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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

Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
The price is NZ$178 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.

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! (1,235 reviews)

"The bed, linen and towels were totally fabulous!! Good service and cost for what we got. I would definetly ask not to be opposite the elevator as this was noisy late at night. I would ask to be the sea side too so we could enjoy the great view. The indoor pool and spa are a bit tired and need to ..."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan. 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$138 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

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! (1,195 reviews)

"The room is pleasant. Even though we had to pay for parking, it was conveniently right next door. We requested a cot and it was all ready when we arrived with blankets."…"

Reviewed on 19 Jan. 2021

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
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 from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

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

4.4/5Excellent! (295 reviews)

"Best location. Quiet even though in the entertainment area. Brstvever rooms - fresh, new, stylish, and super clean. Best place I have stayed."…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan. 2021

Oaks Wellington Hotel
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.

Holiday Rentals in Wellington

Boulcott Suites
Boulcott Suites
5 out of 5
5 O'Reily Ave, Wellington
The price is NZ$164 per night from 21 Feb. to 22 Feb.

Located in Te Aro, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District, Cuba Street Mall and Victoria University ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,614 reviews)

"The location was great, easy walking distance to everything. Rooms and living space were fantastic."…"

Reviewed on 14 Jan. 2021

Boulcott Suites
Quest Wellington
Quest Wellington
4 out of 5
Quest Wellington 33 Hunter St, Wellington
The price is NZ$109 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

Located in the heart of Wellington, this eco-friendly aparthotel is steps away from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District and TSB Bank Arena. Te ...

4.2/5Very Good! (855 reviews)

"It was very nice. Would definatly stay there again"…"

Reviewed on 19 Jan. 2021

Quest Wellington
Quest on Johnston
Quest on Johnston
4.5 out of 5
35 Johnston Street, Wellington
The price is NZ$141 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury apartment building is steps away from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,055 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

Cities near Wellington