Something you’ll keep hearing from locals is that you can’t beat Wellington on a good day. The capital of New Zealand is renowned for its phenomenal bar and restaurant scene. Here is our guide to finding the best spots where you can sit, enjoy the sunshine and wrap yourself around a beer.
Located in the quiet of Pirie Street, The Hop Garden is a special spot where you can escape the immediate hustle and bustle of the city. It’s an easy 10-minute walk from central Wellington, and worth making the short stroll to get off the obvious tourist trail of bars in the centre of the city. They do a brilliant and simple rustic menu that is served up out the back under a canopy of leaves. If you were dropped into your chair, you honestly wouldn’t guess that you’re eating and drinking in the middle of a capital city. Liberty, ParrotDog, Emerson’s, Moa, 8 Wired, Garage Project and Tuatara beers are all here. That’s just to name a few though. The whole beer list is as extensive as you’d expect in a place called The Hop Garden.
This is another bar that relies heavily on its outstanding position right on the waterfront to draw hoards of people to its patio every time the sun pokes its face out. It sits very close to the art gallery, museum and main shopping precincts in Wellington, so is ideally situated for those who have culturally overloaded or are on the verge of losing their minds through too much shopping. The remedy for both these afflictions is cold beer and fried food, which is fortunate as this is a St. John’s specialty. The beer is Heineken and the like, the fried food as good as you’d expect, but when you combine them with that view and a balmy day, you’re onto a winner, no matter how you look at it.
There are heaps of beers here to suit every taste and fancy, whether you’re after an English ale, porter, amber ale, I.P.A, lager or wheat beer. There are beers from all over New Zealand, as well as all over the world. The deck is small, but it overlooks the street and is great on sunny days, catching the sun beautifully. Newtown is a little more interesting when it comes to people watching, and you can wile away many an hour in the sun as the local eccentrics meander past. If you want to escape the city then this is definitely a good place to take a rest.