The Wellington summer to-do list

The Wellington summer to-do list

It may be cliché, but it’s true—you can’t beat Welly on a good day! Student Georgia Karantze shares her list of the best ways to enjoy the sunny season (once it arrives!) in Wellington.

Whether you’re on or off campus, Wellington is a great place to be on a sunny day.

Scorching Bay (and other excellent beaches depending on the wind)

Hot take: Scorching Bay is the best beach in Wellington. Seriously. There are lots of secluded areas of sand for you and your friends to hang out and huge grassy space for those who are less interested in sand and more interested in soaking up the rays! The other great thing is that it’s sheltered from the prevailing summer northerly. If the wind’s coming from the south, then Oriental Bay is your best bet. Remember to slip, slop, and slap! Here’s a guide to Wellington’s beaches!

Summer Sounds in the Botanical Gardens

Every January, the Wellington City Council kicks off the year with a whole month of ​free concerts at the Soundshell in the botanic gardens. Grab your friends, a picnic basket and make a night of it—once the sun goes down, the garden glows with hundreds of LED lights in the trees and along the paths. Check out the schedule!

Cafés galore

Flat white anyone? Wellington’s cafés (including those on our campuses) are a great place for students to go—you can catch up with your friends, get your study on if you’re doing a Trimester 3 paper, or just get a to-go cup of your favourite coffee. A selection of the multitude of cafés can be found here.   

You’re spoilt for choice with cafes in Wellington. So many places to find some sun or shade and have an iced coffee.


A great way to make the most of your summer in Wellington is to get out and explore the parts of the city you may not have before. Red Rocks/Pariwhero is a fantastic place to wander along the beach (and meet some seals if you are brave enough to return during winter!). There are tracks up to Mount Victoria lookout all over the Wellington waterfront, and Otari – Wilton’s Bush is always a treat on a sunny day. 


The Wellington waterfront is always teaming with activity. You can take a Croc Bike along the waterfront from Te Papa for a group cruise, or just a good old hire scooter. Along the way you’ll see buskers, a rock-climbing place, fancy restaurants, the East by West Ferry (this goes to beautiful Days Bay), and lots of great public sculpture and artworks. Be sure to stop and see this guy!

The waterfront’s never too busy, with plenty to see and do in the summer months.

Markets, markets, markets (and festivals!)

The Aro Valley Fair (13 March) and the Newtown Festival (21 March) are always packed with live music and summer sunshine. If your taste is more low-key, enjoy your Sunday mornings at the Harbourside Markets to buy fresh produce or spend the first Saturday of every month at the Vegan Vault Market at the Aro Valley community centre.

 There’s something for everyone in Te Whanganui-a-tara—so get amongst it!

Georgia Karantze is a third-year student doing a conjoint degree—LLB/BA majoring in Criminology.

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