Shopping in Wellington
Wellington has tons to offer the avid shopper from shopping departments where the best New Zealand and international designers are represented to bustling markets and vintage boutiques.
Lambton Quay, Willis Street and Courtenay Place form the Golden Mile as most of the major shops are here; it is flush with boutiques, shoe shops, music shops and bookshops. Bohemian Cuba Street is more alternative. For quality souvenirs, Simply New Zealand (195 Lambton Quay) and Te Papa (inside the museum) are your best bets.
Harbourside Market, Wellington’s oldest market, is open every Sunday. There you can find the finest coffee, cheeses, olives, condiments, deli meats, fresh fish, sweets and hot food. Wellington Underground Market takes place every Saturday from 10am to 4pm and is good for locally made designer homewares, clothing, craft creations and gourmet food. Wellington Night Market, open every Friday and Saturday, hosts artists and local performers in addition to stalls selling a large range of international cuisine.
David Jones Wellington on Lambton Quay is the city’s largest shopping centre and department store. It was previously Kirkcaldie & Stains, which operated for more than 180 years and became Wellington’s most famous department store.
Shops in Wellington are usually open Monday to Friday 0900-1730, Saturday 0900-1630 and Sunday 1000-1400.
Sheepskins, woollen and leather goods are also good options for souvenirs and gifts, as are Maori traditional crafts and items made from pounamu (greenstone). Outdoor gear is also popular. New Zealand's wines also make wonderful gifts. Some of the best wines come from the Martinborough, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Gold Country regions. The Kiwi fashion industry is a cutting-edge, unique style, with influences from Europe, Polynesia and the Pacific Rim - from simple and practical to the sophisticated or avant-garde, A free Wellington Shopping Guide and The Fashion Map are available at the visitor centre.
A GST tax of 12.5% is included on all goods, but with receipts visitors can claim a tax refund at the airport or through the local New Zealand embassy upon return.