Any shopping trip in Wellington, New Zealand must include a visit to Lambton Quay which is also known as the Golden Mile. The street contains a mix of tall skyscrapers, cafes, bars, arcades, malls, and retail stores of all sizes. Here, you'll find the Old Bank Arcade Shopping Mall, where the original bank vault and vault doors can still be seen in the basement. When the 1880s Old Bank & Chambers complex was being restored, the bilges of an 1848 Nova Scotia built wooden sailing ship were discovered just underneath it. The ship was The Inconstant and it had been beached during early colonial development and later converted into a warehouse and wharf. The bow section is still under the floor of the Old Bank Arcade and the rest of the ship resides at Plimmer's Ark Gallery on Queens Wharf. As with all malls, the Old Bank Arcade Shopping Mall comes with the requisite offerings of designer clothing, jeweler, cosmetics, and a food court.
Kirkcaldie & Stains is the major department store in the area and is often referred to as Kirks. Further ahead you'll find Manner Mall and Cuba Mall. The two malls are located in the Cuba Quarter, which can only be described as colorful and hep. The Cuba Quarter combines market areas with bargain stores, boutiques, and upscale cafes. You can find everything from local fashions to antiques and collectibles. Most of the bars and cafes are located in Courtenay Place, which is a little further down.
Willis Quarter is the centre of fashion for Wellington shoppers since most of the local designers have a boutique set up there. Some of these include Voon, Starfish, Juno, and House of Hank. You can also find lifestyle shops for sporting goods, art galleries, bookstores, home furnishings and crafts, and designer gift shops.
There are not one but two leather factories in Wellington, which are responsible for the creation of everything from shoes and handbags to book covers. The town centre hosts a number of specialist shops, some of whom have won awards for the high quality of their produce. Shoppers will also be happy to make note of Wellington's parking reimbursement scheme for a minimum purchase amount made at a single store, restaurant, or hotel.
As far as market areas go, Wellington has quite a few on offer. James Smith Market offers African wares, souvenirs, clothing, crafts, palmistry, tattoos, tarot readings, a House of Magic, shoes, and gifts. The Wellington Market is similar to an old marketplace, offering collectibles, clothing, furniture, souvenirs, and a multi-cuisine food court. Fresh produce can be found at the Moore Wilson Fresh Food Market. And to round it all off, for fine goods and gourmet products, head out to the Jackson Street Market.
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Wellington Holiday rentals and Vacation Rentals worldwide .