How to have an action-packed day in the capital, without breaking the bank.

Start your day on Wellington's favourite hipster hangout, Cuba St. To blend in with the locals, have a vegetarian or vegan breakfast at Midnight Espresso and wash it down with a good cup of Wellington Coffee. Eggs Midnight and a flat white will set you back $17.50.

After breakfast, continue your stroll down Cuba St and check out some of the interesting shops along the way —Slow Boat Records is an institution for music lovers, and literary types will adore Arty Bees Books and Unity Books' flagship. Anything you buy is however, off-budget.

Make your way on foot to Te Papa — no Wellington trip is complete without a visit.


It's free to enter the general collections but you'll definitely want to check out the Terracotta Warriors exhibition while it's in town. That will set you back $19.50.

Afterwards, head to Sweet Mother's Kitchen in Courtenay Place—this laidback American food joint is usually packed but hopefully you won't have to wait too long for a table.

Grab a Louisiana-style po'boy sandwich for lunch and be sure to get some curly fries and creole mayo on the side. $20.

After that hearty dose of fried goodness, you may feel like walking it off— and what better place to do so than by strolling along the shoreline on Oriental Parade. And while you're there, you may as well treat yourself again — grab a double scoop icecream at Kaffee Eis for $5.80.

Wellingtonians never shut up about their coffee— and we've got to say, it is pretty decent.

Catch the bus back into town and stop for a java fix at People's Coffee on Luke's Lane.

French Cancan supply the cafe with pastries—if you have a chance to get out to their patisserie in Newtown, it's pretty incredible, with a Michelin-starred chef. $15

If you have time, you could always walk to City Gallery and check out the collections — it's free to enter— before heading back to Cuba St for dinner. Every Friday and Saturday, the street hosts a night market, which is great for some cheap eats. $20.

Once you've had a good feed, make your way to Zealandia, a fully fenced eco sanctuary, to commune with nature.


Book in for a night tour and get the chance to see some of the 130 little spotted kiwi who call Zealandia home, as well as other native species that only come out at night. $85.

After such a big day in the capital, you'll want to finish with a drink back in town.

The Library is a lounge bar with a reading room, offering bespoke cocktails. Grab one for $20 and relax.

TOTAL: $202.80