Wellington

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. 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.

Cafes & Restaurants

Wellington buzzes with cafés, delicatessens and restaurants - the waft of roasting coffee beans tells you quickly that this city likes to get everything exactly right.

It's easy for visitors to experience the different personalities of the city on foot. Courtenay Place is the nightlife nerve centre - it’s packed with restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas and theatres. Cuba Street is bohemian and alternative - a great place to find ethnic cuisine.

Special Wellington food experiences include a chocolate café, a restaurant that puts a new spin on traditional Maori food and a seafood restaurant that’s housed in a restored historic woolshed.

Julian Apse

Culture

Set between the harbour and rolling hills, New Zealand's capital city is known for its arts, heritage and culture. 

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. Walk the city and discover numerous theatres, art galleries, funky shops. Visit Te Papa national museum on the Wellington waterfront to learn all about Māori and New Zealand arts and culture or stroll down Cuba Street for a slice of bohemia.

Te Papa Museum

Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand and Wellington is home to Weta Workshop, Weta Digital and the Miramar film empire which is central to The Hobbit Trilogy production.

There are also numerous Lord of the Rings locations around Wellington. The most accessible filming location in Wellington is Mount Victoria, which is within walking distance of the central city. The forested areas of the mountain were used to depict Hobbiton Woods, where the hobbits hid from the black riders. Other Wellington locations include the Hutt River between Moonshine and Totara Park, which played the part of the River Anduin; and Harcourt Park, which was transformed into the Gardens of Isengard.

Wellington’s Kaitoke egioonal Park became Rivendell, where Frodo recovered from the knife attack. The exact location - a grassy area surrounded by native forest - is signposted from the carpark.

Weta Workshops

Nightlife

Wellington has led the nightlife scene in New Zealand for years and has more 20-34 year olds per capita than anywhere else in the country. So no matter what night or time of year you visit, you are guaranteed a great time.

Wellington’s after dark playground extends from swinging Courtenay Place to Willis Street, Lambton Quay and Queens Wharf. Scores of late-night cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs can be found within easy walking distance of central hotels and motels. The frenetic partying carries on well into the night, every night, but pulsates longer and louder from Thursday to Saturday. Often there seems to be no distinction between bars, cafes and clubs as many offer live music and dancing and live bands perform on the weekends.

Pixabay

The Infinity Experience

Interesting Fact
Wellington is the southernmost capital in the world and is packed with over 400 cafes and restaurants which on a per person basis rivals that of New York.

Content & assistance provided by Tourism New Zealand.