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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$169 per night from 18 Dec. to 19 Dec.

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! (1,185 reviews)

"Great view and very close to waterfront. Clean room & nice amenities"…"

Reviewed on 30 Nov. 2020

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$130 per night from 3 Jan. to 4 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! (1,171 reviews)

"Great location - really close to everything. Great bar and restaurant area. Excellent buffet breakfast. Room was a bit tired by clean and comfortable."…"

Reviewed on 22 Nov. 2020

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Rydges Wellington Airport
Rydges Wellington Airport
4 out of 5
28 Stewart Duff Drive, Rongotai, Wellington
The price is NZ$134 per night from 19 Dec. to 20 Dec.

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! (726 reviews)

"Rydges provided comfort with availability of the waiting lounge(on top of main lobby). Having free parking at a hotel is difficult to find now which Rydges offered to all their customers. Will definitely come back!"…"

Reviewed on 4 Dec. 2020

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.

Holiday Rentals in Wellington

Boulcott Suites
Boulcott Suites
5 out of 5
5 O'Reily Ave, Wellington
The price is NZ$182 per night from 13 Dec. to 14 Dec.

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! (1,594 reviews)

"Great location and friendly, very helpful staff. The rooms are well equipped and the beds are comfortable. It is, however, well worth knowing that some rooms hear noise from nearby bars until late at weekends. Best to ask for a quiet room if you aren't going out yourself and need some decent sleep. ..."…"

Reviewed on 12 Oct. 2020

Boulcott Suites
Quest Wellington
Quest Wellington
4 out of 5
Quest Wellington 33 Hunter St, Wellington
The price is NZ$99 per night from 20 Dec. to 21 Dec.

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! (846 reviews)

"Very central reception staff were very helpful Would recommend that room had Sky"…"

Reviewed on 20 Nov. 2020

Quest Wellington
Astelia Apartment Hotel
Astelia Apartment Hotel
4 out of 5
156 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The price is NZ$159 per night from 6 Dec. to 7 Dec.

Located in Te Aro, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District and Cuba Street Mall. Wellington Waterfront and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,392 reviews)

"Room was spacious, well appointed kitchen. Bathroom was cramped with washing machine and fan over shower not working. There were a number of light switches that did nothing and a standard lamp was placed where there were no outlets. Overall, very nice but felt as though the room had been reconfigured ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Dec. 2020

Astelia Apartment 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.

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