For those of you who want to head right into the thick of the action, you don’t need to look any further than the Courtenay Place area of town which seems to attract ever reveller in the city. Home to the pick of Wellington’s pubs and clubs, this place is buzzing into the early hours every night of the week but particularly from Thursday to Sunday. If it is a bit wild for you, however, don’t panic. The city’s compact size works once again to its advantage ensuring that you will never have to walk too far to find a watering hole to suit.
The live theatre scene is also a very active one in the capital and there are a number of professional and amateur theatre companies who provide the perfect night out for those of you looking for an alternative to pubbing and clubbing during your stay. At the top of the list has to be the National Orchestra and Opera as well as the Royal New Zealand Ballet. But, for something a little less expensive and a little more informal try the Downstage Theatre in Hannah Playhouse on Courtenay Place at the corner of Cambridge Terrace where you can see comedy, drama and dance of the both the classic and contemporary variety. Other popular alternatives are the Circa Theatre and the slightly more alternative Bats Theatre.
Finally, for an up to date guide on everything that’s going on in the city from cheap booze nights to performances by leading theatre companies check out either the Capital Times, City Voice or What’s On. Both are free and can be found in any of the information centres in Wellington as well as in many cafes.
55 Cleveland Street, Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand
If you fancy getting out of the city for an evening, then try this newly opened bar restaurant which is only about five minutes by taxi from the city centre. With pool tables and a large screen TV for all the big sporting events as well as a happy hour every day between 4.00pm and 6.00pm you’re guaranteed an enjoyable evening.
14-18 Bond Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Serving a selection of its own microbrews and decorated using a typical outback theme, this place is especially popular among visitors and locals alike. Live music on Saturdays and a DJ on both Friday and Saturday night with no cover charge – doesn’t get much better than this.
191-195 Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
A pub and club situated in the heart of the city’s main entertainment zone this place features a mixed bag of live music as well as a karaoke night and an open mike night for those of you brave or drunk enough to give it a go.
31-35 Dixon Street, Wellington, New Zealand
While the name might be pretty dodgy, the pub itself certainly is not. A really fun venue with particularly cheap drinks on Wednesday nights but be prepared to queue. Also serves reasonably priced food which is always welcome after one or two many beverages.
47 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand
This establishment’s claim to fame is the choice of over thirty natural and fermented beers which are on tap there. Also has several pool tables and a balcony where you can sit and watch the world go by.
286 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Don’t expect luxury if you’re heading to this venue but do expect a good time. Attracting a young, alternative crowd this place is one of the city’s original live music venues and is also one of the last to shut, particularly on Tuesdays and Sundays. Free entry most nights too to further add to its appeal.
Corner Tory Street & Courtenay Place, Wellington, New Zealand
Another loud and larger than life establishment this place is constantly showing live sport which is always guaranteed to attract a crowd. Also features live music every other night and a cheap and appetising menu for those of you who have the foresight to line your stomach before drinking yourself into oblivion.
63 Courtenay Place, Wellington, New Zealand
The city’s most popular street bar, this establishment doubles as a restaurant and offers a variety of techno and rave music to its clientele. If you’re looking for a quiet night out then avoid this place at all costs as it can get pretty wild.
22 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand
One of Wellingtons biggest and better nightclubs, this place attracts people of all ages to listen to all types of music and drink all types of beverages. There is a cover charge of about $5 after 1.00am but rest assured that it’s money well spent.