The Golden Mile is just northwest of downtown Wellington and is touted as the city's premier shopping district. Shopping options here are mainly of the shopping mall and arcade variety and there is also a bunch of major department stores. Golden Mile also has good eateries and can be accessed easily by bus.
Eclectic Cuba Street is the funkiest area of town. It is a historic, pedestrianized part of town in the Cuban Quarter with shops selling all types of merchandise. If you are after something a bit different, this is the place to head to. Cuba Street is also good for coffee shops and bakeries, as well as people watching, and is easy to explore on foot.
Oriental Parade is a mile or so to the east of Lambton Quay on Oriental Bay and has somewhat more laid-back shopping than Cuba Street and Lambton. It features fine views across the harbor and an array of classy boutiques and coffee shops. In addition, you will also find a decent selection of bars here.
Tinakori Road Village
As far as specialty stores go, Tinakori Road Village, on Tinakori Road in the Thorndon district of northern Wellington, is loaded with upmarket galleries, souvenir outlets and tasteful eateries. Get here by bus and then walk along Hawkestone Street.
Wellington shopping tips
If you plan on buying leather goods while in New Zealand, be sure to wait until you get to Wellington. It is also good for woolen and sheepskin items, along with outdoor gear and traditional Maori crafts. Shops in Wellington generally follow office hours and there is a GST tax of 12.5 percent that can be claimed back on exit from New Zealand. The best deals can be had in the New Year.