Tucked between a glittering harbour to the south and lush hills on the other side, Wellington has plenty of sights to offer visitors.
Wellington's attractive waterfront is best explored on foot, from Queens Wharf around the harbour through to the golden shores of Oriental Bay. The iconic Wellington cable car runs up to the botanic gardens and lookout - from there you can stroll back down to the city centre through native bush and greenery. Walk, drive or bus up Mount Victoria, where you can watch the sun set over the city.
Fancy seeing tuatara or kiwi up close? Several wildlife experiences are easily accessible, from eco-sanctuaries like Zealandia to a nearby fur seal colony. The nature reserve of Kapiti Island is home to some of the world's most endangered birds, a short trip from Wellington by boat.
Walking and biking trails are all on Wellington's doorstep, and further afield are magnificent wineries and forests - including Kaitoke Regional Park on the Tararua Ranges, which Lord of the Rings fans may recognise as Rivendell. Here you'll come across the Hutt River, swimming spots, and walking tracks aplenty.