Wellington is New Zealand's capital city, situated at the southern end of the North Island; the “coolest capital in the world” has a laid-back atmosphere and a vibrant café culture along with great shopping and live entertainment.
The city nestles between rolling green hills and the harbour and if you head to Mount Victoria you will have for perfect undisturbed views over the city and this picturesque harbour on your Wellington holiday.
Things to do in Wellington
With plenty to see and do in the city, visit the unique Parliament building known as The Beehive, or get involved at the interactive museum Te Papa – perfect for all the family. If you want an introduction to New Zealand's flora and fauna, visit Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, or within easy reach of the city you’ll find Martinborough; an area of wild coastline and vineyards.
For some relaxation time, visit Oriental Bay, this inner-city beach has many museums, art galleries and theatre shows to keep you busy too. For action-packed outdoor activities, Wellington has plenty of opportunities for mountain biking and sea-water kayaking, as well as some beautiful harbour walks around the harbour and in the neighbouring hills. Makara Peak track is a stunning place to explore, as is the City to Sea walk to enjoy Wellington's waterfront. Be sure to take a ride up in the cable car to Kelburn where you will have spectacular views over the city.
Wellington is a city proud of its gourmet food and wines. Buzzing with cafes and restaurants, the culinary scene here is worth delving into. Famous for its quirky cafes, award-winning restaurants, and some really great coffee.
Explore Middle Earth
Of course, we couldn’t talk about Wellington without giving a mention to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy. For fans of the books and films, we recommend a visit to Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop and the Weta Cave, for a behind-the-scenes movie experience. This 45 minute tour provides a unique opportunity to learn about the creative process involved in the making of the films, using props, models and weapons that they made there and shop sells plenty of souvenir merchandise for you to take home. It’s also a great base for day tours to experience “Middle-earth” scenery.
If you have time, then it would be a shame to not visit the South Island too. From Wellington city, board the inter-island ferry with or without a car for a three hour ferry ride. Services are daily and regular and it’s a spectacular journey through the spectacular scenery of the Marlborough Sounds, before you finally come to berth in picturesque Picton, a town at the top of the South Island.
A not to be missed activity on any holiday to Wellington is the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Explore New Zealand's top wine-producing regions with Wellington as the starting place for your wine-tasting journey and adventure. Marlborough, Wairarapa and Hawkes' Bay are all only a few hours' drive or ferry-ride away from Wellington and offer fantastic winery experiences, with the opportunity to sample great wines and all within fantastic scenery.