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WellingtonNew Zealand

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.

Wellington Travel Guide Video

Top hotels in Wellington

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Oaks Wellington Hotel
Oaks Wellington Hotel
4.5 out of 5
89 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington
The price is AU$127 per night

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

4.3/5Excellent! (187 reviews)

"Together with a group of a few friends attending the same wedding, we all booked at the same hotel. Oaks had been very accommodating. The only awkward thing happened when we first checked in and our room was not ready yet, but the housekeeper apologised."…"

Reviewed on 2 Jul. 2020

Oaks Wellington Hotel
Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
The price is AU$140 per night

Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps away from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,225 reviews)

"Promptness of service, including getting the car quickly."…"

Reviewed on 31 May 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 AU$112 per night

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! (1,194 reviews)

"Good location Staff were excellent .............................................."…"

Reviewed on 23 May 2020

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Popular places to visit in Wellington

Te Papa
Image for Te Papa

Te Papa

4.5/5(1,004 reviews)

Get hands on as you learn about the heritage of these islands at New Zealand's free national museum.

Cuba Street Mall
Image for Cuba Street Mall

Cuba Street Mall

4/5(1,370 reviews)

Enjoy artisan coffees, sample specialty foods, browse through vintage shops or hunt for retro bargains in Wellington's bohemian heart.

TSB Bank Arena
Image for TSB Bank Arena

TSB Bank Arena

4.5/5(144 reviews)

Located on Wellington’s picturesque waterfront, this multipurpose venue hosts many events, including concerts, trade shows, art exhibitions and more.

Top activities in Wellington

Skip The Queue: Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum
Image for Skip The Queue: Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum

Skip The Queue: Gallipoli Exhibition at the Te Papa Museum

AU$14
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
3-Day Wellington to Auckland Tour
Image for 3-Day Wellington to Auckland Tour

3-Day Wellington to Auckland Tour

AU$841
Per adult
The Full Experience: Weta Workshop There and Back Again
Image for The Full Experience: Weta Workshop There and Back Again

The Full Experience: Weta Workshop There and Back Again

AU$82
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour
Image for From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour

From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour

AU$119
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Seal Colony & Farm Tour
Image for Seal Colony & Farm Tour

Seal Colony & Farm Tour

AU$143
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket
Image for Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket

Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket

AU$24
Per adult

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.

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