NZ - Wellington Region
NZ wellington cable car
Nz wellington helicopter flight example trip
NZ te papa museum
NZ - Wellington Region
NZ wellington cable car
Nz wellington helicopter flight example trip
NZ te papa museum
Discover the coolest little capital in the world

Wellington

Wellington is a vibrant and compact city, bursting with things to see and do. It is located at the bottom of the North Island, overlooking Cook Strait, and the spectacular hills and valleys of the South Island. Despite its size, Wellington has the highest ratio of cafes per person in the world. Pop by Wellington’s bohemian Cuba Street for a stunning range of cafes, go for a stroll in Wellington Botanic Garden or take a ride on the famous cable car for panoramic views of Kelburn and Wellington city centre.

Where should you visit in Wellington?

Stunning view on Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Survey the city from scenic Mount Victoria
© TravelEssence
Stunning views over Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy panoramic views of the capital city from a helicopter

Highlights

Wellington recently had the honour of being named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Surrounded by nature and sustained by creative energy, Wellington is a compact city with a mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. The Wellington locals are masters of casual dining, with plenty of great restaurants, night markets and food trucks. Fuel your day with strong coffee or savour world-class craft beer. Whether you want to dabble in history or indulge in delicious food, Wellington is a capital city with a great deal of style.

The inside of restaurant that looks like a museum
Experience old world glamour at the Hippopotamus restaurant
© TravelEssence
Night time view of Wellington Harbour
Marvel at the evening views of Wellington Harbour
© Ian Trafford

Surrounding areas

Wellington Central

Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is compact, cultured and full of character. Sitting snug between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is easy to explore on foot with restaurants, accommodations and attractions within a short walking distance.

Get your culture fix with museums and galleries, including the famous national museum Te Papa. Take an exquisite culinary journey through the city, go on a craft beer adventure and explore the buzzing scene by night.

Pink sunset over Wellington harbour with a white boat in the background
Savour spectacular sunsets from a boat cruise through the harbour
© Graeme Murray

Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt is a 30-minute drive from Wellington. It is a city ideal for outdoor fun - hike or bike in the hills, fish in the river and stroll some of the 50 parks and reserves. Upper Hutt boasts an abundance of bush walks and mountain biking tracks. Meet New Zealand’s quirky animals at Staglands Wildlife Park or search for elves around the replica elvish archway from Lord of the Rings at Rivendell in Kaitoke.

The best part about Upper Hutt is that it is home to Wellington’s only craft beer village, Brewtown. It is the focal point of the region’s top breweries with a boutique distillery. They have their very own entertainment complex called Daytona which is complete with go-carting, ice skating, paintball, ten-pin bowling and a trampoline park.

Red, green, blue and white boats sheds
Experience outdoor adventures in the Hutt Valley River area
A valley of lush green fields and hills
Hike or bike in the Upper Hutt hills

Paraparaumu

This sunny coastal town is the main town on the Kapiti Coast. Paraparaumu offers plenty of everything for visitors from golf and gourmet foods to scenic flights.

Depart from Paraparaumu Beach on a trip to Kapiti Island. Explore the area with scenic flights or glider rides and if you love old cars, the local car museum has one of the largest collections in Australasia.

Views on Kapiti Coast | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy the golden beaches of the Kapiti Coast
© TravelEssence
A green bird on a tree
Spot colourful birds and wildlife on your hikes

Things to see and do

Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach or explore the city’s fascinating cultural scene. If you’re into the outdoors, Wellington has action-packed adventure activities like mountain biking and kayaking, as well as beautiful walks around the harbour and surrounding hills. Hike Makara Peak track, as well as the City to Sea walk for stunning views.

Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for panoramic views over the city. On the waterfront itself, you’ll find New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa means ‘our place’ and it has been voted as one of the best interactive museums in the world.

A woman on a boat sailing over blue water
Taking a boat trip is a relaxing way to explore the surrounding area
Long stretch of beach
Go for a long walk at Lyall Bay
© Unsplash | Guillaume Lebelt

Explore the world's tastiest laneway

Known as a foodie's heaven, Hannahs Laneway is the perfect place to sample local goodies and shop for a few quirky items. Stroll through the centre of the city and let your senses lead the way. Smell the freshly brewed coffee, baked bread and pizza's coming straight out of the wood-fire ovens.

Two woman standing on the street
Visit the iconic Hannah's Laneway for a culinary adventure
© Camilla Rutherford
Two girls walking past street art
Appreciate the art and energy of this compact city
© Camilla Rutherford

Bike through vineyards

Take a short one hour drive from Wellington and you'll find yourself in beautiful Wairarapa, one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions. Hire a bike in Martinborough and spend the day exploring, wine-tasting and soaking up the sun.

Hike to a spectacular lookout

Hike up the Mount Victoria Lookout and enjoy stunning views of the harbour and lush greenery surrounding the city. Pack a bottle of wine and settle in for the spectacular sunset and as the sky darkens the lights of the city come up.

Stunning view on Wellington | New Zealand holiday
The views from Mount Victoria are unparalleled
© TravelEssence

Experience the famous coffee culture

Well, it's official when CNN names you as one of the top eight coffee cities in the world that you know a thing or two about the beans and brew. With a good coffee place literally around every corner, your mornings couldn't get any better. Savour the quality coffee that New Zealander's have perfected over a chat with a local barista.

A woman walking past an old red car on the street
Coffee, cafes, cars....Wellington has it all!
© Camilla Rutherford
Fuel your day with a special local brew of coffee

Culinary Experiences

Known as New Zealand’s culinary capital, you won’t struggle to find excellent dining in Wellington. Home to award-winning restaurants ranging from traditional to fine-dining and everything in between, you are sure to be delighted by the tastes of Welllington.

Wellington is also renowned for its beer scene. Around almost every corner you'll find a specialist brew bar. Not to be missed is the Harbourside Farmer's Market every Sunday. Farmers from Manawatu and surrounds bring their fresh produce to sell.

Dining in Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Indulge in the fine art of dining
© TravelEssence
Two men hanging out of a cafe window
Part take in Wellington's cafe culture

Craft beer

For craft beer connoisseurs, Wellington is a dream. You'll be spoilt for choice with finding a lively brewery to sample different flavours and discuss the science behind the foam. In central Wellington you can adventure through the city on self-guided tour of specialist craft beer bars.

Brewtown in Upper Hutt is a craft beer village that is an experience in itself. With five breweries in one location and an entertainment area with various activities you'll be sure to have tons of fun.

Take a self-guided tour of specialist craft beer bars

Museums and art galleries

The  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is a must-visit. Packed with national treasures, it tells the stories of New Zealand's past. Six stories of exhibitions highlight part of the country's distinct art culture. The Museum of Wellington City and Sea and Pataka are also worth visiting to understand New Zealand's multicultural history.

Famous Te Papa Museum Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Visit the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to see national treasure
Te Papa Museum Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Let art and culture take you on a historical journey
Green leaves and flowers, blue glacier and snow-capped mountains | New Zealand nature

Get inspired for your dream holiday to New Zealand

Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to New Zealand in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!

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Parks and nature

Wellington is a city surrounded by nature and ideal if you love wildlife experiences. Spot seals at Red Rock Reserve or make your way to Wairarapa to visit the home of endangered birds at Pukaha Mount Bruce. Visit Zealandia, an award-winning eco sanctuary home to native birds and tuatara. Go on boat cruise and spot a fur seal colony not far from the coast or spend some time at Wellington Zoo for an experience with intriguing animals.

NZ holidays: A grey seal on a rock
Spot seals at Red Rock reserve
A colourful bird in a tree
A trip to Zealandia is a great way for kids to experience native birds

Wellington cable car

The bright red  Wellington Cable Car is a classic. Take a ride up from the terminal in the heart of the Lambton Quay shopping district to the lookout for panoramic views of the city. You’ll also find the Cable Car Museum, Space Place at Carter Observatory , and  Botanic Garden.

Cable car Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Don't miss a ride on a Wellington icon

More information

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Practical information

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We have provided some information to help get you started, but of course, our travel specialists are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our large collection of hand-selected accommodations located in Wellington and its surrounds. Your travel specialist will match you with accommodation that suits your wants and needs. A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself.

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  • Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
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  • 30 years of experience in travel to New Zealand

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We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped-out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

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Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.