Moving out to Newtown was one of the best decisions I have ever made while living in Wellington. Although it was an easy decision (because that is where my boyfriend was living) there have been very few times that I have regretted it – and all of those times occur when the weather is shite and the buses are full.
There is no other way to say it: Newtown is cool. Its proximity to both city and coast are ideal, the people are great and its food is just the best. And as far as transport goes, the buses aren’t actually too bad. Quite a few bus lines run through Newtown, so I find that I’m never waiting that long. Here are five of the coolest things about Newtown:
- Shoe School. The only shoemaking school in New Zealand, Louise Clifton established the school in Dunedin back in 2015 and relocated to Newtown in October 2017. Appealing to a creative Newtown audience, the school arrived during a time where the shoe industry was probably lagging (most shoes these days are definitely imports!). There are 1 day, 2 day and 5 day workshops available. The courses are pretty expensive, but certainly a unique experience.
- Wellington Zoo. Pretty self-explanatory really, but I must point out that I absolutely adore living on the same street as Wellington’s cheetahs, giraffes and otters. The zoo is always a fun day out; I literally can’t get enough. Wellington Zoo offers very cool options to get up close and personal with some of their animals – don’t forget your camera! Also, the SPCA is only a short walk away and their puppies are oh-so-cute! All the animals love visitors (well most of them) and it’s such a feel-good activity, especially on a rainy day.
- Newtown has come a long way in the foodie scene in recent years. A playground for food and drink, there are so many options available. Thanks to its inhabitants, loads of vegan friendly places have popped up in addition to a wide range of different cuisines (check out my Newtown food post here). There a number of tasty spots for coffee and chilling out, something those of us from Newtown have no problem doing (read that post here).
- Markets: Fresh fruit and veges are in abundance in Newtown. Jimmy’s Fruitmart has supposedly been there forever, and more recently the Newtown Green Grocer has arrived on the scene. These places do well to compete with the farmers market located on the corner of Mein and Daniell Streets every Saturday morning, offering a huge range of fruit and veges (as well as eggs, tofu, cheeses, meat and even some food-trucks are present).
- Shopping: Everybody knows that Newtown is the op-shop capital of Wellington (and if you didn’t, you do now). Opportunity for Animals is particularly good. At the other end of the dollar radar, but still in Newtown is The Axe; one of the coolest homeware and gift stores I have ever been in. If you are looking for something a bit different, head along to Death Ray Records. A good place to kill some time and lose yourself in its music.
Of course, there are other benefits to living in Newtown; being so close to the hospital for example, and just a short ride away from the airport. Rent is far cheaper out here than what I ever paid in the city and probably my favourite part about it is that it is a funky little neighbourhood with literally everything I need – meaning I don’t even have to go into the city on weekends if I don’t want to.