Surrounded by unspoiled nature, New Zealand's capital city Wellington is a humble, laidback compact city that mixes culture, history, and cuisine. Wellingtonians are known around the globe for their casual dining, with plenty of great restaurants, night markets, food trucks and good coffee.
Full of gastronomical delights, a thriving arts scene, and a myriad of historical landmarks, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit this friendly New Zealand city.
You can fly direct to Wellington from Sydney, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Flights departing from other cities require a stopover. Jetstar offers the most competitive return airfares but is followed closely by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. You can fly to Wellington from Australia with the following Airlines:-
Wellington airport is well situated for travellers, only 8km from the city centre. There are several services proving transfers from the airport.-
Wellington is a small city, so one of the best ways to explore the city is on foot or by bike. The city centre is only about 2km in diameter, so it's possible to see most attractions on foot.
Wellington has an extensive public transport network, including buses, trains, and ferries. You can easily visit anywhere in the Wellington region using this affordable and reliable means of transport. Fares are subject to the distance travelled, for example, a 1-zone bus fare is about $4AUD.
However, renting a car is an excellent way to make the most of your time in New Zealand, with a plethora of attractions within comfortable driving distance from Wellington.
Whether you're an art connoisseur, history enthusiast, nature-lover, or foodie, there is something in Wellington for you. Don't miss these essential Wellington destinations:
Weta Studios: It is no little known fact that Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand. Go behind the scenes of the international blockbuster, with a fun and informative tour at Weta Studios. A must for every film-buff!
Te Papa Tongarewa: For an in-depth look into Mauri art, culture, and history, take a guided tour of New Zealand's national museum. An insightful tour of Te Papa, or 'Our Place', will deepen your understanding of New Zealand's unique Maori culture.
Zealandia: Zealandia is a 225-hectare urban ecosanctuary, aiming to restore the environment on Wellington's fringe back to its prehuman state. The conservation efforts of Zealandia have successfully reintroduced over 20 native species back into the area, transforming the area into a biodiversity hotspot. It's also the only place on mainland New Zealand where you can see the prehistoric tuatara, a reptile with 65 million years of history!
Wellington Cable Car: For over 100 years passengers have been enjoying the spectacular view from New Zealand's only funicular railway. The five-minute journey will take you from the heart of Wellington to Kelburn lookout, with breathtaking views of Wellington Harbour and surrounds.
Cuba Street: Take a stroll along the bohemian Cuba Street, a 1km promenade extending from the beach. The previously derelict street is now a vibrant hub with vintage boutiques, trendy cafes, and record stores. Look out for the iconic bucket fountain, a moving sculpture of colourful buckets, but stand back on a windy day or prepare to be splashed!
Wellington boasts of being New Zealand's coffee and craft beer capital, and it seems like they have an abundance of boutique eateries to back up this claim. Don't miss these essential Wellington establishments:
The Hangar: According to CNN, Wellington is one of the top 8 coffee cities in the world. The Hangar is home to locally owned and roasted, Flight Coffee, housing both their roastery and cafe. Come in for an expertly brewed cup of joe, and stay for the mouthwatering seasonal breakfast menu.
Garage Project Taproom: Start your craft beer tour of Wellington at the trendy Garage Project Taproom. You'll be spoiled for choice, with over 18 taps delivering delightful and innovative brews.
Tomboy: This whimsical little cake shop is a must if you have a sweet tooth. Good luck deciding between the exquisite looking (and tasting!) lamingtons, cupcakes, doughnuts and brioche buns!
Rita: For an exceptional dining experience look no further than Rita, a charming little restaurant in a converted miners cottage. Dinner is a set menu that changes throughout the week, and is dependant on local and seasonal produce. At $75NZD a head, it's excellent value for a quality meal.