What to do in Wellington — Champion Brass

Why not make the most of your time in the Coolest Little Capital for contest and spend a few extra days exploring all the region has to offer. 

Here are recommendations from band members and supporters on things to do and places to visit in the Wellington region:



Mike sander - contest chair

Hello and welcome to Wellington. A visit to our great city is not complete without a visit to one of Wellington’s iconic pubs. The Featherston Pub on corner of Featherston St and Johnston Street is my favourite and I come here when I can. Great hospitality and if you get to meet ‘Geordie’ the long-serving Landlord he is a real character and will always have a yarn to spin.

They serve excellent beers and the food is hearty, generous and very yummy. They have a TAB, large screens for sport and the pub itself has a lot of character. It is also a favourite of a few ‘retired’ bandsmen and I am sure you will know them when you see them.

Opposite The Feathers on adjacent street corners is Leuven Belgian Beer Café and Avida. Owned by the same company as The Featherston they also have great food and beverages. So three fantastic establishments on one intersection and only 10 minutes’ walk from the contest venue they are worth a visit. For the bands and supporters staying in the CBD, it is only a short walk……beer and fine food rewards you!

Mike is sad because the contest will soon be over and he will miss all the hard work.

Mike is sad because the contest will soon be over and he will miss all the hard work.

Mark Carter - Wellington Brass

Why not try one of Wellington's many mountain bike tracks - there are lots of wonderful rides for people of all abilities and experience.  

Details can be found here


And once you've completed your ride, Mark can heartily recommend quenching your thirst with a cheeky beer at the Fork & Brewer - conveniently located a short walk from the main contest venues - before heading to his favourite place in Wellington (and possibly the world), Little India 

Kate Pilkington - capital brass

For those wanting a culinary treat, you can't go wrong with a trip to the oceanside Spruce Goose in Lyall Bay.  Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, their delicious menu and friendly service are sure to hit the spot.

Or for a post-playing afternoon treat, head to Louis Sergeant on Featherston Street for a decadent high tea.

Plate is licked clean, time to enjoy coffee and amazing Wellington sunshine.

The toughest thing at Louis Sergeant is deciding which tasty and perfectly formed treat to eat first.


Make the most of your time in the capital city by taking a tour of Parliament to discover the history of one of New Zealand's oldest institutions, including a visit to Parliament's debating chamber.  





Finish off your visit with a trip across the road for a beer and some food at the Backbencher, surrounded by some familiar faces.


sophie wilson - no fixed band (will play for free beer)

Commune with nature by taking a trip to Matiu/Somes Island, located at the northern end of Wellington Harbour.

You can get there by ferry from Queens Wharf, or for the more adventurous among you, arrive there by kayak.

Spend a few hours tramping round the island to clear out those contest cobwebs and get some unparalleled views of Wellington Harbour.

A perfect place to get away from it all, but make sure you leave those pests at home (you know who you are).



mark davey - wellington brass, hutt city brass, capital brass

With his lanky (some would say toothpick like, but we’re not that mean) limbs and steely determination, Mark Davey is a natural for trail running.  He loves to race up a gut busting climb for breathtaking views you will only find in Welly.  Mark particularly recommends the Northern Walkway which is conveniently close to the Wellington band rooms.

To replace the carbs after a run Mark likes the tasty Sin Chew Mi Hoon, Nasi Lemak or Kung Po Chicken from KK Malaysian in Ghuznee Street.

He’ll often wander over to the Rogue and Vagabond in Garrett Street and choose one of their great selection of craft beers to wash it down.  This is also a fantastic place to catch some live music – watch out for brass band alumni amongst the performers!


Mark also likes the challenge of practicing his trombone in unusual and not very comfortable places.

Mark also likes the challenge of practicing his trombone in unusual and not very comfortable places.

MIchelle starns - former hutt city brass drum major

Put on your walking shoes and visit Wellington Zoo where you can get up close to lots of wildlife, including sun bears (that's one in the photo, honest).  

Conveniently located close to the solo and ensemble event venues in Newtown, the zoo is a perfect place to get away from it all for a couple of hours.  For those wanting slightly different accommodation options while at contest, you can even spend the night at the zoo.

After building up an appetite, head to Five Boroughs on Marjoribanks Street for an authentic American diner experience.  (Probably best avoided if you're lactose intolerant).

And finally, finish your evening with a movie at The Embassy, New Zealand's greatest picture palace which has hosted a number of world premieres including the Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King and The Hobbit.

Lance Kedzlie - Upper Hutt Brass Band and Capital Brass 

For a quintessential Welly tourist experience Lance reckons you can’t beat the cable car.    

The ride up is fun and the viewing area at the top is one of the best places to take some touristy scenic photos.  Visit the Cable Car Museum while you are there – it’s free!  There’s also Space Place for star gazers and the Botanic Gardens where you can stroll around and enjoy the plant life, or visit the duck pond or playground to keep the kids entertained.  Of course some sustenance would be required after all this sightseeing.  Lance likes funky Cuba Street, and The Matterhorn or Plum Café are his favourites.  Cuba Street is also the place to take a selfie with Wellington’s iconic Bucket Fountain.  Don’t get wet! 



Dennis Dawson - Wellington District Brass BAnds association Secretary

The most interesting shops are of course not on the main street. For those of you who collect memorabilia and things, pay a visit to Eccles Stamps and Coins. The shop also stocks medals and old postcards. Well worth a browse. The shop is hidden in the first floor of AMI Plaza, corner of Lambton Quay and Willis Street. Can be a bit of a mission to find it but make sure you go up the escalator to the first floor at either end of the Plaza.

Tim Dawson (Dennis' son) wearing his grandfather's WWII medals at an ANZAC Dawn Service at the Porirua RSA.

Tim Dawson (Dennis' son) wearing his grandfather's WWII medals at an ANZAC Dawn Service at the Porirua RSA.