Interesting things to do for a local.
By - RED_SKY73
If you're into icky bugs, there's a weta cave in Percy's Reserve in Lower Hutt. Maybe not specifically exciting, but it sure is interesting.
While you're out there, pop into the tiiiiiny polish bakery (Thurs-Sat) under the Ewan Bridge for some excellent baked goods, I promise they're amazing.
Take a walk down the riverside with your delicious baked goods, and if you time it right the dog walkers will be out and you can meet heaps of cute dogs too ☺️
If you wanna go further and you have a bigger budget, Brewtown at Upper Hutt is great. There's also ice skating, go karting and I think paintball out there right by it too. They've got a chilli fest or some such on out there this weekend and tickets are under $20. I think there's also a chocolate festival in Welly at the beginning of July but I don't really know the deets on that.
I like to sometimes hit up the Tip Shop down on the Welly south coast and see what interesting stuff I can find, I spent a solid hour there last time just checking things out. I can fully recommend Carlucci Land mini golf which is nearby. Funky place for a silly game of minigolf with friends.
If you want walks, there's the lighthouse round past Eastbourne, there's a few in the Akatawara forest in Upper Hutt or Belmont National Park has a few good trails too. We also walk out at Tunnel Gully above UH, it's really peaceful and almost always empty. It's also got a fairly solid mountain biking track if that's your thing.
If you want social, there's always a bunch of Reddit stuff happening. Newbie meets, the music quiz, late night bookclub. I think someone was trying to organse a brunch a while back which sounded popular. Speaking of brunch, hit me up if you want Hutt valley brunch recommendations, it's kinda my specialty.
Good luck finding something to enjoy
Not OP, but yes please, I'd like those Hutt Valley brunch recommendations, thanks.
Jeans in upper hutt is incredible! just pastries and coffee though
Oh, this is the new place that opened up in the old Ancient Grains space, yeah? I haven't had a chance to stop there yet, we're in housing limbo while we wait for our house to be built so we're squatting in a friends spare room in Whitby atm. Might poke my head in next time I'm over at our storage unit, it looks good!
Man, Upper Hutt has come such a long way since we moved here in 2015 from Chch. I'm loving it. We just need a bloody good central steak restaurant and I can die happy. 7 Bar is a disgrace. Glad Brewtown popped up or I might never eat anything but ethnic food or burgers (not that there's anything wrong with that, but a girl sometimes needs a steak with mushroom sauce and chunky fries, ya know?)
In no particular order:
Caffiend, Petone - coffee is generally quite good, the waits aren't massive, good indoor and outdoor seating, the menu covers a lot of bases and they have free wifi.
Seashore Cabaret, Petone - always popular. Can be difficult to get a table on fine days at the rush times. Go on a miserable day, if you don't mind trading off the view for a table. Food is always good, the coffee kiosk down the bottom is a nice touch. Pro-tip, get a coffee down the bottom and queue with it.
Sweet Vanilla Kitchen, Lower Hutt - for such a dinky place, it has an excellent selection of keto, GF, DF and Vegan options. Coffee is great, social distancing not so much. They also always have a big ole slice o' cake, which I've noticed is increasingly hard to find.
Cake and Kitchen, Upper Hutt - on weekends they make their own hollandaise which is honestly 150% better than the catering stuff. They have a seasonal-ish menu and the staff are lovely. They did recently expand their seating but not their kitchen though, so wait times went up a bit. Not open Monday or Tuesday.
Bellbird Eatery, Lower Hutt - this is the nice one you take your mum to for mothers day. It's just a bit fancier but the prices are still reasonable. Coffee is good but parking can be a bit rough in the rain since the entrance is quite far from the road. Not a massive cabinet selection but the menu food is fittingly impressive.
*whoops, forgot this one*
Dough, Upper Hutt - they only opened recently but they filled a gap in the UH cafe market. They do a really solid brunch menu, coffee is good and they sell a range of breads. Their cinnamon rolls are massive and massively good too.
Notable mentions that aren't brunch, but still good:
Grind Coffee Lounge, Upper Hutt - they make those instagrammable milkshakes with all the wild toppings. Their coffee is also consistently great, the music is good and the staff are fun.
Little Loaf Polish Bakery, Lower Hutt - this might be the smallest bakery I've ever seen, and in the most awkward place ever, but everything I've ever bought from here has been mindblowingly delicious. Highly recommend the soft pretzels, the babka loaf, and their coffee rolls. They also recently started making a pesto and cheese roll and my husband swears by it. Open Thurs-Sat from 11am and at a few weekend markets too I think?
Fix Federation Bakery, Lower Hutt - if you want a big fucking donut, come here. They also make good crusty bread, a solid danish and a bunch of lunchy stuff. Coffee is a bit ordinary but service is quick and there's usually a carpark free nearby. (Don't bother with Buzz cafe beside it, not worth your time despite the weirdly high Google reviews).
Let me know if I've missed any of the good ones. These are all just places I like to eat salmon bennes or baked goods from which also have consistent coffee.
Taste of Europe in Fairfield (Waiwhetu Road) does really really good European bread and tarts, and three doors down from them is Cupcake Sweeties. They do tutorial on decorating etc, and make great cupcakes and brownies too (you can get ready mix from them).
I drove past there last week but I didn't have time to stop. I'll pop in, I'm a big slut for European bread.
Little bread loaf can be found at the Newtown Market on Sat.
Comes and Goes in Petone
Never been there, I'll have to check it out 😁
I do that too.
This is fantastic, thank you
Chocolate Dayz Cafe in Days bay is good. I like their fried chicken burger.
The Pavillion (also in Days Bay) does good pizza.
I had a good friend who worked at the Pav, used to stop there every day for coffee when I was working at Muritai school. Their lemon slice was excellent. Hive in Eastbourne also does pretty good food and coffee. It's also out of the way enough that it isn't always packed.
Oml you opened up a forgotten memory of my exs mums hollandaise sauce. That shit was tasty. She worked at cake and kitchen, unsure if she still does. Never have actually been in the shop tho
Figg Tree Cafe on Fergusson Drive is great!
Bakery is [Little Bread Loaf](https://www.littlebreadloaf.com/) open Thursday-Saturday 11-3. Hard to find the first time, but well worth it. Those cinnamon rolls.
Edit: [said cinnamon rolls](http://imgur.com/a/xnLsFvV)
Wow! Thank you. Yes I'm definitely going to check some of those out.
>If you want walks, there's the lighthouse round past Eastbourne, there's a few in the Akatawara forest in Upper Hutt or Belmont National Park has a few good trails too.
Which walks would you recommend in the Akatawara forest? I've wanted to go for a while but it seems a bit intimidating somehow! (I also have young kids which reduces the hardcore-ness of the walks we can do)
Kāpiti coast has some good ones
Battle Hill from the kapiti side is fine, haven't done it in a while though. I prefer the karapoti gorge track from the UH side, takes about 3 hours return.
If you're feeling especially hectic, you can do the karapoti classic loop but thats the sort of excursion you'll need to solidly prepare for, it isn't an easy stroll and there's a real chance you could die. I haven't done it and I'm fairly sure it's actually a mountain biking trail.
Hm i mangled my reply, I meant to recommend Whareroa farm...
I want to the karapoti gorge, make next summer. do you encounter people on dirt bikes on the regular along there?
There's a tiny polish bakery under the Ewan bridge..?
Not quite under, but nearly. Technically it's on Marsden st I think? There's a pokey lil alleyway on that weird intersection with all the stop signs.
> polish bakery
I popped into here today and sampled many fantastic treats! The owner mentioned we were about the third to mention we had heard about the place on Reddit. She also mentioned wanting to know who had posted about the place, so make yourself known next time you pop in!
If you're a drinker or into weekend antics theres a new horror themed minigolf bar near Courtenay place
Wtf I need to know more
Damn right, that description has somehow got both too many words and not enough words in it....
Googled the comment lol, looks interesting [https://www.thewitchinghour.co.nz/](https://www.thewitchinghour.co.nz/)
Dude! Go on...
Yeah sorry everybody its called The Witching Hour, open every day but Monday.
I haven't heard of this???
I have never heard of this! So locking it in for my next team event!
Next to Freyberg Pool is the office of Wellington Ocean Sports. They offer courses in windsurfing, paddleboarding, and sailing. They also offer casual sailing trips.
I've done a range of sailing courses there, including the skippers course. Ultimately I bought my own sailboat!
You could go on a casual sail, or sign up for the introduction course, which is a lot of fun, and their instructors are awesome.
Dude!! I'm definitely checking that out
I just completed their learn to sail course. Had an amazing experience and would definitely recommend to anyone interested in sailing. They also offer a reduced price on membership to the yacht club for those who want more opportunities to sail.
How long does it take for the intro course?
Its supposed to be about 24 hours of sailing all up, split over 4 full days. There are half length evening courses too during the summer.
Awesome!! I might have to look into it
How have I not heard of this?
It's kind of exclusive, only for the cool kids..
They show fun classic movies there too in a chill cinema you lay back in and it's projected onto the ceiling
I always find the wellington saints games fun. even if you arent a huge basketball fan (I wasnt when i started going to them, now have a season pass) its inside, warm, can take in own food and drinks, and a great atmosphere.
Being 204cm tall I'm socially obligated to like basketball haha.
It's fun to be a 'local tourist' sometimes, so I get that feeling.
Yea I feel like I've seen everything but thats definitely not the case
I don't know why I find this comment so hillarious. Make a list of all the things you really enjoy, then, do them again on ketamine... haha
nice weather today, might as well go hiking
Haha... I like my bladder thanks
Ohh...there's that plane on a chain thing!! Haven't a clue what it's called but it's just outside of Wellington and the only one it's kid in the world. You're basically strapped in to a chassis with a propellor at the front, hoisted up real high and they you fly your funny little plane.... I hope someone knows what I'm talking about 🤣
Ahaha that sounds fun af! Someone give the name!
Found it! www.flybywire.co.nz
They're currently on Grab One too
I totally forgot that this existed - this will be my husband's birthday present later this year I think!
Don't forget to get him new boxer shorts (for after 🤣)...I want to do this but I'm slightly nervous if heights 😆
I would NEVER do it myself, it looks fucking terrifying, but he has bungy jumped and was as cool as a cucumber the whole time so I think this'll be perfect. I'm so stocked that you suggested it, I can't wait for his birthday!
I've skydived before... scary BUT.. the bungy swing (you lay down flat, get pulled up, let go and you fly like superman) was WAYYYYYYY scarier...
Visit all those places you've meant to visit but never have, like Massey memorial
I really enjoyed the rimutaka rail trail. Do it on an ebike on a good day then at the end carry on to featherston and have a drink at the pub. The place that hires the bikes to you will pick you up from there if you let them know. Just a cool little day trip
Ill give it a go! Done it before but not on an ebike.
Oh if you’ve done it before then same crowd hire bikes out at Eastbourne. I’ve hired ebikes from there and gone out to the lighthouses a few times. On a clear day you have great views back to Welly and the South Island. You can tell I like ebikes aye? Haha.
Ahahaha yea you definitely like ebikes
This looks interesting! How do you get out there though? Seems like there are no public transport options. :( https://i.imgur.com/U8jumyB.jpg
That company that hires the bikes does pick up and drop offs from Welly! It just costs you a bit more
Ever tried disc golf? There's a few courses around the city and it's super fun, lots of locals play and will help you out
No I haven't... if I can hit the ball ill definitely enjoy it!
That'll be difficult as there is no ball in disc golf
Have you been to Matiu Somes island? Maybe more fun when the weather is nicer. It’s a great trip over on the ferry, do the Forest and Bird tour it’s only $10 going to charity and they are really nice and informative, well worth it. You can stay out there by booking a house, or tenting but I wouldn’t until it’s warm.
If you don’t regularly commute by train, take a trip up the coast? Have a meal or coffee somewhere like Paekakariki and a mosey around the shops and galleries. There’s a great 4 hr walk from Paekakariki to Pukerua bay above the shoreline/road if you can handle a lot of stairs, Google Escarpment Track.
When I got into a rut I wrote a list of all the parks and reserves with tracks from the GWRC and WCC websites and tried to go to a different one each time for a walk/explore, crossing them off the list. East Harbour Regional Park, and Catchpool valley in the Remutaka Forest Park are great (I love heading up Butcher Track from Catchpool, 1hr to a neat viewpoint over Wgtn, can make it a 4hr loop with Cattle Ridge and Orongorongo Valley tracks).
Obviously I’m crap at indoor ideas. Take up tramping as a hobby, join the [tramping club?](https://wtmc.org.nz)
Fort Buckley walk
Go mountain bikeing
Oh yea thats fun I go with my m8. Don't have a bike myself
So many cool suggestions here! If you like making stuff I suggest Stackhouse Knives for making your own kitchen knife, and Workspace Studios for making your own jewellery.
Have you tried geocaching? It always takes you to interesting places you’d generally overlook
Three Wellington sonic experiences:
1. Massey Memorial in Miramar
If you stand on the centre of the plinth & make a sound, something amazing happens! (afterwards climb up thru the bush to the gun emplacements, great view & great acoustics inside the bunkers!)
2. Tunnel Gully in Upper Hutt.... keep driving until you reach the big carpark with nowhere else to go... walk past the new toilets and follow the track leading into the unused train tunnel, then... Imagine death, but you also have to walk maybe 1km towards the light... clap your hands! take a torch! you're still alive!
3. Andrew Drummonds listening sculpture in the Botanic Gardens.... Put your head right inside it!