Former prime-minister Robert Muldoon addresses a crowd

Students Reimagining Unique Experiences for Wellington Heritage Week

David Batchelor - Director2 minute read

As the Premium Experience Team for Wellington Heritage Week, Brittany Jacobsen and Millie Burton are reimagining heritage experiences for the annual festival. They are pursuing a Master of Museum and Heritage Practice at Victoria University of Wellington and found their placement with Wellington Heritage Week this month. As part of their placement, Brittany and Millie surveyed the region for event hosts who offer unique experiences.

They engaged Mike Henderson, the owner of Craft Beer Tours NZ, who hosts tours of Brewtown.

The Brewtown complex in Upper Hutt started life in 1949 as the Dunlop factory. It employed and trained thousands of locals before its closure in 2006

Sir Robert Muldoon famously rallied the crowd in 1981 against the proposed closure of the tyre plant and the importation of tyres.

Mike retells this heritage through a tour of the complex, complemented by the country’s finest craft beer and nibbles.

“Brewtown is one of my favourite experiences that I’ve had since moving to Wellington because of the mix of storytelling and entertainment”, said Brittany.

Millie’s curiosity led them to engage the Fear Factory on Cuba Street, which tells ghost stories based on shipwrecks around the Wellington coastline. There are dozens of shipwrecks of the coast for inspiration. Such as the Halcione that sunk in bad weather near Pencarrow on January 8, 1896, on its way from London.

Millie is working to share the unusual with festival-goers. “I am a nosy parker and want to know about the lives of the people of the past, even if it is appalling and questionable”, said Millie.

They also engaged local bars to create history-themed drink itineraries of Wellington City. With many local bars in historic buildings and settings, Brittany would like to see more bars involved. “Have you ever had a Hannah Shoe Factory-themed cocktail?” asks Brittany.

Millie and Brittany will take over the festival’s Facebook and Instagram accounts over the coming months to provide clues about these upcoming premium experiences. “Keep an eye out for sneak-peak posts about what we have in-store” hints Millie.

The festival programme is available from early August.

David Batchelor - Director

David was the founder of Wellington Heritage Week / Festival, starting the endeavour on a volunteer basis in 2017 while he was a student at Victoria University of Wellington. David continued to direct and deliver the festival until he passed ownership on to Alex Hockley at the end of 2021.