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Great weekender: Wellington

Head to the NZ capital for farm-to-table restaurants, craft beer festivals and epic exhibitions

See

Marking the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings in Turkey, the national Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is currently hosting Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, a moving exhibition which tells the story of the eight-month campaign through eight New Zealanders, each of whom have been captured on a monumental scale with sculptures designed by Sir Peter Jackson’s Weta Cave Workshop.

You don’t need to be a Hobbit fanatic to enjoy a tour of Jackson's Weta Cave Workshop,where you’ll spot staffers crafting props, models and weapons for use in blockbuster flicks.

 

Eat

Local produce is the toast of the city. Book a table at Ortega Fish Shack and Bar, and order the spiced Whangamata scallops, viognier-cured Marlborough king salmon, smoked white Warehou and roasted Tarakihi. There’s an exceptional wine list loaded up with top local and foreign drops, including the Ata Rangi Craighall Riesling, Peregrine Chardonnay, Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Pinot Noir and Murdoch James Blue Rock Syrah, as well as a beer list that includes over 70 brews.

At Rex Morgan’s Boulcott Street Bistro, expect regional produce with a dash of France, from slow-braised beef short rib with smoky escargot butter to roasted Hawke’s Bay lamb rack, pot roasted Waitoa chicken leg and berry ripple parfait.

Drink

Head to Hawthorn Lounge for classics and poetic-themed cocktails, Te Matuku Bay oysters and lots of big band tunes. Have one of the dapper staff mix you a Preservation Hall or a Braindead in honour of the city’s main man, Sir Peter Jackson.

At newcomer Hideaway Bar, led by Aussie Vincent Lombino, expect top whisky and gin cocktails, 1960s décor, a snooker table, top local DJs and one of the best Manhattans in the city.

 

When it comes to craft beers, Wellington is legendary. Get to brewery doors Garage Project for Cereal Milk Stout and Parrot Dog for Flaxen Feather Blonde Ale.

Stay

InterContinental Wellington offers 232 renovated guest rooms and suites. Book an executive room with walk-in showers and electronic room controls.

Get there

Air New Zealand flies direct to Wellington daily. Packages are available for all budgets, from seat-only to the ‘Works Deluxe’, which includes entertainment, top New Zealand food and wine, and checked baggage.

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