Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and one of the liveliest places to visit. The city is having a relaxed cultural vibe and is known as the ‘Cool Little Capital’. The Kiwi culture is well preserved in the city through great local food, exquisite wines, craft beers, and regular events. Matching up with the city’s spirit, nightlife in Wellington is also vibrant and artsy. There is a horde of activities and experiences to suit all moods and age groups. They have classy bars, groovy clubs, late-night cafés, and relaxed restaurants. Apart from enjoying the regular nightlife, you can spend some time having fun most unconventionally. These eccentric activities include watching comedy shows or opera performances, stargazing, spotting glowworms, and camping amidst nature.
We have listed down the top things you must try to enjoy the nightlife in Wellington, so get ready to have the night of your lifetime.
1. Fire dance at Frank Kitts Park-
Located at the Wellington Waterfront, Frank Kitts Park is a few minutes away from Central Wellington. The lush park has a play area with swings and slides, an amphitheater-style seating area for picnics, and some interesting artworks. Several musical and art events are organized in the park which takes the nightlife in Wellington to a different level. During summers you can enjoy a spectacular dance on Tuesday nights where the members of The Wellington Fire Group spin fire.
2. Board gaming at Counter Culture Board Game Café and Bar-
The Counter Culture Board Game Café and Bar is an entertaining hangout spot where you can rent board games and enjoy playing them with your friends or family. There are over 900 board games ranging from cool classics to fun family games to choose from. They serve café bites accompanied by beer, cocktails, coffee, and tea. The game passes are for NZD 10 per person and if clubbed with food and beverages you get passes at a discount for NZD 5 only. You can play unlimited games for three hours at the café as you experience the laid-back nightlife in Wellington.
3. Stargazing- Wellington has the lowest levels of light pollution and the clearest skies to watch stars. You can head to one of the many places around the city to spend a night under the stars. Pick a stargazing spot from one of the below places and enjoy the most unique experiences of nightlife in Wellington:
·Red Rocks on the southern coast, you can also watch the Southern Lights here.
·Mount Kaukau in the Northern suburbs, you can also enjoy panoramic views of the cityscape from here.
·Space Place- Wellington’s planetarium equipped with a powerful telescope.
·Somes Island in the northern half of Wellington Harbor, which offers inexpensive camp stays.
·Wellington Botanic Gardens located near Central Wellington; it has multiple lawns of native plants.
·Kaitoke Regional Park which is just a 45-minute drive from Wellington and has cheap camping spots too.
·Mount Victoria located near Central Wellington; it also offers striking views of the city.
·Zealandia- Wellington’s bird and wildlife sanctuary.
4. Glowworm Spotting- Nature lovers can explore the nightlife in Wellington with a rarest in the world experience of spotting glowworms. The best place to spot these night beauties is at the city’s Botanic Gardens which is free for visitors. You can see the native flora and wildlife in this beautiful nature reserve and spot glow worms around the place after dusk. These little beauties can also be spotted at The Otari-Wilton’s Bush Botanic Garden.
5. Partying at the best bars and nightclubs-
The party lovers can enjoy a drink and dance the night away at the city’s best bars, clubs, and pubs. The relaxed and welcoming vibe of these nightspots caters to all ages and moods. The party scene is a major part of the nightlife in Wellington and the city has a lot of places to party and some of them are perfect for those on a budget.
You can pick one from the below list and party the night away:
Bars in Wellington
- Meow- Located on Edward Street, it offers modern New Zealand food & beverages accompanied by live music.
- The Malthouse- Located at Courtenay Place, it offers a world-class selection of beers.
- The Library- Located on Tory Street, this lounge offers a cozy vibe and serves craft cocktails and café bites.
- Hawthorn Lounge- Located on Tory Street, it is a classic cocktail bar and restaurant.
- Havana Bar- Located on Wigan Street, this bar has a Latin vibe and it serves top-notch wines and cocktails.
Nightclubs in Wellington
- Red Square Bar- Located on Blair Street, this plush club is perfect for all-night dancing.
- Scotty & Mal’s Cocktail and Lounge Bar- Located on Cuba Street, this place has a classy cocktail bar and a bustling nightclub with live music spun by DJs on weekends.
- The Establishment- Located on Blair Street, it is Wellington’s most popular nightclub.
- Minibar- Located at Courtenay Place, it is the hippest nightclub in the city.
- San Fran- Located on Cuba Street, this is the place for catching up on a variety of live music from the best DJs, rock music by local bands, and techno music by jammers.
Pubs in Wellington
- The Green Man- Located on Willis Street, it is an Irish cum Kiwi gastro bar.
- D4- Located on Featherston Street, this is a casual dining spot with an Irish bar and serves Kiwi dishes.
- J.J. Murphy & Co.- Located on Cuba Street, they are an Irish cum British bar serving the highest quality of beer.
- Sprig & Fern Tavern- Located on Tinakori Road, it is the best place to enjoy local craft beer.
- The Rogue & Vagabond- Located on Garrett Street, this laid back bar serves craft beer and plays live music.
Apart from the above, several backpacker bars in the city serve food and beverages at low costs.
6. Night Shopping-
The local night markets give you another opportunity to experience nightlife in Wellington in a different light altogether. The weekly market on Cuba Street is open till 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. You can shop for local produce, crafts, and feast on the Kiwi street food. Street performances and live shows add glamour to the capitals market.
7. Nocturnal wildlife spotting- Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary that helps preserve Wellington’s natural heritage. You can book a nighttime tour of the reserve to watch the native nocturnal animals such as kiwi birds, pied shags, robins, glowworms, longfin eels, morepork owl, and tuatara. For an adventurous experience of the nightlife in Wellington, you can book a sleepover tour at the eco-sanctuary.
8. Catch Performances at a local theatre- Another unique experience of nightlife in Wellington is watching a performance at the local theatres. You can choose from comedy performances, musical opera shows, local musical gigs, and cabaret shows. Many theatres host these performances such as Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, BATS Theatre, Circa Theatre, St. James Theatre, and The Opera House.