3 Ways to Feel Like a Local in Wellington, New Zealand

dm-bar-intercultural-6Madison Pahl is a student at Chapman University and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wellington is a unique city that is influenced by a variety of cultures and is full of exploring potential. I want to share with you the 3 things that will help you feel more like a local when living or traveling in Wellington, New Zealand.

1) Go to the local weekend markets including the Night Market, Underground Market, and the Farmer’s Market, to get the best cultural experience.




The Night Market, open on Friday and Saturday nights is a great place to grab some delicious food and see live performances. Also, keep your eye out for special holiday events for a night packed with entertainment.


Every Saturday there is a hidden gem called the Underground Market, a perfect place to find everything for crafts. Considering the many booths to look at, you are sure to find the perfect Kiwi gift for someone special.



If you are looking for the freshest fruits and veggies in town for the best price, you must check out one of the farmer’s markets held on Sundays. Make sure you get up early, because by 2 PM you could be missing out on great produce for your weekly meals.

2) Practice up on your Kiwi Slang!


You will find that even though Kiwis speak English, some of their words can leave you a bit confused. Here is a little cheat sheet of the most used Kiwi slang in Wellington:

  • Kiwi: New Zealander / Native bird / not to be mixed up with the “kiwi fruit”
  • Sweet As: Awesome
  • No worries: It’s ok, not a problem.
  • Sh’ll be right: It’s ok, not a problem
  • Yeah Nah: This one can be tricky! It usually means No, but it can also mean Yes
  • Bro: Good friend, brother
  • Cheers: Can be used in place of Thank You
  • Keen: interested in
  • Hangi: Traditional style of Maori cooking
  • Jandals: Flip Flops
  • Jumper: Jacket
  • Gumboots: Rain boots
  • Torch: Flashlight
  • Togs: Bathing Suit


3) Grab some friends and get outdoors.

On a sunny day, nothing beats the Wellington scenery… so get out and live up the outdoor lifestyle like the Kiwis do!




You can take a trip on the Wellington Cable Car, or even head over to Red Rocks for a day hike and some unforgettable views!

Remember, the best way to feel like a local is to get out and try new things. Get to know new friends and make some wonderful memories. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is up to you to make the most of it!


The world awaits…discover it.

Leave a Reply