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Visitors to Wellington know the suburb east of the airport is Miramar, home to Weta Workshop. But on the other side of the airstrip, bounded by the harbour and the Hataitai slopes of Mt Victoria, is undiscovered, quirky, colourful, multicultural Kilbirnie.
It is a completely different, refreshing take on the windy city. Here, real people go about their business just 7km, but a million miles, from the bustle of Beehive bureaucrats.
A wander along Coutts St is a gastronomic global tour. Feel like Argentinian empanadas, Persian kebabs, Kiwi fish’n’chips or Indian dishes fresh from the tandoor? Perhaps you want to stock up on ingredients from the large Spice Emporium.
If you have the op-shop bug, Kilbirnie is the place to indulge your addiction. There are three centrally located second-hand stores were you can hunt in earnest for a bargain blouse, some ’60s glass or an early edition paperback.