In this sports-obsessed country, suffice it to say every fourth year sparks a pandemonium of Olympic fever. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to claim that the Olympics provide more excitement for ordinary kiwi spectators than for our hopeful Olympians, transforming local bars and cafes into festive headquarters of national pride. Here is a list of our favorite spots in Wellington to cheer on your fellow countrymen and women as they vie for international glory in the quest for gold, silver and bronze.
Four Kings Sports Bar
Bar, European, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, $$$
Four Kings Sports Bar
Located on the corner of Taranaki and Dixon Street, Four Kings Sports Bar is the place to be for watching the 2016 Olympics. With a refined interior and classical high tables perfect for hosting several rounds of cold beverages as you take in the match/race/game of your choosing, Four Kings is the quintessential kiwi sports bar. With everything from Speight’s to Guinness on tap, where better to spend your time cheering on Eric Murray and Hamish Bond as they stroke their way to (what we hope will be) back-to-back golds.
Four Kings Sports Bar, 7-11 Dixon St, Wellington, New Zealand +64 4 384 1910
Lovelocks Sports Bar
Named for New Zealand’s first-ever Gold Medal winner, there is no more appropriate place than Lovelocks Sports Bar to cheer on the country’s 2016 Olympians. A celebration of the legendary runner Jack Lovelock, who took home gold for the 1500m at the 1963 Berlin games, Lovelocks breathes Olympic spirit and sportive camaraderie, with a special weakness for rubgy and racing. Whether it’s a late-night match or a midday regata, the on-site Hell’s Pizza is sure to keep you fueled and ready for days on end of manic screaming and robust high-fives.
Lovelock’s Sports Bars, 12 Bond Street, Wellington, New Zealand +64 4 473 1311
JJ Murphy & Co.
JJ Murphy & Co. is the universal Irish Pub that seems to be found in every major city on the planet. It thus comes as no surprise that there is Guinness on tap as well as an assortment of other New Zealand beers for those looking to make a night of celebrating kiwi successes. Found in the heart of Wellington’s hipster suburb on 119 Cuba Street, J.J. Murphy & Co. is the city’s hub for kiwi sports fanatics. As you bring down the house with cheers while our cyclists zip around the velodrome, there will be no shortage of onlookers to hug and kiss as our athletes pedal for the medal. Be prepared for a once-every-four-year phenomenon – strangers dancing in the streets outside the bar, a rare sight that hasn’t been seen since the 2011 Rugby World Cup final.
JJ Murphy & Co., 119 Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand +64 4 384 9090
The Tote & Furnace
Located in the Upper Hutt, The Tote & Furnace is an oasis for kiwi sports fans of all stripes. If the Wellington CBD is too far to go, The Tote & Furnace provides unparalleled, comprehensive viewing of the Rio Olympics for sports fans living in the Upper Hutt area. With a pub-like interior, The Tote & Furnace provides viewing in a relaxing environment, where New Zealand’s athletic exploits can be enjoyed with a side of chips or a meal in the restaurant. However, if you’re looking to raise the decibel levels, you need only venture to the Bar to join arm-in-arm with fellow spectators for a lively screaming match at a non-responsive screen.
The Tote & Furnace, 74 Ararino St, Wellington, New Zealand +64 4 527 1909
By Ngarangi Haerewa