Voting in the Fourth Annual Wellingtonista Awards is open from December 1-15. Then come find out the results at our Awards Night at Mighty Mighty on December 17!

To vote, visit this page.

Wellington is made up of lots of private spaces, but it’s the public spaces that really bring the city to life. These are the places that you’ll find us loitering in.

Cuba Mall: Many of our readers nominated Cuba Mall, or Cuba Street as a whole, and we’ll include the Left Bank and its adjacent dark alleys to make up a diverse pedestrian experience at the heart of Te Aro. If you believe that public spaces are for watching and meeting people rather than getting away from them, then Cuba Mall is the place to be. The architecture, shops and cafes are all part of the charm, but more than anything else, Cuba is a space made of people.

The Waterfront: More of a network of spaces than a single space, the waterfront is still a work in progress. The fact that some of the newest components, such as Kumutoto and Waitangi Park, were singled out for special mention by our readers, bodes well for the future. With a combination of green space, blue space, markets, events, bars and art, the waterfront is becoming an ever more integral part of the city.

The Basin Reserve: It’s not often thought of as a “public space”, but the Basin Reserve is open to the public when there’s no match on, and the combination of space and history makes it truly special. No one really knows what will happen with the roads around it, or how much that would affect the Basin itself, but the reaction to the proposed flyover proves how important this place is to many Wellingtonians.

Days Bay: It’s a long way from the city, but the ferry service makes it one of the most accessible beaches in the Wellington region. The wharf, the cafes, the sun, the bush and the Katherine Mansfield connection all make it an indispensable part of any Wellington summer.

Oriental Bay: Having such a beautiful beach so close to the city means that any time Wellington gets a little sunshine, Oriental Parade is clogged with traffic. Who can blame the masses, though? There’s cafes to drink in, gelato to lick, crocodile bikes to ride, and walls to climb. You can swim out to the raft or fountain (if you’re brave!), get some sun, or sit on top of the rotunda and wish it contained a proper restaurant instead of the Fisherman’s Table. At night, the rich people leave their lights on and you can stare into their apartments pretending you live there. It’s grand.