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14 best things to do in Wellington at night – Have an epic evening out

Join us as we share our favourite things to do in Wellington at night.

When the sun goes down, our capital city comes to life.

Whether you’re looking to kick up your heels and dance the night away, or relax with a more family-friendly pursuit, we’ve got something you’ll enjoy.

Plan your next evening out in Welly with our tried-and-tested recommendations.

A view of Wellington and its harbour at dawn with its city lights.

The Top Things to Do in Wellington at Night

1. The Obvious One – Dance the Night Away!

Perhaps one of the most obvious things to do when the sun comes down in our capital city is to head out for a party!

Being one of our largest cities, you’ll find a huge variety of bars and clubs where you can spend the evening. Some of the most popular spots include Red Square Bar, S&M’s Cocktail Bar, and Hawthorn Lounge. We also love Minibar, Havana Bar, and Mishmosh.

There are plenty of happening places to choose from, and as many of them are close to one another it’s easy to create your own ‘bar crawl’ whilst in the city.

Two women having fun while holding cocktails.

2. Have Some Fun at Counter Culture Board Game Cafe & Bar

If you’re not up for partying and would prefer something quieter after dark then we’ve got the perfect spot for you…

Counter Culture Board Game Cafe & Bar is one of the best spots in Wellington to spend a wholesome evening. It’s open until 10 pm or 11 pm (depending on the day you visit) and offers quite the experience.

There are over 1,100 board games to play, and they also have an extensive food and drinks menu. If you plan to eat and drink there, the games are free. If not, you can purchase a game pass for just $10 each, lasting last 3 hours.

What more could you need for a fun, relaxed evening?

211 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Guests playing board games in Counter Culture Board Game Cafe & Bar.
Photo: Counter Culture Board Game Cafe & Bar – the perfect spot for a chilled evening out.

3. Scope Out Wildlife on a Night Tour of Zealandia

If you’re a fan of native wildlife like us then Zealandia should be top of your list – even after sunset!

Although you can visit during the day, Zealandia also offers two night-time experiences; Zealandia by Night [save 10% using the promo code NZTTPLAY] and Twilight Tours.

Not only will you get the chance to appreciate this incredible sanctuary without the crowds, but you’ve also got a decent chance of spotting the native kiwi (although sightings are never guaranteed).

Don’t worry if you don’t see a kiwi though, you’ll catch a variety of other wildlife regardless.

Both tours last for 2.5 hours and will depart either at dusk or around sunset.

Book: Zealandia tours. Save 10% using the promo code NZTTPLAY.

53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington 6012

A brown kiwi bird.
The North Island brown kiwi, Apteryx mantelli, is the most common kiwi in New Zealand.

4. Visit Space Place Planetarium and Stargaze

We recommend you head to Space Place for the best stargazing in Welly.

This state-of-the-art planetarium will teach you all about the night sky through multimedia exhibits and interactive galleries.

There’s also a digital domed planetarium where you can learn about other planets, stars, constellations, and galaxies – including ours, the Milky Way.

As amazing as all that is though, the highlight of visiting this planetarium is getting to look through the iconic Thomas Cooke Telescope.

Seeing New Zealand’s starry skies this way is a magical experience so be sure to include it on your itinerary.

40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn, Wellington 6012

A family watching the planetarium show while sitting in a comfy chair in Space Place Carter Observatory.
Photo: Space Place.

5. Scare Yourself at Fear Factory

If you’re a thrill seeker then why not head to the Fear Factory?

Before we go any further, we want to stress that this activity isn’t for the faint-hearted, so if you’re easily spooked you may want to skip over this one.

Fear Factory offers scary experiences in both Wellington and Queenstown. The Welly one will take you on a haunted adventure of the HMS Wayfarer – expect to be scared witless!

It’s scary enough that they have a ‘safe word’ you can use if it becomes too much for you! And people do use it – over 3,000 people have said it in just under a year.

We think that speaks volumes…

Book: Fear Factory.

2/120 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Scary girl in make-up holding a doll in Fear Factory, Wellington.
Be prepared for the fright of your life! Photo: Fear Factory.

6. Look Out for Glow Worms

This is one of the coolest things to do in Wellington at night and it doesn’t cost a cent! We recommend you head along to one of the city’s Botanic Gardens to spot glow worms in their natural habitat.

Wellington Botanic Gardens is open 24/7 but to see glow worms, you’ll need to visit when it’s dark.

These creatures are a wonder to behold – they’re just so beautiful.

Another great place to spot glowworms in Wellington is Otari-Wilton’s Bush Botanic Garden. As an added bonus, it’s the only botanic garden in the country that’s dedicated solely to native plants and is also home to around 11 km of walking tracks.

Glow worms shining while hanging on the cave ceiling.

7. Watch a Sports Game at Sky Stadium

Sky Stadium (formally known as Westpac Stadium) is a major sporting venue and a great place to watch both regional and international rugby.

Football games and cricket matches are also held here, with several teams calling this stadium home. That includes the Wellington Lions and the Wellington Phoenix Women’s Club among others. The All Blacks also frequently play here.

If sport isn’t your thing then this stadium has plenty more to offer!

Depending on when you visit, it also hosts a variety of concerts throughout the year, as well as exhibitions, and local events. Just check before your trip so you can book tickets in advance.

105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington 6140

A player raised up by his teammates to catch the ball in a rugby match in Sky Stadium.
Photo: stewartbaird.

8. Have a Go at Mini-Golf

If you’re looking for fun things to do in our capital after sundown, then why not head for a game of mini-golf?

There are plenty of options in the city but for the best experience, we’d recommend heading to Carlucci Land or The Witching Hour.

Carlucci Land offers an 18-hole mini-golf course with a junkyard theme, so it’s really unique! As an outdoor course, it’s best suited to the warmer seasons.

If you’re looking for something a bit scarier then check out The Witching Hour. It’s an indoor 13-hole mini-golf course, including fog, strobe lights, ghouls and clowns. Plus they serve drinks from their bar if you’re looking for an extra-good time.

Both courses are open until late, so are the perfect late-night activity.

An artificial skeleton surrounded by three women.
Photo: The Witching Hour.

9. Laugh the Night Away at a Comedy Show

In our opinion, there’s no better way to spend an evening than at a comedy night – and Wellington has plenty of options!

Whether you’re looking for open-mic nights, pun battles, or improvised comedy, this city has something for everyone.

One of the most popular spots for comedy is The Fringe Bar as they often have stand-up showcases. Not to mention, this bar also has some tasty snacks and boozy cocktails.

Another great spot is the Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre. They serve up lots of off-the-cuff giggles.

No matter which one you choose, make sure you ahead to see what’s on beforehand.

Four people performing at the Scruffy Bunny Improv theatre in Wellington.
Head along to a comedy show for a night of laughs. Photo: Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre.

10. Catch a Show or Performance at the Theatre

If you’re a fan of the arts then we’d recommend heading to one of the capital’s fantastic theatres!

Whether you’re after a local show, pantomime performances or a musical, Wellington has a number of options. It’s considered the artsiest city in New Zealand for good reason.

Some of the best spots in the city include Circa Theatre, BATS Theatre and St James Theatre. Depending on your preference, you’ve also got The Opera House which is a stunning venue in its own right.

With so many amazing theatres to choose from you’re guaranteed to find a show of your liking during your trip to Wellington.

Some of the more popular productions will require you to book in advance though so just keep that in mind.

A group of performers standing on the stage of the Bats Theatre.
Enjoy the arts at one of Wellington’s many theatres. Photo: BATS Theatre.

11. Try Your Hand at Axe Throwing!

Now, this has to be one of the most unique evening activities in the windy city!

Although you can head to Sweet Axe at any time of day, there’s something cool about heading here in the evening. Just make sure you’ve not had a drink because you won’t be allowed to participate otherwise.

There are four axe-throwing lanes here, and the experts will teach you the ultimate technique before letting you loose. So don’t worry if you’ve never wielded an axe before – they’ve got you covered.

Book: Sweet Axe [discounted].

60 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Two people throwing axes towards a wall at Sweet Axe.
Photo: Sweet Axe.

12. Bowl the Night Away at the Lanes

As you might have guessed The Lanes is the perfect place to go bowling, but it has much more to offer than just that, making it perfect for an evening of fun.

Boasting four pool tables, pinball, foosball, and shuffleboard, there are plenty of other awesome games that you can get involved with. The activities here will keep you and your crew occupied for hours.

The Lanes even has a great bar on-site, and they serve tasty food including burgers and pizzas!

What more could you need?

234/238 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Dimly lit ten pin bowling lanes at The Lanes.
The Lanes is a great option for stylish ten pin bowling. Photo: The Lanes.

13. Catch a Live Music Gig

Wellington has a great live music scene so make sure you leave at least one night free during your trip.

This city has every type of music you could ask for from jazz to rock ‘n’ roll, so you’ll find something to suit everyone’s tastes.

There are plenty of awesome venues to choose from but some of the most popular places include Meow, The Library, and Rogue and Vagabond.

Each one of these venues offers a fantastic experience. Plus, Meow and the Library both offer snacks as well as an extensive drinks menu, while Rogue and Vagabond is more tailored towards craft beers.

A small group of musicians playing at The Library in Wellington.
Check out some live music while you’re in Wellington. Photo: The Library.

14. Spend a Night at the Wellington Zoo

Last but not least on our list, a sleepover at the Wellington Zoo is one of our favourite recommendations. It’s a massive hit with kids, though it’ll appeal to all animal lovers.

Many people haven’t even heard of this activity, but we will warn you – it’s not a cheap experience. We think having the zoo all to yourself makes it worth the cost though!

During your time there, you can feed the animals a late-night snack, and make them a special treat for their morning before the zoo opens to the public.

Too much fun!

200 Daniell Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021

An emu looking over a high fence at the Wellington Zoo.
Spend the night sleeping at the zoo! Photo: Wellington Zoo.

With so many amazing evening activities on offer, don’t tuck yourself up in your hotel – get out and see what makes our capital city so special…

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