Seven hidden gems to seek out in Wellington

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Wellington is the kind of city that rewards the curious wanderer.

From tasty holes-in-the-wall and walkways on the city’s cusp, to diving platforms off the scenic waterfront, Wellington’s got all kinds of hidden gems. Here are a few you need to know about:

1. Hannahs Laneway

Wellington’s laneways are full of artisanal producers and cool eateries. Hannahs Laneway is home to such delicious treats as Leeds Street Bakery's salted caramel cookies and Six Barrel Soda Factory’s handcrafted cherry & pomegranate soda. Watch the magic unfold at Wellington Chocolate Factory, New Zealand’s first public bean to bar factory or buy peanut butter out a factory window from Fix & Fogg then take a well-earned drinks break at one of the most colourful craft beer bars in town

2. Zealandia sanctuary 

Just a ten minute drive from the city lies one of Wellington’s true wonders – Zealandia. Tucked away in a lush valley, this 225ha ecosanctuary is home to some of New Zealand’s most precious creatures. Wander through the tranquil sanctuary and keep an eye out for native birds, insects and our very own living dinosaur, the tuatara. Take a Night Tour and you might be lucky enough to see the little spotted kiwi.  

3. Tucked away bars 

Wellington is filled with quirky bars that only the most curious can find. Seek out Havana, C G R Merchant & Co, Motel,Hawthorn Lounge and The Library and you’ll be rewarded with some of Wellington’s finest cocktails. Make sure you step inside the wardrobe at Foxglove

4. Writers Walk 

Take a wander around the waterfront and follow the trail of sculptural poetry on the Writer's Walk. Each sculpture was written by one of the many talented writers who have made the city their home at some point in their lives.  

5. Artisan cheese 

Just an hour over the hill from Wellington, C’est Cheese in Wairarapa stocks an impressive array of specialty cheeses and gourmet local produce. The infamous halloumi sandwiches from boutique cheese makers Zany Zeus in Hutt Valley are a great option for the trip back to Wellington. 

6. Sunbathing seals 

One of the special things about Wellington is how the city is surrounded by incredible wildlife. Head for a walk or take a Seal Coast Safari along the wild south coast to Red Rocks to seek native fur seals basking in the sun.  

7. The Little Waffle Shop 

At the little hole-in-the-wall that is the Little Waffle Shop, you can pick up a freshly made hot waffle covered in scrumptious toppings like Lemon Meringue Pie and Caramel Cookie Crumble.