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Wellington

Visit the "coolest little capital in the world" for arts, culture and film industry glamour, not to mention stunning natural beauty.

As the capital of New Zealand, Wellington is the most southerly capital city on the planet. According to Māori legend, Wellington Harbour was first discovered by Kupe in A.D. 925. 1840 saw the arrival of the Europeans, who named the city after the Duke of Wellington, and it finally became the country's capital in 1865.

Previously overlooked in favour of the more popular Auckland, a lot has changed here in terms of tourism in the last few years, with Wellington now described by some as the "coolest little capital in the world". Its hip reputation is due in large part to its thriving cultural scene, its nightlife and, in particular, one of the most successful film industries outside Tinseltown. Plenty of tourists come here to see famous film scenes come to life, such as the stunning landscapes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the heightened surroundings of blockbuster Avatar. The city's wealth of high-tech sound stages, special effects gurus and studios have led to the area sometimes being dubbed "Wellywood".

A good place to start getting to grips with the city is along the waterfront. This area is most notably home to the national museum Te Papa. Not far is the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, which tracks the development and maritime heritage of the New Zealand capital.

One of the most enduring tourist attractions in the city is the Wellington Cable Car. This 8-minute journey will whip you up the hill to Wellington Botanic Garden and the Kelburn lookout point. You can then hop on a shuttle from here to Zealandia, a conservation project which aims to return part of the countryside to its original state before human settlement. To see the famous unspoilt landscape of Wellington on a grander scale, head into the hills for some dramatic tramping trails, or make the trip to the city's nearest beach, Oriental Bay Beach.

As night falls, the streets of Wellington come to life with great bars, cafés, restaurants and entertainment. Despite its many great facilities, Wellington is really quite a small city. One of the many advantages of this is that most things are within easy walking distance, making the visitor's life as easy and laidback as possible.


Guide to Exploring Wellington


Top Hotel Deals

See all 120 Hotels in Wellington
$104
ibis Wellington

ibis Wellington

153 Featherston St, Wellington
4.0
of 5, from 474 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museum of Wellington City and Sea and Wellington Cable Car. Old Government Buildings and Beehive are also within 10 minutes.

$147
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

147 The Terrace, Wellington
4.0
of 5, from 569 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Cable Car, Beehive, and Old Government Buildings. Civic Square and St Paul's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

$1,261
Zenith Boutique Lodge & Spa

Zenith Boutique Lodge & Spa

19 Monteith Grove, Wellington
5.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Wellington, this luxury guesthouse is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Wellington Wind Turbine and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cuba Street Mall and Carter Observatory. Botanic Gardens and Civic Square are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$173
Rydges Wellington

Rydges Wellington

75 Featherston St, Wellington
4.2
of 5, from 384 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Old Government Buildings and Beehive. St Paul's Cathedral and Old St Paul's are also within 10 minutes.

$109
Trinity Hotel Wellington

Trinity Hotel Wellington

166 Willis Street, Wellington
3.4
of 5, from 437 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Central Library and Civic Square. Cuba Street Mall and Wellington Cable Car are also within 10 minutes.

$101
Willis Wellington Hotel

Willis Wellington Hotel

355 Willis St, Wellington
3.4
of 5, from 481 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Wellington, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Colonial Cottage Museum and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$156
Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

100 Oriental Parade, Wellington
4.3
of 5, from 253 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Waitangi Park, Te Papa, and Courtenay Place. Cuba Street Mall and Civic Square are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$113
West Plaza Hotel

West Plaza Hotel

110 Wakefield Street, Wellington
3.7
of 5, from 287 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Wellington Town Hall, Michael Fowler Centre, and Civic Square. City Gallery Wellington and City-to-Sea Bridge are also within 5 minutes.

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