Wellington's Urban Neighbourhoods Coming Alive with Art and Culture

Wellington is a very intimate city, best navigated by foot in order to discover all its intriguing small streets and laneways full of hidden gems. When it comes to experiencing the eclectic art scene in New Zealand, Wellington is the place to be. Jam-packed with cutting-edge art galleries, Wellington serves up an impressive array of both contemporary and traditional art.

Head to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa with a vast and multi-layered collection from natural history to Māori culture. The City Gallery Wellington is a must-visit modern art space, showcasing some of the most avant-garde pieces from local and international artists. A night out at BATS Theatre too is a quintessential Wellington experience. For over a quarter-century, this hip spot has been a springboard for emerging talents from all over New Zealand, propelling them onto the theatre scene with flair and gusto.

Join Locay as we take you on an epic journey through Wellington's vibrant urban neighbourhoods, immersing you in the coolest sights and sounds of the city. Rest assured, you'll be smack bang in the middle of all the action.

Naumi Hotel

Te Aro

A truly unique boutique hotel experience in the heart of New Zealand’s vibrant capital.

This exquisite hotel boasts an extraordinary Andy Warhol-inspired design, creating a sensory wonderland that will captivate and enchant you from the moment you step inside. Naumi Hotel provides the perfect blend of luxury, comfort, and style. The prime location, just moments away from the city’s electric Cuba Street, places you at the epicentre of Wellington’s thriving culture, gastronomy, and entertainment scene.

The Intrepid Hotel

Te Aro

Step into a world where past meets present at Wellington's The Intrepid Hotel, where vintage vibes melt into an ultra modern mix of old, meets new.

Located in the heart of Wellington's Te Aro neighbourhood, the hotel is on the bustling Ghuznee Street, a hop away from the cultural hub of Cuba Street. The building was the former Cadbury Chocolate office and warehouse dating back to 1909, but is now home to 18 luxurious contemporary rooms spread across three floors. Each room is a nod to its' heritage, boasting architectural features that echo stories of yesteryears. With opulent beds, stylish furniture, and a stocked bar brimming with drinks, teas, and snacks, this boutique hotel will ensure your stay is nothing short of luxurious.

This boutique hotel is conveniently located just 15 minutes from Wellington Airport and a mere 10 minutes from the Interislander ferries.


Wellington City

Located on Tory Street in the heart of downtown, this fully renovated hotel is inspired by the old-Chicago architecture, boasting art deco design and modern conveniences.

The Tryp's social lobby space is a perfect spot for guests to unwind after exploring the neighbourhood. Well informed, savvy staff members are skilled at helping guests tap into the local scene, offering insider tips on the coolest places to visit. While exploring the area, be sure to visit some of the ultra-cool speakeasy bars that serve wine, whiskey, and live music.

QT Wellington

Te Aro

If you're a connoisseur of local art and design, boutique hotels are becoming more and more popular as a unique and personalised stay. Exploring a neighbourhood is a completely different experience when you have a hotel that compliments the area in which it resides. That's where the dramatic artworks and chandeliers of QT Wellington come in!

Opposite the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, this quirky boutique hotel will provide you with an ultra modern stay experience. The infamous 'QT character' has not been left at the door and guests can come to expect the confident service and quality accommodation this boutique hotel group are well known for globally.

When it comes to dining in house, the luxurious restaurant with a cocktail bar serves classic French fare, adding to overall convenience. Moreover, the hotel's amenities include an indoor lap pool, an exercise room and a sauna, plus seven meeting rooms making it a terrific hotel space for corporate gatherings coming to town. Located in a prime city quarter next to the harbour, this hotel offers a distinctive atmosphere which is sure to impress.

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Cuba Street

Welcome to Cuba Street, the heartbeat pulsing at the core of Wellington. This pedestrian paradise, named after an early settler ship, is a proud testament to the city's rich history and diverse culture. Once home to bustling trams, today the street invites you into an oasis of world-class eateries, eclectic vintage stores, and an array of inviting bars.

Kisa is the answer to your culinary wanderlust. This modern-day mecca on beloved Cuba Street is all about mixing Middle Eastern tradition with a Kiwi spin. Serving-up mezze plates packed with bold, exotic flavours that leave you satisfied. Step inside The Merry Go Round and you're transported to a world where every item has a story to tell. Here, every quirky knick-knack and vintage piece of apparel boasts a fresh lease on life, having being lovingly restored and given a modern twist.

Strutting down Cuba Street, you won’t be able to resist the infectious rhythms and vibrant atmosphere of the Havana Bar. A slice of Cuba in the heart of New Zealand with its retro decor, eclectic mix of Latin music, and extensive menu of Cuban-inspired cocktails, the Havana Bar is where you go to let loose.

Immerse yourself in the bohemian spirit of Cuba Street, where buskers' melodies fill the air, spontaneous flash mobs dance to Spanish rhythms, and children find joy in the bucket fountain's playful waters.

Courtenay Place

Welcome to Courtenay Place, the centre of Wellington's nightlife and entertainment. This vibrant street pulsates with energy, with its high concentration of multi-cultural eateries, live theatres, and historic pubs.

Book a table at Dragonfly, a sophisticated and relaxed Pan-Asian restaurant, with a menu that incorporates classic dishes with a modern twist. Give yourself the gift of an afternoon at Lighthouse Cinema - the best little arthouse cinemas in the best little capital in the world. Vinyl is Welly's favourite little retro nightspot, with a huge selection of back-shelf spirits, local draught beers, and great pizza. The secret courtyard is the perfect spot for a post-tour beverage.

Whether you're a foodie in search of exotic cuisines, a movie buff eager to catch the latest flicks, or a night owl looking to party till dawn, Courtenay Place has something for everyone.

Willis Street

Bustling Willis street, lined with modern architecture and filled with an eclectic mix of shops, eateries, and innovative businesses, serves as the city's central artery. Linking inner-city suburbs with the central business district, this is where the city's history merges seamlessly with its forward-thinking ethos. From early morning coffee shops buzzing with digital nomads to late-night music venues showcasing local talent, Willis Street is a microcosm of Wellington's cool, vibrant, and progressive city vibe.

Go underground to discover Willis Lane – a series of winding tunnels below the intersection of Willis Street and Lambton Quay. This is the most ambitious incarnation of the space, comprising 14 restaurants and bars along the passageways of the 4000-square-metre labyrinth.

Willis Street is lined with a rich assortment of fashion shops, each offering its unique style. From high-end boutiques such as Karen Walker and World, to funky thrift stores like Paper Bag Princess, there's something for everyone's taste. If you're looking for local designs, Hunters & Collectors is a must-visit, known for its eclectic range of vintage and contemporary fashion. And let's not forget Unity Books, a haven for those who love fashion literature.

Victoria Street

Victoria Street – which runs parallel to Willis Street - is a vibrant canvas where art meets daily life. Home to a myriad of stunning street art murals that add a splash of colour and personality to the cityscape. Each piece is a reflection of the city's dynamism, showcasing how Wellington embraces creativity and cultural diversity. From whimsical to thought-provoking, the art found here never fails to captivate passersby. It's truly a must-see destination for art enthusiasts.

Fortune Favours has a bold, wooden hand reaching out from the building, as if daring you to try something different. This brew hotspot has been a testament to the saying 'Fortune Favours the Brave' earning an iconic spot in Wellington. The brewery sits above a car parking area which is full of murals. A locals favourite is the homage to David Bowie, a giant piece created by the delightfully subversive street artist Xoe Hall.

Step into the vibrant world of Page Galleries, one of the best art dealerships around. This place is a powerhouse of contemporary art, hosting an impressive roster of top-notch artists like Dick Frizzell, Sarah Munro, Ngataiharuru Taepa, and more. The sheer magnitude of the exhibits is awe-inspiring, making the gallery a must-visit on your art tour. The brains behind this wonder is Marcia Page, who opened her first gallery in 1987. Over the years, her focus on the secondary market has remained unwavering, featuring resales of influential works by inimitable artists such as Pat Hanly, Rita Angus, and Colin McCahon.

Wellington's vibrant cafe culture truly shines in this part of town, where a diverse array of cafes beckons to coffee lovers and foodies alike. Think innovative, modern dining concepts, alongside traditional coffeehouses steeped in rich Kiwi character. The Lab has four different café locations across the city and the Victoria Street space is now the flagship of the popular coffee brand. You’ll find a relaxed atmosphere, a full brunch menu, and wide windows to watch city life go by. If you need some hot and spicy food after all that art and culture check out Soul Shack Hot Chicken where the Chicken is ‘Just As Hot As You’ according to their Insta byline! Soul Shack has become a regional cult hit for its insane spice levels and original recipe Nashville Hot Chicken. The recipe is a closely guarded secret and is made every few days by hand and complimented by imported high heat chilli spices such as Habanero, Ghost and Carolina Reaper.

Maree Sheehan
Potts Point, Sydney

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