Air NZ's top 10 picks for Wellington

Wellington ranked as one of four top cities in world

For years it was known as ‘Windy Wellington’ thanks to the powerful gusts that regularly blast the city. These days New Zealand’s capital city’s tag line is ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ courtesy of a massive thumbs up by guidebook guru Lonely Planet.

The publication recently put Wellington up with the big boys naming it fourth best city in the world to visit, just behind New York, Tangier and Tel Aviv.

They also named it ’the coolest little capital in the world’, a reflection of its rich arts culture, food scene, natural attractions and activities that have totally surpassed that bothersome reputation for wind.

Geographically contained by the hills surrounding its beautiful harbour, Wellington is an easy city to get around with many of its attractions accessible on foot.

To get a feel for this cool little capital here are our top ten highlights:

  • Mount Victoria lookout – take in the expansive views of the city from this inner city vantage point

  • National Museum of NZ – Te Papa – get a feel for New Zealand with interactive, permanent and visiting exhibitions reflecting the country’s past and present

  • Wellington cable car – ride the historic cable car from down town up to the hills and the Wellington Botanic Gardens

  • Wellington Botanic Gardens – wander through 25 hectares of native forest, conifer plantings, plant collections and seasonal displays

  • Carter Observatory – while you are at the top of the Cable Car make time for a visit to the Observatory’s newly opened planetarium and celebrate the culture, heritage and science of the southern skies

  • Zealandia: the Karori Sanctuary Experience – step through the predator-proof fence into a 225 hectares eco sanctuary with some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, reptiles and insects

  • The Weta Cave- get a behind-the-scenes look at Weta Workshop, best known for its cinematic design and special effects on award winning movies including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia and Avatar

  • Food – eating is one of the true pleasures of a visit to Wellington be it a really good coffee and a treat at one of the many cafes, a meal at one of its many award winning restaurant or a fossick at a Moore Wilsons food store

  • The Beehive – as this is the country’s capital city and seat of parliament take time to note this unusually shaped building which houses the ministerial offices. There are guided tours available for those that want to take a closer look

  • Ambience – Wellington is all about atmosphere whether you are wandering beside the harbour, taking time out in a café or restaurant, raving it up in the wee small hours in one of the night spots or shopping up a storm in the boutique stores. Make time to enjoy just being there.


Air New Zealand flies between Wellington and many of the 27 destinations on its domestic network and offers direct flights to Wellington from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. For information and bookings


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