Wellington / Nightlife

When the sun goes down, it's time to drag up or dress down and get out on the town. If it's a cocktail you want to perk you up before hitting the clubs, or a nightcap to smooth off the evening, popular spots for pre- and post- dinner drinks include S&M's bar, Club Ivy, Hawthorne Lounge, and Duke Carvell's. If you would rather sit back and be entertained, Circa, Downstage and Bats are Wellington's main professional theatres.

Hamburgers to haute cuisine

There are all the culinary choices you would expect to find in a sophisticated city like Wellington. Whether it's cool jazz or hot conversation, you will find what you are looking for among the many bars and restaurants in the city. Wellington is also the coffee capital of New Zealand and is reputed to have more restaurants per capita than New York! You won't go hungry.

LGBT life in Wellington

If one word sums up the capital's rainbow community it's energetic - actually make that two - VERY energetic. There's loads of action!

Out Wellington Inc. is a dedicated team who organise the city's summer pride festival, Proud. Wellington's annual gay and lesbian fair, Out in the Square, launches the Proud Festival. Visitors can spend the day browsing through the 50 or so stalls and listening to live music and a variety of cultural acts. For those who are still keen to play, a pool party is a perfect way to end the day. Other must do's on the Proud Festival calendar include, history walks, a formal ball, a ?hungover hangi', kapahaka (Maori cultural competition), theatre performances, wine tasting/speed dating and a Proud Festival closing party.

For film buffs, local group Reel Queer organisesOutTakes, New Zealand's annual queer film festival.

Drinking hot spots in the cityinclude S&M's Bar, Club Ivy, Hawthorne Lounge, The Matterhorn, Jimmy's, and the Fringe Bar.

The enthusiasm of the various rainbow community groups means that the rainbow events calendar has something for everyone. Among the sporting, cultural, and social groups are: Tiwhanawhana - a Maori takataapui cultural group; Wellington Frontrunners - meets for weekly runs, with brunch afterwards; DANSS - a same-sex dance club; Different Strokes - aGLBT swim team; The Homophones - a gay men's choir that meets weekly and participates in public concerts; Wellington Pride Lions - the Southern hemisphere's first LGBT Lions Club; and UniQ - a queer students group from Victoria University.

For visitors interested in research, Wellington is also home to the Lesbian and Gay Archives (LAGANZ), a collection that is held within the National Library of New Zealand. There is also a specific lesbian resource group, LILAC, available to visitors.

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David Fairey - Official Photographer