Wellington’s creative flair makes it easy to find unique date ideas. Whether this is your first outing or you’re eager to try something unusual, New Zealand’s capital city has plenty of cool tricks up its sleeves. Here are 11 suggestions that will inspire you to think outside the box.
Explore the night markets
A fun, budget-friendly idea for a Friday or Saturday night outing. Head to Cuba Street from 5 p.m., grab a bite to eat from one of the market’s various food stalls or spend the rest of the time reveling in the energetic atmosphere, from the busking performances to the passing crowds and everything else in between.
Wildlife enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Wellington Zoo offers a myriad of different animal encounters for those who want to get up close and personal to the remarkable critters under its care. You might snap a picture with a red panda, meet a giraffe for the first time or even pet a lemur. Whatever encounter you end up choosing, you’ll always come out more knowledgeable about each animal’s natural habitat.
Circa is located on Wellington Waterfront, right next to Te Papa museum. The theatre has two performance spaces that host a diverse range of shows all year long — from comedy and drama to one-man plays and musicals. There’s something on every day of the week. You can also pop in for a bite to eat at Circa’s Cafe and Wine Bar before the night’s spectacle.
Who doesn’t love a good pub quiz? Wellington has no shortage of quiz nights to share — so definitely keep an eye on Eventfinda to discover some upcoming gems. The Southern Cross in particular is quite renowned for its regular quizzes: The Electric Quiz on a Monday will put your general knowledge to the test, while the Slow Boat Rock Quiz on Thursdays will challenge your music expertise.
Wellington is the place in New Zealand to enjoy a good live music gig. Venue options are aplenty, with Meow being among the most famous. An eclectic mix of national and international performers have graced the bar’s stages since it opened its doors in 2008. For other music options, try searching Under the Radar’s Gig Guide.
Coffee is something Wellington locals take seriously. Mojo is one of the capital’s most famous exports, and its flagship headquarters is the ideal place to immerse yourself in the local coffee culture. You can watch as the beans are roasted on site, get a run-through of the entire process and even take a souvenir home with you.
Wellington has really been upping its craft beer game in recent years. So much so, there’s even a Craft Beer Trail dedicated to it. The entire circuit consists of 20 bars and brewpubs, all within walking distance from one another, that offer their own special hops, plus plenty of food to keep all taste buds content.
Want something with a competitive edge? Head to Laserforce, Wellington’s home to live laser tag. The venue offers regular specials on Friday and Saturday nights, making this an incredibly accessible end-of-the-week date option. Battle it out with the lasers, then wind things down with an arcade gaming session and quick meal.
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Test your biking skills at Capital BMX
For the mountain-biking couples among us, Capital BMX is a definite must-visit. The trail, situated in Ian Galloway Park, was a community-driven creation led by the Capital BMX Club. Backed by local organisations and the Wellington City Council, it is preserved by a dedicated group of volunteers. Capital BMX hosts training days on a regular basis, and public riders can access the track whenever the club is not using it.
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Make your way around the Wellington Writers Walk
Here’s a good way to get active, enjoy the beautiful waterfront settings and embrace one’s inner literature geek. The Wellington Writers Walk became a part of the city landscape in 2002. Fittingly, it was inaugurated during the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts that year. It is composed of 19 text sculptures dotted around the harbour, each with a quote from notable New Zealand authors like Katherine Mansfield, Patricia Grace, Maurice Gee, Bruce Masonand James K Baxter.
Wellington has plenty of day trip opportunities, and Kapiti Island is among the very best. Approved commercial operators depart from Wellington on a regular basis, taking visitors to this protective nature reserve so that they can familiarise themselves with its native bird life and forestry. While tours of the island are weather dependent, this is particularly great in the summer months if you’re looking for a pleasant couple’s getaway not too far away from the city.