Culture calendar for Wellington – Dec 30 to Jan 2

Culture calendar for Wellington - Dec 30 to Jan 2

New Year’s Eve

8pm–midnight, Dec 31, Whairepo Lagoon, free

A fun evening of great music to bring in the New Year in one of Wellington’s iconic locations along the waterfront. Covers band Zephyr will entertain from 8pm, followed by a kids’ countdown at 9.30pm. Orchestra Wellington will play from 10pm, followed by the New Year’s countdown and a blast of fireworks to bring in 2023.

NYE Cabaret

Dirty Little Secret, Dec 31, 7pm, $499 for VIP tables or $20 for general admission

The best New Year’s Eve in Wellington always happens on the Dirty Little Secret rooftop! Enjoy a cabaret themed extravaganza complete with drag performers, burlesque dancers, an epic DJ and first-class views of the fireworks. Bookings:

Celeste Fontein/Supplied

Take a walk to the Mount Victoria lookout – one of the many walks taking in the capital city.

Wellington walks

Leave the concrete jungle behind and experience the beauty of nature with popular Wellington city walks.

The many walking tracks around Pōneke, range from beginners to pro, for adults, kids, and dogs. (Dogs must be on leads outside dog exercise areas.) Full details and maps are available at

Brooklyn wind Turbine route

A 2-hour walk or 6km ride (one way).

This route is popular with mountain bikers, runners – and a healthy spillover of native birds from the nearby Zealandia sanctuary. From the top of Aro Street at the Polhill Reserve entrance follow the blue markers with wind turbine symbol along trails called Transient, Sawmill, Fenceline and Windmill to get to the Brooklyn Wind Turbine. Follow the same route back or plan another route using the webmap which shows other trails in the area. Just off the trail are the Brooklyn Gun Emplacements.

Mount Victoria Lookout Walkway

Walk through historic pine forests and enjoy unbeatable views of the harbour and city. Only minutes from the city.

Full loop: Allow 1.5 hours to walk the full 4.6 kilometre loop from Courtenay Place up Majoribanks Street to the summit and back via Oriental Bay. Shorter loop: To complete a shorter 45 minutes (2.6 kilometre) lookout loop within the Town Belt, start at the top of Majoribanks Street or Bayview Terrace. Allow extra time if you want to savour the views. Follow the trail that runs above Charles Plimmer Park dog exercise area back to your starting point.

City to Sea Walkway

The City to Sea Walkway starts in the heart of central Wellington near Parliament and ends at the south coast, 14.4km away in Island Bay. It takes 6 – 7 hours, but can be done in stages. To complete it in 1 day you will need a good level of fitness. Where the city to sea walkway passes through the Botanic gardens and Berhampore golf course it is closed to bikes.

Southern Walkway

The 10.6km walk along the Town Belt between Oriental Bay and Island Bay, can be completed in 4–5 hours depending on fitness. Although the walk is steep in places, it is not difficult overall and is suitable for those of average fitness. To keep to the track, follow the pink bollards that will guide you along the entire walkway. From north to south the walkway entrance is sign-posted and begins near the intersection of Oriental parade and Carlton Gore Rd. From south to north, the walkway begins in Shorland Park

Great Harbour Way / Te Aranui o Pōneke

This is a walking and cycling route around Wellington Harbour from Fitzroy Bay in the east to Sinclair Head in the west.

The route offers a rare opportunity to walk or cycle the entire coastline of a major city harbour, continually touching the water’s edge. Work continues each year to extend the route, with the proposed plans having the Great Harbour Way run almost 70km from Pencarrow, Eastbourne, right around Wellington Harbour before finally ending at Owhiro Bay on Wellington’s south coast.


Kiwi Art House Gallery Christmas Group Exhibition

Kiwi Art House Gallery, 288 Cuba St, to Dec 24, then Jan 10-Jan 31, free

Featuring 18 artists and 45 artworks large and small from artists from around the country.

Of The Hill by Mary Macpherson

Photospace Gallery, to Jan 28, free

Of the Hill is about Te Ahumairangi hill in Pōneke/Wellington, and hills beyond. It’s a work about the power and presence of the land, rocks and plant life we live on and with. Visit

Summer Show

Studio Toru, Eastbourne, free

The Summer Group Show is a mixture of established and emerging contemporary artists from around Aotearoa. Introducing new artists to Studio Toru and welcoming back some familiar local artists.


Selwyn Muru: Te Whiti with the Sacred Birds of Taranaki, on display at the NZ Portrait Gallery.

Selwyn Muru: A Life’s Work

NZ Portrait Gallery, Shed 11, Wellington waterfront, to Feb 12, free

The exhibition weaves together a biographical portrait of the life’s work of Muru. It offers an insight into the breadth of his achievements through a focus on his art, and seeks to raise public awareness of his mahi, especially with younger generations who may not be aware of his contributions.

Summer at The Dowse Art Museum

10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, Dec 24 10am – 3pm, Dec 25 and Jan 1 closed, free

Whetūrangitia/ Made As Stars: The gods are real. Explore the work of 13 Indigenous artists from Aotearoa and around the globe who unlock ancestral histories.

Nick Taylor/Supplied

Wharenui Harikoa exhibition at the Dowse by Lissy Robinson-Cole and Rudi Robinson. Photo: Nick Taylor

Wharenui Harikoa: Lissy Robinson-Cole and Rudi Robinson: This full-scale crocheted wharenui features vivid rainbow poupou, tekoteko, tukutuku panels and adorned pou tokomanawa that will delight the senses.

Psychedelic: San Francesco Rock Posters of the 1960s: The Grateful Dead, The Doors and many more iconic bands feature in this one of a kind collection.

Rob McLeod: Excuse Me Mr Frankenstein, Vlad Is Outside Feeding: Enter a weird world where the characters literally leap off the pages of a comic book.

Turumeke Harrington: He pito mata, I’m energetic!: This soothing space features elements from the marae as you have never seen them before bathed in a soundscape that is full of surprises.

Suji Park: Noise Collector: In this dynamic installation, ceramics come to life with flashing lights, mirrored walls and beaded tentacles.

Summer at Te Papa

10am-6pm, free

Manu Rere Moana | Pacific Voyagers: The navigation of the Pacific by sailing waka is one of the great achievements of human technology. This exhibition explores the mātauranga of celestial navigation that enabled these extraordinary voyages.

Te Rawhitiroa Bosch

A photograph from the exhibition He Kaupapa Waka shows a waka taua at Waitangi 2020. Photo: Te Rawhitiroa Bosch.

He Kaupapa Waka | A Fleet of Waka: Created by photographer Te Rawhitiroa Bosch, this exhibition celebrates the traditions of waka and their thriving communities. Featuring stunning photographs, taonga and a soundscape by Tiki Taane.

Dane Mitchell: Iris, Iris, Iris: Prepare to be enchanted by the scents, meanings, and interpretations of the word ‘iris’.

Hiahia Whenua | Landscape and Desire: This exhibition explores the different ways that artists in Aotearoa have expressed their relationship to the land.

Kate Newby: She’s Talking to the Wall: Through clay and glass, Kate Newby explores how natural materials transform when shaped and fired.

Kaleidoscope: Abstract Aotearoa: The abstract exploration of shape, colour and pattern that has captured our imaginations in the Pacific.

Te Taiao | Nature: Meet our weird and wonderful wildlife, immerse yourself in birdsong, explore the geological forces that shape our shaky land and more!

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War: A ground-breaking exhibition of giant sculptures that bring New Zealand’s Gallipoli story to life.

Mataaho Collective: Te Puni Aroaro: Experience the ground-breaking artworks of Mataaho Collective – four wāhine Māori artists who have worked together for the last decade.

Summer at Whirinkaki Whare Taonga

Upper Hutt, daily 9am-4pm, free

FORTUNE: to Jan 23: Artist Bev Moon has created a yum cha feast, not of food, but carefully knitted wool. Fortune is the artist’s tribute to her Chinese mother and grandmother who faced great obstacles to settle in New Zealand. Both women were superb cooks and accomplished knitters. Moon weaves both crafts together in this touching tribute. Complete with table and all the trimmings, this is a yum cha not to miss.


Fortune, by artist Bev Moon, a Yum cha feast created of carefully knitted wool is currently on show at Whirinaki Whare Taonga.

Wellington Arts Review: to Feb 26: The bi-annual review of recent works by artists from the Wellington region. This exhibition showcases a wide range of media from a diverse number of artists.

Upper Hutt in Black and White: A photo essay of Upper Hutt seen in black and white photography. This is an exhibition of history in photos seen through the lens of 10 photographers who have captured the people and places of Upper Hutt on film. From formal portraits to outdoor panoramas, people in everyday life to iconic places, this is a unique insight into our city in black and white.