Wellington Nightlife • A Complete Guide

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Wellington is not just the capital of New Zealand but also a rich place when it comes to culture, history, fun, and cuisine. Located in the southern part of the North Island of New Zealand, it has a lot to offer. There are a lot of fun activities that you can perform in Wellington. Tourists often take up kayaking or mountain biking when they visit this place. If you want to relax, you can eat and go sightseeing. Apart from all of this, the nightlife of Wellington is exceptionally alluring. Since it can get a little confusing to plan a night out in a new city, here is a complete guide on experiencing the ‘Wellington Nightlife.’

What time does the nightlife start in Wellington?

Many pubs and restaurants are open throughout the day in the city. The goal of all tourists in Wellington is to have a good time and drink till the sun comes up. Thankfully, the bars are open in the city till 4 am. That means that you will have the entire day and the night to have the time of your life. There is so much that this city has to offer. The pubs and bars offer unique settings for guests in the evening, such as live performances. If you are someone who loves to party, you will love this place. Most of these parties tend to peak around midnight.  Most people like to party more from Thursday to Saturday. It is a good idea to have a few cocktails and snacks before you decide to paint the town red.

Bars in Wellington

There are a lot of good bars in Wellington where you can have a good time. The bustling energy with good music will help you to enjoy your vacation to the fullest. There are various kinds of bars in Wellington –from Irish pubs to Sports bars. If you are on a budget, don’t. Some of these bars are pocket-friendly, and you wouldn’t have to spend a lot to have fun. Here are some of the bars in Wellington that you can check out:

Goldings Free drive

If you like craft beer, this is just the right place for you. Although it looks like a man den, it is safe for women. Moreover, it is pet-friendly. GoldingsFreedrive changes its beer options every week. Hence, you will never be bored. The prices are reasonable, and you can grab a snack with your beer.

Dirty little Secret Bar

It is an establishment with a great view that lets you party all night. If you want to spend, this is the right place for you. This rooftop bar can only be accessed through the lift with the help of the doorman. There is enough room for dancing. Just sip on your favorite wine or beer and have a great time

Havana Bar

This exotic-looking bar is a classic and is extremely crowded on weekends. It has been open for twenty years, and yet, it has not lost its charm with time. The establishment provides an ample amount of room for dancing and sipping Cuban cocktails. There is an indoor as well as an outdoor setting available. It might be slightly expensive but worth the money.


If you dig the retros vibe, this is the right place for you. It is one of the best local bars in Wellington. The whole décor is the 60s themed. This quirky yet cute place hosts indie gigs regularly. Moreover, it is quite affordable for someone on a budget.


This establishment often hosts live gigs. Both experienced as well as amateur artists are booked for events at Caroline. The entire theme is easy and bohemian. If you are looking for an artistic place to have a drink or two, this is it.

Best Nightclubs in Wellington

Although the alternative music scene is quite famous in Wellington, there are a few nightclubs where you can dance all night long. If you like to party, here are some of the best nightclubs in the capital city of New Zealand:

Red Square

Red Square is the ideal nightclub if you want to paint the town red. You can dance all night long at this establishment. This nightclub is famous for all the right reasons. From leather booths to a fantastic DJ lineup – it has everything that a good nightclub needs. The signature cocktails are a rage amongst the locals. Moreover, the selling feature of this nightclub is the ice-topped bar counter. It is a local tradition to visit this bar once and leave your handprints on top of the bar counter.

San Fran

Techno parties are a rage at this establishment, and it is one of the top spots in Wellington if you like to dance. Locals like to visit this place as it offers different kinds of events. Apart from the amazing techno nights, San Fran also hosts rock music gigs, comedy nights, and DJ nights. If you like to party, you should visit San Fran.

The Establishment

The Establishment is for all party animals out there. If you are planning to have a night that involves a lot of dancing and alcohol, this is the place for you. It has two bars for its guests as well as a restaurant.  If you do not like the bars’ vibe, you can check out the other one. The sound systems of each bar are different, and it is designed to keep things fresh. One of the selling features of this nightclub is that it stays open till 4 am.

Danger Danger

If you like karaoke, this is the place for you. The vibe ‘Danger Danger’ gives off is completely retro. As soon as you step inside the club, you will be able to hear music from the 80s and 90s.  Comfortable yet stylish, it is a place where you grab a few drinks and karaoke with your friends all night long. 

The LGBTQIA+ scene in Wellington

Wellington is a modern place where one shouldn’t face any discrimination. Most of the pubs and bars in the city are LGBTQIA+ friendly. But if you are looking for exclusive gay or lesbian bars in the city, you will not be disappointed. The two major gay-friendly bars in the city are:


This establishment is started by a gay couple and is an excellent place to meet people from the LGBTQIA+ community. The décor is extravagant with cedar walls and Egyptian chandeliers. There is a Basement section where all the dancing and gigs take place regularly.

Ivy Bar and Cabaret

This queer-friendly bar is ideal if you want to enjoy various kinds of gigs in town. From drag to comedy – a massive variety of gigs take place at this establishment. The cocktails at this place are highly recommended. Moreover, the alternative vibe of this place is what makes it a favorite amongst the queer community. 

Night shopping in Wellington

Apart from the bars and pubs, there is a lot more than Wellington has to offer. If you are a tourist, you can buy yourself a souvenir from the night market on Cuba street. Only open on Fridays and Saturdays, you can find a lot of things at the market. From local produce to street food- you will not get bored of it. If you are lucky, you might be able to watch one of the live street performances. 

Nocturnal Wildlife watching in Wellington

One of the unique features of the wildlife sanctuaries in Wellington is that it is the home of several nocturnal wild animals. Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary in Wellington where you can book a sleepover tour at night. You can spot nocturnal animals such as the longfin eels, glowworms, kiwi birds, tuatara, and robins. If you like animals, this is the place you need to be. 

Live shows in Wellington

Wellington is a city that never sleeps, and you will be able to find live shows all around the year in Wellington. There are quite a few popular venues for live shows in the city. The largest indoor venue is the TSB arena, on the Queen’s Wharf. Another iconic landmark and live show venue are the Michael Fowler Centre. Located on Wakefield Street, it is the home of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Apart from these places, there are a couple more theatres on the block, such as the St. James theatre, BATS Theatre, Scruffy Bunny theatre for improv performances, and the Opera House. However, keep in mind that the St. James theatre is closed for renovation and available to the audience from December 2021.

Stargazing in Wellington

There are enough bars in Wellington for all the party animals out there. However, if you do not like loud music, there are a lot more things that you can do while you are visiting Wellington. As the pollution level is low in this city, Wellington is one of the popular choices in New Zealand for stargazing. You can visit Space Place. It is a planetarium that has a powerful telescope and is ideal for stargazing. If you to stay close to nature, you can stargaze near the Red Rocks. If you are lucky, you can even look at the southern lights from there. Apart from these popular spots, you visit Kaitoke Regional Park, Somes Island, and Wellington Botanic Garden for stargazing. 


Wellington has a lot to offer. From Bars to parks – you need to choose the right place according to your liking. The nightlife is active around this place as it has more 20 to 34-year-olds per capita than any other place in the country. No matter when you visit the city, you will not be disappointed by the nightlife in the city.