surprised if you see an MP strolling between the old and new Parliament buildings. The free parliament tour is well worth a look too.
Quakes — Wellington sits on a fault line, and as such tremors are possible. Take a moment to read the emergency information or listen to the emergency briefing at all public venues, and if serious shaking starts, duck, cover and hold!
Rainbow Crossing — separating Lower Cuba and the Cuba Street mall, take a selfie under the big umbrella!
Roxy Cinema — old school glam and robot ceilings! Pop out to Miramar for a showing, or just enjoy a break in the cafe on the ground floor.
Snapper – is a pre-loaded card that gets you cheaper tag-on and tag-off fares, and is a great way to get around on the buses and the Wellington Cable car. Most taxis also accept Snapper payments
Thanks Driver – it is custom to say “thanks driver” or give your driver a little wave as you disembark
Te Papa – the Museum on the waterfront holds examples of New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage and is well worth a visit. The main museum is free, but special touring exhibitions might require a ticket, just ask the Te Papa staff in blue.
Umbrellas — don’t bother packing an umbrella, as the wind will steal it. A good coat with a hat or hood is better protection from the elements.
Underground Markets – accessed via Frank Kitt’s Park or the overbridge from the Library to the Sea, this is place to stop if you want local crafts. Open Saturdays.
Mount Victoria Lookout – worth the climb for 360 degree views of Wellington and Miramar pennisula
Video — Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision on Taranaki Street have restored heaps of old nz docos and is a cozy place to curl up on a wet day.
Weather – check with Metservice for the 10-day forecast and other useful information about conditions
Weta Workshops – in Miramar (take the #2 bus to the Miramar end of the route) offers tours of its workshops, bookings recommended.
Wharewaka — see if you can book a seat on a waka Māori
Wifi – will be available. Check your conference pack for log in details. Most hotels have wifi access available, and some areas of the city have limited access public wifi.
Zealandia – a slice of natural beauty at the top of the hill overlooking the city. Take the cable car to the Botanical Gardens and catch the regular bus service up to explore. Wear comfy shoes and don’t forget your camera