A local’s guide to Wellington, New Zealand

LIZ PRESTON, sales executive at Singapore Airlines’ Wellington office, gives her take on the hottest dining and entertainment spots in New Zealand’s buzzing capital, as well as its perennial draws.

CENTRES OF ATTENTION

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The most popular attraction in Wellington is probably Te Papa (above). You can spend days exploring the rich history of New Zealand in this museum. From here, walk along the waterfront to Oriental Bay. When the weather is fine, have a swim in the ocean or hire a four-seat crocodile bike from The Enormous Crocodile Company and cycle around the bay.

As a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, I can’t get enough of Weta Workshop, a movie buff’s dream that offers behind-the-scenes studio tours.

IN THE EVENT

For those who appreciate art, I highly recommend the annual World of Wearable Art show held in September. Sports fans should not miss the Wellington Sevens (January 28 to 29), as well as regularly held Super Rugby and International Cricket games.

August is the month for foodies, with gourmet festival Visa Wellington on a Plate taking place then. In the summer, Wellington Free Outdoor Cinema (Tel: 64 21 110 8517) holds open-air movie screenings at Lagoon Lawn on Cable street.

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SIP AND SUP

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As a wine and coffee aficionado, I’m lucky to live in New Zealand’s coffee capital. Believe it or not, Wellington has more cafes, bars and restaurants per capita than New York.

One of my favourite caffeinated spots is Mojo Coffee (above), where I recently joined a roastery tour and lesson. Prefab serves fabulous coffee and melt-in-your-mouth scones – it’s no wonder it’s always busy.

My current favourite dining spot is Charley Noble. I love its wine, service and food, especially the ravioli.

In a group, I like to visit Chow or Dragonfly for sharing plates of fabulous Asian treats, including pork and chive dumplings, and Peking duck lettuce cups.

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