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WellingtonNew Zealand

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.

Wellington Travel Guide Video

Top hotels in Wellington

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Oaks Wellington Hotel
Oaks Wellington Hotel
4.5 out of 5
89 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington
The price is NZ$135 per night

Located in Te Aro, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Courtenay Place, Cuba Street Mall and Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). Michael Fowler ...

4.3/5Excellent! (195 reviews)

"Great place highly recommend!! Super close to everything"…"

Reviewed on 4 Aug. 2020

Oaks Wellington Hotel
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
4.5 out of 5
147 The Terrace, Wellington
The price is NZ$138 per night

This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of St Paul's Cathedral, Carter Observatory and Te Papa (Museum of ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,183 reviews)

"Great welcome room and a variety of eating options. Car park a bonus"…"

Reviewed on 2 Aug. 2020

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
The price is NZ$149 per night

Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps away from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,215 reviews)

"The heater in the room had a few issues. These were promptly fixed, however, and other than that, my stay was excellent."…"

Reviewed on 27 Jul. 2020

Rydges Wellington

Popular places to visit in Wellington

Te Papa
Image for Te Papa

Te Papa

4.5/5(1,004 reviews)

Engage your senses with a trip to this New Zealand museum, home to the national art collection and interactive exhibits on everything from nature to Māori legend.

Cuba Street Mall
Image for Cuba Street Mall

Cuba Street Mall

4/5(1,370 reviews)

Enjoy artisan coffees, sample specialty foods, browse through vintage shops or hunt for retro bargains in Wellington's bohemian heart.

TSB Bank Arena
Image for TSB Bank Arena

TSB Bank Arena

4.5/5(144 reviews)

Located on Wellington’s picturesque waterfront, this multipurpose venue hosts many events, including concerts, trade shows, art exhibitions and more.

Top activities in Wellington

Lord of the Rings Tour
Image for Lord of the Rings Tour

Lord of the Rings Tour

NZ$110
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass
Image for Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass

Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass

NZ$45
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Skip The Queue: Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum
Image for Skip The Queue: Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum

Skip The Queue: Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum

NZ$15
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour
Image for From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour

From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour

NZ$128
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
The Full Experience: Weta Workshop There and Back Again
Image for The Full Experience: Weta Workshop There and Back Again

The Full Experience: Weta Workshop There and Back Again

NZ$88
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket
Image for Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket

Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket

NZ$25
Per adult

Reviews of Wellington

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1614
5 - Excellent 52.95275590551181%
4 - Good
1257
4 - Good 41.24015748031496%
3 - Okay
160
3 - Okay 5.2493438320209975%
2 - Disappointing
12
2 - Disappointing 0.3937007874015748%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 0.16404199475065617%

5/5 - Excellent

RayTanya

2 Jun. 2020

Love our trips to Wellington. Great bars and restaurants. Good shopping in CBD and Queensgate. Reasonably easy to drive around.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

1 Jun. 2020

We come to Wellington to visit family but also enjoy the city and seafront. It's a lively city with plenty of options for activities.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

31 May 2020

Cool place to visit. Good food and good Shopping

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

31 May 2020

was a very fun weekend away

3/5 - Okay

Disgusted

31 May 2020

Its pretty but a bit boring

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

29 May 2020

Very little street parking, so generally you are forced to go to paid parking but you must be careful of sneaky extra charges and fines from Wilson carparks.

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