Labelled the world's ‘coolest little capital’ by Lonely Planet, Wellington is renowned for its vibrant creative culture. Here are the city's must-dos.
Nestled between a stunning harbour and protected green belt, there’s nothing quite like the view from Mount Victoria Lookout in the central city. You can drive all the way up, or walk through the nature trails. Grab some fish and chips and sit on the grass as the sun goes down and the lights come up.
Named as one of the top 8 coffee cities in the world by CNN, Wellington knows its brews and beans. You’re spoilt for choice in New Zealand’s coffee capital and it’s pretty tough to go wrong, but for a typically Wellington brew and vibe, Flight Coffee’s The Hangar is a good place to start.
No trip to New Zealand is complete without a visit to the incredible Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Discover great treasures and stories of this country, its unique natural environment, Maori culture, art heritage, and fascinating history at this innovative museum.
Just over an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington city will take you to Wairarapa, one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions. Once here, hire a bike from Green Jersey Cycles in Martinborough to cycle your way around the boutique vineyards. You can even book a Tranzit Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tour day trip from Wellington. Easy!
Get up close and personal with a three-eyed prehistoric reptile and New Zealand’s native birds (the kiwi) at nature reserve Zealandia. Spot seals at Red Rock Reserve or head over to Wairarapa to visit the home of rare little white kiwi at Pukaha Mount Bruce. Wellington is brimming with nature experiences.
Take a behind-the-scenes tour at the Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop for a peek into incredible artistry and remarkable Kiwi innovation, as well as a few industry secrets. And of course a visit to The Lord of the Rings locations with Wellington Rover Tours is a must for Middle‑earth fans.
Wellington is renowned for its events that range from concerts and live theatre to sporting matches, exhibitions and festivals. Among its long list of popular events are New Zealand Festival, an exciting and cutting-edge arts festival, and World of WearableArt Awards Show, a visual extravaganza combining arts, fashion and theatrics.
Known as New Zealand’s culinary capital, you won’t struggle to find excellent dining in Wellington, from new eateries like Pickle & Pie to stalwarts such as Ortega Fish Shack and Logan Brown. Wellington is also renoned for its beer scene – barely a city block goes by without a specialist brew bar.
The bright red Wellington Cable Car is a bit of a classic. Enjoy a ride up from the terminal in the heart of the Lambton Quay shopping district up to the lookout for panoramic views of the city. You’ll also find the Cable Car Museum, Space Place at Carter Observatory and Botanic Garden.