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Wellington

Referred to as the “coolest little capital in the world”, the capital city of New Zealand is rich in arts and culture, as well as a thriving movie scene.

According to Maori legend, Wellington Harbour was discovered by the explorer Kupe way back in AD 925. It was a further nine centuries before the earliest European visitors arrived to settle here, and from 1840, they started to arrive in large numbers. They named the settlement after the first Duke of Wellington and it was made the capital city of New Zealand in 1865. Today, it’s the southernmost capital on the planet. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by its large harbour set in a beautiful wooded landscape.

It has taken Wellington a while to fully establish itself as a tourist destination in its own right. In the past, the city was very much in the shadow of its bigger rival, Auckland, and was mostly used as a stopping point en route to the ferry to the South Island.

Today, visitors come to the city for its rich artistic and cultural scene, as well as its global reputation for movie making. Dubbed “Wellywood” by some visitors, Wellington is home to incredible sound stages, studios and special effects houses, which have made the city a major player in the international film industry. International blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar have been produced here.

When you arrive, head to the waterfront area and spend some time exploring the national museum of Te Papa, and the Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

If the hustle and bustle of the town isn’t for you, or you want some quiet time, the ocean and the beautiful countryside are right on Wellington’s doorstep. Wander along some of the walking trails that take you through the hills, or relax at Oriental Bay Beach close to the town centre.

Another great way to take in the views is on the short eight-minute ride on the famous Wellington Cable Car. At the top of the hill, enjoy the Wellington Botanic Garden and the lookout at Kelburn, before boarding the free shuttle bus, which will whisk you off to Zealandia where you can explore the country as it once was prior to the arrival of settlers.

Wellington also boasts plenty of good restaurants, cafés, theatres and nightclubs. You’ll never be far away from your next adventure in this compact city.


Guide to Exploring Wellington


Top Hotel Deals

See all 121 Hotels in Wellington
AU$94
ibis Wellington

ibis Wellington

153 Featherston St, Wellington
4.0
of 5, from 476 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museum of Wellington City and Sea and Wellington Cable Car. Old Government Buildings and Beehive are also within 10 minutes.

AU$146
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

147 The Terrace, Wellington
4.0
of 5, from 573 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Cable Car, Beehive, and Old Government Buildings. Civic Square and St Paul's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

AU$190
Rydges Wellington

Rydges Wellington

75 Featherston St, Wellington
4.2
of 5, from 388 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Old Government Buildings and Beehive. St Paul's Cathedral and Old St Paul's are also within 10 minutes.

AU$1,148
Zenith Boutique Lodge & Spa

Zenith Boutique Lodge & Spa

19 Monteith Grove, Wellington
5.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Wellington, this luxury guesthouse is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Wellington Wind Turbine and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cuba Street Mall and Carter Observatory. Botanic Gardens and Civic Square are also within 3 mi (5 km).

AU$92
Willis Wellington Hotel

Willis Wellington Hotel

355 Willis St, Wellington
3.4
of 5, from 483 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Wellington, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Colonial Cottage Museum and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 1 mi (2 km).

AU$92
Trinity Hotel Wellington

Trinity Hotel Wellington

166 Willis Street, Wellington
3.5
of 5, from 440 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Central Library and Civic Square. Cuba Street Mall and Wellington Cable Car are also within 10 minutes.

AU$158
Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

100 Oriental Parade, Wellington
4.3
of 5, from 254 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Waitangi Park, Te Papa, and Courtenay Place. Cuba Street Mall and Civic Square are also within 1 mi (2 km).

AU$94
Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman

Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman

169 Willis St, Wellington
3.4
of 5, from 284 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cuba Street Mall, Civic Square, and Courtenay Place. Wellington Cable Car and Te Papa are also within 15 minutes.

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