New Zealand’s happening capital has stacks of things to do, from bustling cafés to a Middle Earth experience.
Built around a big blue harbour and backed by rolling hills, Wellington is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than NYC (whatever the exact number, it’s definitely a lot). Nature lovers, hipsters, movie buffs and pretty much everybody else will adore Wellington, for its gardens and wildlife sanctuaries, amazing food and coffee, fascinating museums and film workshop tours. Book your Wellington holiday package with us and start your New Zealand adventure in its capital of cool.
A Polynesian explorer named Kupe discovered Wellington in 950 AD. In the 1840s, Europeans began to arrive. The New Zealand Company chose the name Wellington to honour the Duke of Wellington, one of its supporters. In 1865, Wellington took Auckland’s place as the capital of New Zealand.
Things to do
Right next to Wellington’s spectacular harbour you’ll find the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here are six floors of fascinating art and exhibitions with categories ranging from Maori to Art to History. See a real-life colossal squid up close, shake up your holiday in the Earthquake House and take a look at hundreds of art works spread through 11 galleries.
There are plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors in Wellington. Wellington Botanic Garden has 26 hectares of forest and flowers, including the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, a geometric pattern of rose beds arranged by colour. If you want to see some of New Zealand’s rarest and most interesting wildlife (plus a gorgeous reservoir to walk around), make sure you visit Zealandia. Wander through protected native bush and keep your eyes peeled for rare birds and lizards. Or mix it up with a Zealandia by Night tour.
If you need more sights to see in this harbourside city, the Beehive is probably Wellington’s most interesting-looking government building – it’s shaped just how it sounds. Wellington Zoo, Wellington Museum and Space Place at Carter Observatory should all help to keep you and the whole family busy.
If you’re a fan of legendary filmmaker Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame), go behind the scenes of the studio responsible for LOTR’s special effects: Weta. Take a tour of the Weta workshop for props and costumes, plus crew members telling stories of the creative process.
Shopping and dining
Wellington has heaps of unique local shopping opportunities, from the markets of fresh local food and wine to the quirky shops and second-hand goodies of Cuba Street. There’s a thriving restaurant scene ranging from fancy to simple and easy. The craft beer scene is equally impressive, there are heaps of cafes to chill out in, and if you want to bring back the brunch, this is the place.
It’s easy to get around on your Wellington holiday. The city centre is small enough to walk across, and the public transport system includes buses, trains, ferries and a cable car. To get here, bundle up your flights and accommodation into a Wellington holiday package on Wotif, and you’ll be on your way in no time!