You can’t beat Wellington on a good day – but what about when it’s not so great? We’re talking Wellington’s classic gale force winds, hail, sub-arctic temperatures, and torrential rain that rivals the Asian monsoon season.
Turns out Wellington has some excellent wet weather activities, some are obvious (we’re looking at you Te Papa), but others are a little more secret and take a bit of hunting. We’ve done the searching for you, so here are our top 7 wet weather activities for Wellington.
Nestled away on the Wellington Waterfront is one of the only rock climbing walls in the CBD.
If you’re looking to blow off some steam on a rainy day, there’s no better way than a good climb. With options for both beginners and advanced climbers, Fergs Kayaks is the place to be on a rainy day.
Pricing is based on day passes, meaning you can stay as long as you like:
There is also the ability to hire extra gear (optional)
It’s right in the centre of the city at Shed 6 at the waterfront (by TSB arena), here’s a link to where it is.
If you’ve ever wanted to try out this new fan-dangled technology, this is a great environment to do it. You get your own private VR room, and a selection of VR games you can try out.
Acko also has a heap of Playstation, Xbox and PC consoles if you’re into the more classic gaming experience.
In terms of prices, Acko’s VR Room is pretty good if you go with a few friends. They’ve got two options:
HTC Vive (private room):
You can check out Acko’s Facebook page here
By Car: It’s right in the centre of the city. Here’s a link to where it is. Don’t be fooled by their current maps listing (which places them on Manners St) – they just need to update their Google My Business page. Acko – if you’re reading this and want to update it, let us know! We’ll do it in exchange for VR .
If you’re like me and you miss the good old days of mud pie assembly or just getting downright messy and mildly glueing your fingers together … here’s one for you!
In a world which is gravitating towards virtual and digital creation (which is exciting in a different way) … this 18,000+ year old craft is a refreshing hands-on, all-round sensory experience.
The mesmerising moulding or ‘throwing’ (using the correct lingo), twinned with the moreish feel of the clay squidging through your fingers… is enough to spark the initial excitement for pottery making.
But on a deeper level, the process of pottery making encourages you to let go of perfection and with the comfort of knowing you can always re-structure your creation, it allows you to feel a sense of freedom as you explore the look of your final masterpiece.
It’s also got a reputation for being quite the stress buster, understandably, it’s hard to check your phone with all that clay on your hands. Pottery making in Wellington is a fantastic way to slow down your day in the best sense. Plus, if you’re feeling generous, eventually (honestly it could take several attempts) you’ll end up with a jazzy homemade gift for someone, always a crowd pleaser.
Here are some awesome places in Wellington you can try it out:
1. Wellington Potters’ Association – Which has fantastic information and caters to all abilities.
Details on classes can be found here.
2. The Clay Penguin – Owned by Wellington’s own award-winning artist Nicola Dench.
Details on classes can be found here.
More a buyer than a maker? There’s a fantastic shop in Lyall Bay (Between the beach and Bunnings ) called Sue Dasler Pottery, home to some gorgeous New Zealand crafted contemporary ceramics.
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm or by Appointment.
What better to do on a rainy day than to pet, pamper, and play with a small army of animals? Located in Newtown, the SPCA is super easy to get to by car, bus, or by taking a scenic hilltop walk (rain jackets recommended).
With over 5000 animals rescued per year – from cats and dogs, to hamsters and bunnies, the Wellington SPCA is never lacking a furry friend for you to give endless attention to!
They even let you hire out their rooms for functions, birthday parties and conferences – what better way to party than rubbing the belly of a playful puppy!
Another bonus with the SPCA – it’s completely free of charge, making it the perfect rainy day outing for children, students, adults and families alike.
By Car: Park in their on-site premises, located at 140 Alexandra Road, Newtown – Check out the map and how to get directions here
By Bus: Catch bus number 20, 3 from Willis Street, this will take you up to Constable Street or Kilbirnie. From either place it’s a 10 minute walk up the hill to reach the SPCA. Here is the link to the Metlink timetable where you can plan your bus journey.
It’s pretty hard to be energetic on rainy days where the weather makes you just want to cocoon, but you can beat that apathetic attitude by grabbing a group of mates and heading down to ‘The Lanes’ to tear-up the bowling alley.
Located on Wakefield Street, this place is right in the heart of Wellington, and is within walking or bus distance from anybody’s flat – so no excuse to not get out of bed!
The Lanes offer options to play just the one game of bowling, or if you’re feeling that little bit extra competitive/want redemption, you can go for two games – student discounts included! They also have a massive menu filled to the brim with snacks, share plates, pizzas, and a bounty of drinks; both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
They even host private adult birthday functions if you’re sick of the classic ‘bring everyone round to the flat’ ordeal – you can celebrate in style, smoke the lanes, and you don’t have to clean up!
By Bus: There are various buses that travel to Courtenay Place from nearly all the suburbs – if you get off at Courtney its a 5 minute walk to the lanes. Check out Metlink for more information on buses and transport.
Heat up your feet with some fire dance moves when it’s cold outside!
After returning from a stint in Latin America last year, I was devastated to leave behind my new-found love – salsa dancing! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Wellington has a very active salsa community, with plenty of regular meetups and free events!
The Sunday Salsa Sessions at Southern Cross are a fun way to introduce yourself/your friends to the dance. Led by Rafael Ferrer from CubanFusion, the classes are easy to follow, loads of fun, family-friendly, and best of all, FREE!
I went to one of the sessions with a friend, and after a few gin & lemmies, I felt like I was back dancing with my friends in my favourite club in Manizales. Grab a friend or five and head along to the next session!
Southern Cross is at the top of Cuba Street – here’s a link to where it is.
Sunday sessions are every second Sunday of the month. Rock up around 6pm for the 6.30pm class – it packs out, so get there early!
If you enjoy a beer or six and want to take your thirst for beer to the next level, at ‘The Occasional Brewer’ you can make your VERY OWN beer, while you drink their beer (16 taps to choose from).
Open the door and you’ll discover a fantastic contrast between a cosy bar on one side and a high-tech brewing space on the other. It’s ideal for homebrewers wanting to brew without the hassle and mess (no more storing beer in the cupboard or bottling in the bath). It means more energy can be focused on the fun parts of making your own brew like experimenting with quality ingredients and techniques.
But it’s not just the seasoned home brewer that can enjoy. Newbies soon get the hang of things with the knowledgeable and humorous staff around to advise at each step of the process.
Pricing starts at $159 per brew station, you can go solo or share the experience with friends, and don’t worry about not having enough to go around, one session produces 40 litres of quality craft beer (the equivalent to 10 dozen 330ml bottles)!
For this, you get the full brewing experience. This includes preparing the water, mashing in, boiling the wort, adding hops, chilling and fermenting your beer. Once you’re done, you can store your beer there until it’s ready to be bottled (bottling takes place on the premises).
The Occasional Brewer is just a short 5-minute walk from the Basin – Here’s a link to where it is
We’re always keen to learn about more awesome wet-weather activities – so feel free to email me directly, hit us up on the Aro Digital Facebook page, or drop a comment below! If I learn of some more awesome ideas, we’ll add them to the post!