Wellington may be New Zealand’s most exciting city, but that’s not enough to earn us one of Wallpaper*s City Guides. Almost as galling as the news that Auckland will get one next year is the fact that this disqualifies us from entering Gridskipper’s $100 a day contest and winning the complete set of guides.

Still, that shouldn’t stop us. What’s the best way to blow US$100 (about $150 Kiwi) in Wellington in a day?

The rules are: “Your US$100 should cover not just food and drink, but must include a visit to an architecturally interesting site and some sort of physical exertion. Sex counts, video games don’t. Do not include lodging as part of your $100.” Given some of their examples (dime bags in Montreal?), legality is not a requirement, and the experiences don’t have to be quintessentially or tritely representative of the city.

Some of my suggestions would include:

  • A trip on the Eastbourne Ferry (highly weather-dependent)
  • Grabbing a gelato from Kaffee Eis and strolling along Oriental Bay (ditto)
  • Staunchly refusing to go anywhere near Courtenay Place on a Friday or a Saturday night
  • Of the AA’s 101 must-do’s for Kiwis, the only one of the five Wellington options I’d include would be the Writers’ Walk (and that’s free!)
  • The City Gallery (especially the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery’s current exhibition of Martin Thompson works), including lunch at Nikau
  • Walking, shopping, eating and drinking your way all along Cuba St
  • While I’d love to recommend a Martini, and can’t stand cucumber, a Falling Water at Matterhorn must be compulsory

Let’s hear your own favourite (best or best-value) moolah-spending opportunities here in (Silicon) Welly(wood), and we’ll see if we can get it adding up to exactly $150.