Wellington: Harbourside and handy to everything

Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park is a great place from which to explore the 'coolest little capital in the world'.

If you’re booked to sail on the interisland ferry and are planning on just passing through Wellington – stop! You’re about to miss New Zealand’s most magical city.

In fact they say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and these are a lot more frequent than you might think.

Wellington receives above-average sunshine hours per annum (around 2100 hours; national average 1955); and that legendary southerly wind you might have heard of isn’t half as prevalent as the warmer norwester.

And contrary to myth, it’s doesn’t blow all the time, and when it does you can at least be thankful for the freshest of air.

Wellington city is packed with attractions, which is why its reputation as a rewarding traveller destination continues to grow.

The national museum, Te Papa, is a must-see, but there are scores of other museums and galleries to visit including the excellent Museum of Wellington City & Sea. There’s cinema galore, along with dance, drama, and concerts for every persuasion.

The hospitality scene is the stuff of legend, boasting more cafes and restaurants per capital than New York. When Lonely Planet voted it the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, they weren’t referring to the weather…

The wider region – encompassing the four cities of Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt – offers up a surprising array of adventures for every age and interest.

There are easy walks and overnight forest adventures; gentle cycle trails and epic mountain biking tracks; kayaking, sailing and surfing; gardens, parks, farm tours and wildlife watching.

There are even sandy beaches with summer swimming for the eager and ice cream shops nearby. (For a comprehensive run-down, seek out a copy of The Best of Wellington, the city’s independent guidebook.)

Whether you’re looking for a motel or cabin, or simply a motorhome or tent site in a convenient location, the Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park is for you.

It’s located in Seaview, just across the harbour from downtown Wellington, around 25 minutes drive away (12 kilometres). 

The park is handy not only to the ferry terminals but to all of the attractions of the region, especially those ringing the harbour such as East Harbour Regional Park, Eastbourne, Petone Foreshore and the Settlers’ Museum.

It’s also within walking distance of The Hutt River Trail and the sweet local scenes of Jackson Street. The excellent Dowse Art Museum is just 10 minutes’ drive away in Lower Hutt city centre.

This is ship-shape park has been run by the Levien family since 1992. It’s a big park, with a busy atmosphere in peak season, sleeping up to 1000 guests per night.

The grassy grounds – dotted with precious old pohutukawa trees – are home to a mixture of accommodation options, including more than one hundred sites for campervans and tents.

There are various motel units and a number of well-preserved heritage cabins, which once served as barracks to American serviceman during World War Two.

Wellington is on top of its game when it comes to showing guests a good time. Make sure you stay at least a few days so you can see it for yourself.

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