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I spent 3 months in New Zealand perched in the nation’s capital of Wellington. While it’s pretty hard to find a bad cup of coffee, it can sometimes be challenging to find a NZ café with free wifi.
And although coffee and cafe culture is big there, finding laptop friendly cafes in Wellington I could actually work from took a little extra research.
Considering most of the coffee shops in the country serve breakfast & brunch and close around 3pm or 4pm in the afternoon, it’s best to get there early. And if you catch Wellington on a nice and would rather be outside than working from a quiet cafe, there is citywide free wifi in Wellington. Just join the network “cbdfree” and you can work from anywhere!
Here are the best cafes with wifi near Wellington that you can work from.
I came across Machete simply walking around Wellington and I couldn’t have been happier with the discovery. Their tacos are absolutely delicious, the staff are extremely friendly and the coffee is legit. It’s also one of the quiet cafe options in the list.
Like most building in Wellington, the shop is small but long – creating separate spaces each with a different design. There is a bigger table at the front near the windows, small tables along the wall near some outlets, and some couches and small tables in the back which are great for meetings.
It is more of a restaurant than a true coffee shop, but it strikes a pretty good balance. They have a resident dog, Charlie, that hangs out near the front adding to the family feel and the light decor keeps it feeling bright and energetic. Plus, they boast the best Guatemalan tacos in town and honestly, I can’t argue.
Location: 9 Boulcott St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Hours: Open M-F 7:30-4:00, Closed Saturday and Sunday
I don’t think I ever came to PREFAB when it WASN’T busy so I typically only went when I needed only a couple of hours of work done. If you like working around hustle & bustle, this is your place.
The food is good and the coffee is made by ACME & Co and roasted onsite. The free wifi has no time limit and the building is wrapped with floor to ceiling windows making it full of natural light.
If you show up solo you’ll likely be seated at the tall tables with all the other single diners, most of whom are also working, but this also greatly limits your power source options. Overall, if you need a quick bite and a good place to work, PREFAB has got you covered.
Location: 14 Jessie St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Hours: M-F 7-3:30, Saturday 8-3, Sunday closed
Where in the world can you find the best coffee? Hint: New Zealand made the list!
Gotham maybe isn’t the brightest of cafe options, but I found myself working here on a few different occasions. Because of their central location, they get really busy during lunch time so best to go before or after. They have a great menu and their freshly prepared home style food makes it worth checking them out.
The internet was really good and I was able to find a power outlet at a table near the wall, although I didn’t notice too many other options. And on a nice day, you can enjoy sitting at one of their outside tables.
The coffee is an organic Havana blend and they use organic milk and local produce when possible. If you find yourself on this side of town, which is pretty likely, this would be my recommended spot.
Location: 4 Chews Ln, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand
Hours: M-F 7-4, Saturday 9-3:30, Sunday closed
Right off Cuba Street, The Aroma is one of the many coffee shops to choose from on this street. They are also one of the few options that stay open past 4pm, which means I could get out after lunch and stay in the work zone without worrying about the time.
The music isn’t great and the further back you go the lighting gets kind of dark, but they have a lot of little tables to work from and multiple power outlets available! I mostly came here a lot out of convenience, but the sandwiches and coffee are decent.
It was definitely a place I frequented more for the good working atmosphere than the meal. My biggest issue with this place was that they kept the front door open, so I was always cold (it is Wellington after all). If you decide to work here, be sure to bring a jacket.
Location: 126A Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Hours: Sun – Thur 7:30-7, Fri & Sat 7:30-8
From Wellington you can easily hop over to the South Island and check out these amazing locations!
Empire Cinema and Eatery
At one point I did a house sit in Island Bay, a suburb right outside Wellington. There were a couple different cafe options in the area, but I was surprised to find my favorite place to work from was Empire Cinema and Eatery. I’ve never worked from a cinema before but I absolutely loved it!
The front area area is set up with tables and chairs and they serve hot meals, coffee, alcohol and other snacks. I don’t know how they did it, but the atmosphere and décor was a perfect balance between a café and a movie theatre. Of course, I absolutely love going to the movies so being surrounded by movie posters and theatres only added to my enjoyment.
Plus, when you’re done working you can just pop in for a recent release. Fun fact: Tuesdays are discount ticket prices in New Zealand where you can typically get tickets for $10.
Location: 214 The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington 6023, New Zealand
Lunch Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm Dinner Hours: Tues-Sat 5pm-8:30pm, Sun/Mon 5pm-7.30pm
The Fig Tree (Upper Hutt)
I also found myself in Upper Hutt for a good portion of my time in Wellington. The only cafe I found that was good to work from was The Fig Tree.
Located within an old refurbished church, it has high ceilings and a stained glass windows making the pretty unique. They do stay pretty busy all day but have great service, a lot of tables to choose from, a good community atmosphere and free wifi.
The food is all made on the premises with a variety of menu options. The coffee served is Karamu organic fair trade. If you find yourself in Upper Hutt needing a place to work for a bit, the Fig Tree has got you covered.
Location: 386 Fergusson Dr, Heretaunga, Upper 5018, New Zealand
Hours: Mon – Fri 8-4, Sat & Sun 9-4
Look for more inspiration? Here are the best cafes in Seoul, South Korea for working remotely.
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