Wellington

The Cafe Capital

The picture-perfect capital city of Wellington is situated in the lower part of the North Island, nestled between the magnificent harbour of Port Nicholson and rolling green hills. The visitor can enjoy an abundance of attractions and distractions: start with a trip up to Mount Victoria above Oriental Bay for a clear perspective on the city. The view is particularly beautiful by night.

Wellington is New Zealand's political and administrative centre and home to many heritage attractions such as the Parliament buildings, the Te Papa national museum and the National Archives, which contain the original Treaty of Waitangi. Wellington also prides itself on being the cultural capital of the nation: walk the city and discover an abundance of theatres, art galleries, funky shops and trendy restaurants and cafes.

Within an hour's drive of the city, the hinterland offers an exciting variety of adventure and leisure experiences including historic walkways, mountain bike trails, museums, botanic gardens, beaches, golf courses and nature reserves. You can also take a tour to the film locations of Lord of the Rings and Weta Cave.

Try the local dairy products and the adventure activities around the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington. Be sure to visit the little township of Martinborough and its boutique wineries; perhaps time your visit with November's Toast Martinborough Food and Wine Festival.

Insiders' Tips

  • People-Watch from Cafes: Choose from a variety of restaurants and more than 400 cafes.
  • Visit Te Papa Museum: Te Papa's Marae is a contemporary meeting house and a living communal centre, unique in a museum.
  • Take a Trip to Boutique Wineries: Sample acclaimed local Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
  • Explore Lord of the Rings Magical Country: Explore Middle Earth in all its diversity.
  • The Beehive: Take a guided tour of the building which represents the pinnacle of political power in New Zealand.
  • The Botanic Gardens: The Wellington Botanic Gardens houses some of the oldest exotic trees ever planted in New Zealand, along with a dazzling array of native species.
  • Weta Cave: No, it's not a cave with a giant cricket; instead, it's a building filled with special effects from recent famous movies.

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