A premium experience for Wellington Heritage Week 2021

Sir Robert Muldoon speaking to an election meeting in 1981 about the Dunlop factory, now Brewtown, in Upper Hutt.
Sir Robert Muldoon speaking to an election meeting in 1981 about the Dunlop factory, now Brewtown, in Upper Hutt. Dominion Post (Newspaper): Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post and Dominion newspapers. Ref: EP/1981/3677/17-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22338734
This placement with Wellington Heritage Week comprises the internship element of their Master’s degree and has involved them surveying the Wellington region for event hosts who could offer unique experiences.

They have 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 have been dozens of shipwrecks off 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.”

They have 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?” she asks.

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.

Wellington Heritage Week is from 25–31 October 2021. The festival programme is available from early August. Visit wellingtonheritageweek.co.nz for more information.

This article was supplied by Wellington Heritage Week.