Your bog standard mall in Lower Hutt - about 15 k from Wellington CBD.
Complete with thundering music - each shop competing with what the mall had got going as an overall theme - lack of daylight - and no exit signs. I got hopelessly lost - as per usual.
But I did find a cheap and cheerful Indian place called Spice Traders in the food court on Level 1. I could not believe how much dhosa I got for $8-50. Plus 3 small dishes of condiments. Very nice on a cold day.
One does occasionally need a mall I know - especially when the weather is turning it on - and here it is.
Seems to be tons of parking. When I did find an exit it was into the car park and I wandered around among the concrete wastelands for a while.
An amazing little new and recycled designer fashion store has opened in Wellington that made my day! Unlike other recycled designer stores in Wellington i found this one was very reasonably priced and it had a wide selection of styles and brands. The staff where friendly and not afraid to give an honest opinon what they thought. i was also pleased that most of the labels where made in New Zealand which is a sign or great quality.
What to buy: This store had a very impressive collection of dresses in all different styles, an as we all know a good dress is hard to come by- so having them all in one spot is great.
What to pay: I think prices started at about $30 and ranged from there. Very reasonable for the quality of the clothes.
Real Groovy has been an icon of Auckland music for many years and also has stores in Christchurch and here in Wellington. On offer are CD's, old & new vinyl albums and DVS plus a range of clothes, a few books, some console games (Xbox etc) and action figures. The prices are not too bad though the DVDs are normally cheaper at JB Hi Fi on Willis St.
The CDs are good in that Real Groovy does a lot of trading so there are often bargain CDs. The store a quite large so there tends to be plenty of choice no matter what your music preference is!
Maybe I am just lucky but what an excellent local shop I have got on the corner of my street and Tinakori Road.
They are open from 7-00 - 8-30 7 days a week. (Indians, I think. She often serves you as she is speaking in her own language to her father on her mobile phone. )
They sell - milk, bread. papers. The regulation garbage bags which you have to use or the garbos leave your rubbish. ($2-20 a bag total rip off but that is another story.)
They sell - lollies, ice creams, smokes. Smokes are the same price everywhere so support your local shop and buy them there.
They sell stamps and bus tickets - same price as anywhere else.
They sell wine. (This is an astonishment to someone who used to live in this town.) And the wine is no dearer than if you buy it at the supermarket and you don't have to carry it up the hill.
I expect the tins of baked beans and the toilet rolls are a bit pricier than at the supermarket - but that I expect.
They sell flowers in buckets outside the shop. A local friend assures me they are the cheapest flowers in town.
See, I told you I was lucky with my corner store.
You get the banter and the repartee for free. Like when my husband arrived from Australia and I was buying smokes there was a lot of cheerful to and fro about why he wouldn't buy me duty frees. (He has his reasons.)
They have a bright young lad of about ten and an older boy who serves in the shop sometimes - very polite young man - both of them are obviously being educated up to the hilt - so like I say - support your local shop.
Slow Boat has been in Wellington for many years and continues to sell both old and new music including some hard to find collectables. The store is located about 4 blocks up from Dixon st on Cuba St in the narrow eclectic part of Cuba St. It is a great spot to come and just browse for stuff you forgot you ever needed and don't be surprised if you leave with several items.
What to buy: You'll find both CD's and DVD's plus Tee shirts, casettes and vinyl recordings (for those who still have a turntable!).
Unity is one of the best bookshops in NZ without question. It carries a large range of books with specialties in literature and science. It often has imported Sci-fi and Fantasy stuff (that I read) so good for a nosey to see what new items are in (though Arty Bee's is best in this genre). Great travel collection and plenty of easy chairs to sit and try before you buy.
New World Metro is located on Willis St and is in a very handy spot to buy your groceries at cheap supermarket prices. Being in the middle of town it is very very popular and therefore very very busy. The queue can stretch for a long way through the store though don't get put off as it moves very quickly. The shop has all of your expected items plus a bakery and deli area. Everything you'll need in the food & drink dept!!
All of us kiddies used to have our pull along bee toy, whose wings rotated with buzzing sound. So I was well amused to see this kiddie ride outside a shop.
Then I clicked. It is a honey shop. And blow me they sell icecream too and I was just in the mood for an icecream.
I chose the Pohutakawa Honey flavour and it was stunning. Very dense and creamy, like NZ ice cream traditionally is.
All sorts of lovely looking things, soaps, mustards, oils, hand creams, sweeties. Lovely for gifts.
They have several shops around NZ and have won awards for being top shops. You know the sort of thing.
Must say the ice cream was superb.
What to pay: A waffle cone, single flavour - $3-50
It's kind of odd. At least to me.
No matter where I buy my cigarettes, local corner shop or supermarket, my cigarettes are always the same price. $14-70. (Yes, I know, wicked waste of money.)
I have been on the lookout for cheaper smokes (in Australia at supermarkets for instance they are usually a dollar or two cheaper - and there are even cheaper discount places.)
And I saw one shop with a sign advertising Discount Cigarettes but it had obviously been closed for a while.
I decided there must be some law in place which meant you had to sell cigarettes for a certain price.
Then strolling through the city on Friday night, I saw a sign announcing - Cigarettes For Less.
And true - they were for less. Twenty cents less.
Arty Bee's has been in Welly for quite some time with two shop locations. One is in Courtenany Place (down the Cambridge St end) and the other is on Manners St. Both sell second hand books with the manners st shop also having a range of new fantasy & sci fi books.
The range of books in both stores is quite good with some real bargains to be found if you look hard enough. All genres and topics are catered for in the stores so you should be able to find something to please everyone.
The team at each store are really helpful so if you are after something in particular or are after a suggestion or two you shouldn't be disappointed.
What to buy: If you're like me then you will be here to buy Sci Fi & or Fantasy books. The new books section is right up to date so you can normally find what you are after. The second hand area has lots of hard to find stuff including many of the old masters of the genre.
What to pay: The price you'll pay will very much depend on the item with the rarer books fetching a quite high price. The new books are priced a bit cheaper than some of the other stores and the used books average around the $10 mark. Price is very much dependant on the item!!
If you are into embroidery and/or patchwork it's well worth to pay this shop a visit. The rows of colourful patchwork fabrics are mesmerizing. There is so much to choose from: threads, fabrics, kitsets, patterns, etc., etc. I could have spent hours just browsing.
There are also some nice souvenirs to be found, fabrics with New Zealand patterns and a wide variety of embroidery kits.
Supermarket situated in the heart of the city, with all your needs.
Mon - Fri 7am - 11pm
Saturdays 8am - 11pm
Sunday & hols 8am - 10pm
If you are visiting Wellington and staying downtown, then you can buy your supplies here at very reasonable prices.
What to buy: Apart from your grocery and bathroom needs, there is a wonderful delicatessen here which sells freshly prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner, ready to take away.
Nice array of wines, reasonably priced. Must be over 18 yrs old to purchase alcohol.
What to pay: Average price, supermarket standards.
Lambton Quay is a piece of road that strectches from Willis St all the way around to Molesworth St and it is full of good shopping options. Starting at Willis St end you have Dymocks bookstore on one side and the Old Bank Archade on the other (including Lush, Smiths Cafe and fashion stores). Moving down there is Esprite, Whitcoulls, CD Store, Borders, Kirkaldie & Staines (locals call this place Kirks), Living Nature and any number of nik nak places plus coffee and burgers as required.
What to buy: It's all down to you and what you want and/or fancy. Lambton Quay is long enough to give you sore feet. There is everything from food to music to beauty products so something for everyone on your group.
Schoc doubles as a coffee house and is a small store on Tory Street. The chocolate part of the store is at the back and there are samples of all of the flavours - and there are lots and lots to choose from. The items are created up the coast in the Wairarapa. Have a look at their Choc Website for more info.
What to buy: Flavours range from single plantation, island named varieties to ones such as Earl Grey Tea and my favourite, Lime Chilli (the combination of citrus & hot has to be tried!!).
What to pay: It's not the cheapest place to buy your chocolate but the product is of a very high standard. At around $10 for a smallish bar you might think that this stuff is very expensive but on the other hand the number of brownie points one can build up is considerable!!
Cuba Quarter is a community of colourful, funky markets, trendy bargain shops, alternative boutiques & bustling trendy cafés. You can either sample a cup of coffee @ one of the cafés on Cuba Mall / Street or just enjoy the colourful character of the quarter. Local fashion designers can also be found here alongside with antiques and collectables. This is also a place where street buskers gather, especially during the NZ International Arts Festival in late February to mid March every 2 years. The next festival is in 2006.
Just to name a few shops you'll find here... Abstract (NZ craft), Christopher for Crystal, Trade Aid (handcraft from 3rd world country), Iko Iko (gift shop), Plum Café, Olive Café, Hotel Bristol (bar & accommodation), Manners Regent Cinema...
Places to explore... James Smith's Corner, Wellington (Wakefield) Market, Cuba & Manners Malls, Left Bank.
Every February Cuba Street hosts NZ’s most spectacular street party the Cuba Street Carnival. This year the carnival is on 26 February from 11am till late. Checkout the official Cuba Street Carnival site @ www.cubacarnival.org.nz.