The capital of New Zealand, Wellington is surrounded by hills and a rugged coastline, and boasts a stunning harbour.
Wellington is also a cultural centre—home to Te Papa, the ground-breaking interactive Museum of New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and national treasures such as the original Treaty of Waitangi and Katherine Mansfield’s Birthplace.
The city is compact and interesting, nestled between a dramatic harbour and bush clad hills. Great views can be found at the top of Mount Victoria, or by catching the cable car up to the Botanic Gardens. Downtown Wellington is ideally explored on foot. Made up of four quarters each with their own distinct mix of shopping, cafes, transport, accommodation, Wellington’s intense urban experience is unrivalled in the country.
The central city area of Wellington is the place to see performing arts, particularly ballet, theatre and musical performances. Local cuisine is sophisticated and inventive—an abundance of excellent cafes and restaurants are within walking distance of all the major hotels. The waterfront has been transformed into a graceful promenade with shops, restaurants, activities and elegant landscaping making it a real drawcard for visitors and locals alike. The new state of the art sports and entertainment stadium is just a short walk from downtown.
A different side of Wellington can be found along the western Kapiti Coast. The route hugs the rugged coastline, providing spectacular views. Off the coast is the world renowned bird sanctuary Kapiti Island. The warm climate and relaxed lifestyle of this area have given birth to a luxurious style of country life—there are olive groves, feature gardens and unique bed and breakfasts.
Just north of Wellington city is the Hutt Valley, an area that offers a multitude of outdoor and adventure experiences including bush and coastal walks, 4WD (four-wheel drive) tours, golf, mountain biking and fishing.