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Wellington
Travel Guide

Mount Victoria Lookout which includes a bay or harbour, night scenes and mountains

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

Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
The price is NZ$178 per night from 2 May to 3 May
Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps away from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,100 reviews)
"Need to stagger check in times for holiday weekends. Staff were amazing considering the crowd of people"

Reviewed on 9 Apr. 2021

Rydges Wellington
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
4.5 out of 5
147 The Terrace, Wellington
The price is NZ$140 per night from 16 May to 17 May
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 ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,116 reviews)
"Very handy to the central city and wharf area for walking. Botanic Gardens etc. Wasn't impressed about arrangements for having an evening meal at the Hotel as when I booked in I was told the evening meal was booked out. After a walk along the wharf area came back and approached another person and ..."

Reviewed on 8 Apr. 2021

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Rydges Wellington Airport
Rydges Wellington Airport
4.5 out of 5
28 Stewart Duff Drive, Rongotai, Wellington
The price is NZ$178 per night from 18 Apr. to 19 Apr.
Situated near the beach, 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 ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (787 reviews)
"Really nice place, with great service and fantastic room for the price. Worth the price."

Reviewed on 14 Apr. 2021

Rydges Wellington Airport
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Quest Wellington
Quest Wellington
4 out of 5
Quest Wellington 33 Hunter St, Wellington
The price is NZ$119 per night from 25 Apr. to 26 Apr.
Located in Wellington CBD, this eco-friendly aparthotel is steps away from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District and TSB Bank Arena. Te Papa (Museum ...
4.2/5Very Good! (866 reviews)
"Great value for money and a good location for everything in the city"

Reviewed on 12 Apr. 2021

Quest Wellington
Boulcott Suites
Boulcott Suites
5 out of 5
5 O'Reily Ave, Wellington
The price is NZ$193 per night from 18 Apr. to 19 Apr.
Located in Te Aro, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District, Cuba Street Mall and Wellington Waterfront. ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,599 reviews)
"This property was in a great location, handy to buses and a supermarket. Being back from the street it was quiet considering you are right in the city. It was an easy walk to must of the tourist attractions."

Reviewed on 15 Apr. 2021

Boulcott Suites
Quest on Johnston
Quest on Johnston
4.5 out of 5
35 Johnston Street, Wellington
The price is NZ$137 per night from 23 Apr. to 24 Apr.
Located in Wellington CBD, this luxury apartment building is steps away from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. Te ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,006 reviews)
"Nice location, unfortunately the window in our room was up against the next building, this meant noise and smell from restaurant extractor fans, so ear plugs would help. The usual early morning bottle collection could also be heard. Overall though it was not too bad"

Reviewed on 6 Dec. 2020

Quest on Johnston
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Wellington

Top activities in Wellington

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.

Cities near Wellington