WellingtonNew Zealand

Image for Weta Workshop which includes interior views and a statue or sculpture

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 out of 5
89 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington
NZ$150
per night
Mar 22 - Mar 23

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

4.3/5Excellent! (81 reviews)

"Hotel feels pretty utilitarian, with very boring decor. Room itself was nice although an odd shape. Nice breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb. 2020

Oaks Wellington Hotel
Rydges Wellington Airport
Rydges Wellington Airport
4 out of 5
28 Stewart Duff Drive, Rongotai, Wellington
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NZ$161
per night
Mar 13 - Mar 14

Situated in Wellington, this luxury hotel is 2 mi (3.3 km) from The Weta Cave and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Wellington Zoo. Mount Victoria Lookout and Courtenay Place ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (515 reviews)

"Great location for early morning flight. Walked to the terminal. Fantastic views from our room."…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb. 2020

Rydges Wellington Airport
Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
NZ$179
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

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! (2,643 reviews)

"Excellent location as close to the transport links as well as shopping."…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb. 2020

Rydges Wellington

Popular activities in Wellington

Te Papa
Image for Te Papa

Te Papa

4.5/5(970 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.

Courtenay Place
Image for Courtenay Place

Courtenay Place

4/5(934 reviews)

Shop, wine and dine in this culinary hot spot on one of Wellington's most fashionable streets.

The Weta Cave
Image for The Weta Cave

The Weta Cave

4.5/5(180 reviews)

Learn the special effects secrets behind films such as The Lord of the Rings and Avatar with a tour through this Academy Award-winning studio.

Top activities in Wellington

Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour
Image for Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour

Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour

90% of travellers recommend
NZ$59
Per adult
Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass
Image for Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass

Wellington Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass

96% of travellers recommend
NZ$45
Per adult
Weta Cave Workshop Tour: There & Back Again
Image for Weta Cave Workshop Tour: There & Back Again

Weta Cave Workshop Tour: There & Back Again

90% of travellers recommend
NZ$68
Per adult
Lord of the Rings Tour
Image for Lord of the Rings Tour

Lord of the Rings Tour

96% of travellers recommend
NZ$110
Per adult
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

92% of travellers recommend
NZ$88
Per adult
Wellington luxury custom sceneic tours
Image for Wellington luxury custom sceneic tours

Wellington luxury custom sceneic tours

NZ$179
Per adult

Reviews of Wellington

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1518
5 - Excellent 53.24447562258857%
4 - Good
1171
4 - Good 41.073307611364434%
3 - Okay
148
3 - Okay 5.191160996141704%
2 - Disappointing
10
2 - Disappointing 0.350754121360926%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.14030164854437038%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 23, 2020

Great city lots to do

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 23, 2020

Great city, great vibe, a little of something for everyone!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 22, 2020

Love the vibe in Wellington

4/5 - Good

Dan

Feb 20, 2020

It is what it is!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 19, 2020

It is a great little city. Very compact with friendly people.

5/5 - Excellent

BenJames

Feb 19, 2020

We had the option of staying in Christchurch, Auckland or Wellington for a concert. Chose Wellington for the craft beer brew pubs and bars

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