For the active early risers lace up your joggers, put on a windbreaker and start your morning with a sunrise hike to the top of Mount Victoria lookout. You’ll find the start of the Lookout Walkway about a 20-minute stroll from QT Museum Wellington and while it’s a steep 2-kilometre trek above the city, the views are more than worth it.
On return to your hotel (or after a late sleep in), enjoy a long buffet or a la carte breakfast at Hippopotamus Restaurant and Bar. You could also sample the seasonal offerings at Floriditas on Cuba Street or for an oceanfront view head to Maranui Surf Club Cafe.
Head across the road to Te Papa Museum for the Taonga (treasures) Māori Tour. This private viewing will take you on a tour through the expansive collection, beginning with a 45-minute front of house walk-through, followed by a one and a half hour back of house tour with a Māori collection curator or collection manager. The tour can be tailored to the specific interests of the individual and can cover everything from Māori fly-fishing and hunting practices to textiles and traditional musical instruments. Observe Māori spiritual practices including karakia (prayers) and a washing of hands on entry and exit into the collection rooms, and a cleansing tea with manuka honey and Anzac biscuits is served at the end of the tour.
Pick up a coffee from specialty coffee roaster Flight Coffee on your way to lunch at Prefab Cafe, a trendy eatery on Jessie Street serving killer mimosas, Bloody Marys and a mix of gourmet salads, sandwiches and specialty dishes.
Continue to the Golden Mile, the city’s central shopping district formed by Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place. Here you’ll find a mix of high-end designer stores and boutiques and restored building The Old Bank Arcade which houses a range of jewellers and fashion and lifestyle stores. If Kiwi designers like Kate Sylvester are more your style head to Cuba Street and spend the afternoon browsing the vintage shops and independent boutiques in the surrounding streets.
If you need an afternoon post-shopping pick-me-up, stop in at Wellington Chocolate Factory, an artisan chocolatier serving up delicious organic hot chocolate and specialty chocolate bars.
For a delicious wood-fired dining experience in an industrial setting, head to Charley Noble Eatery and Bar at Post Office Square. Alternately, Havana Bar on Wigan Street is housed in two historic Te Aro workingmen’s cottages and serves a modern tapas menu alongside a range of exotic cocktails.
For a post-dinner drink be sure to visit The Black Sparrow, a small cocktail bar hidden beneath the iconic Embassy Theatre. Or make your way to Courtenay Place where you’ll find a buzzing atmosphere and a high concentration of specialty bars and local watering holes.