Travel Scene: Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand

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For me, New Zealand is where it all began. It's where this whole love for (okay, obsession with) travel really was kickstarted, and I think it will always hold a very special place in my heart because of that. Plus, it's a pretty damn awesome country.

And within that awesome country, Wellington is my favorite city. I lived there for 5 months in 2008, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

So today I decided to do a little on-the-ground look at Cube Street in Wellington, a spot spent many hours in during my time in New Zealand!

Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand

You may know that Wellington is my favorite city in New Zealand, but what you might not know is that my favorite part of Wellington is the little stretch of shops, cafes, and bars along a brick road known as Cuba Street (or Cuba Mall for the pedestrian-only part).

Cuba Street is full of LIFE. It's full of character. And, most of all, it's full of all the people who make up the great city of Wellington. From the businessmen to the buskers, Cuba Street shows all shades of this city's colors.

Instead of telling you about it, though, I'd much rather show you.

Here, then, is colorful Cuba Street:

Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
One end of Cuba Mall.
Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
I could sit here for hours and never get bored.
Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
A guy doing chalk paintings.
Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
A tai chi demonstration promoting peace.
Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
One of the most amazing guitar players I've ever heard. He stars in the video at the end of this post.

Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
The Bucket Fountain and a balloon busker.
Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand
There's even a small playground.

Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand

And, because photos aren't enough, here's a video, too! I played around with time lapse in the middle of this, so let me know what you think!

Have you ever been to Cuba Street? Or, is there a spot in your favorite city that you just never tire of?


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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41 Comments on “Travel Scene: Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand

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  1. This post made me want to go back to Cuba street. As much as the locals hate the Cuba St fountain, it will always have a special place in my heart.

      The fountain is just one of those things that’s so “Wellington.” 🙂


    Can you tell me what to expect of Cuba Street in the New Zealand winter season? I’ll be in Wellington for just a few days between 12-16 June 2012. Like you, I prefer to make the most of my time when I travel, and this seems to be right up my alley. Just hoping to see some “street scenes” and not empty shops, cafes, etc. I’m happy to bundle up … is everyone else?


      Hey Lisa! Cross your fingers for some sunny weather, but you should have no problem finding some “street scenes” on Cuba Street in June. Most of the photos (and all the video) from this post were taken in May last year — so not too far off from June!

      I lived in Wellington over a winter season a few years ago, and there were always people out on Cuba Street, especially if the weather was decent. The only thing you won’t find much of in the winter months are people sitting outside of cafes — but there will be plenty of them inside!

        WAIT … I’ve just read some nonsense about there only being 3.5 hours of sunlight per day on average in June? Is this true? When does the sun make its appearance? How can this be? I’ll be coming from Hawaii, where we have 13.5 hours of sun per day in June. Oy vey – shaking my head and smacking my hand against my forehead. Thanks for any insight you can share!

          Not sure where you read that… New Zealand is not so far south as to be that dark during the winter. It will probably start getting dark around 5 p.m. or so in June, with the sun rising around 7 or 8 a.m. Now if you mean sunSHINE, that could be true, as Wellington can be quite moody (wet and windy) in the winter months.

            Ah – relief … it is sunSHINE … 3.5 average hours of sunSHINE … 9 hours between sunrise and sunset. Forgive me, my reading skills seem to be on the downswing as I age. Yay — looking forward to New Zealand and thanks for all the helpful info in your blog. I’ve managed to compile a nice-tidy-to-do list for the 5 days I’ll be there. LisaG

              Haha, glad to be of help! I really hope you enjoy your time in Wellington! It’s my favorite city in NZ.

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