Explore Wellington

Wellington Travel Guide

The capital city of New Zealand is located at the southern tip of the North Island. Wellington is situated on a splendid harbour and hemmed in by steep hills, creating a compact inner city centre with a mix of historic and modern buildings. It is the second largest city in the country, the energetic centre for culture and arts, and the entertainment, commercial and political capital of New Zealand with an air of pronounced sophistication and vibrancy. Apart from its importance as the capital, it is the main departure point for the South Island.<br /><br /> Also called 'Windy Wellington', it lives up to its name especially in winter when the lashing winds from the Cook Strait whistle through the wind funnels created by the high-rise buildings of the central business district. The bustling, pretty waterfront area is a sheltered refuge with a graceful promenade, featuring shops, restaurants and various leisure activities. Brightly coloured sails scud across the harbour, with the reliable wind providing excellent sailing and windsurfing opportunities. The ferry to the picturesque Days Bay, one of Wellington's best swimming beaches, affords excellent views of the city from the water. Dominating the waterfront is the Te Papa Museum, the pride and joy of the nation that embodies the quintessence of New Zealand and its people.<br /><br />

Te Papa Museum

Address: Cable Street, Waterfront Wellington

Te Papa is Wellington's leading attraction and one of the world's largest national museums. It is a tribute to all that is New Zealand; its people and history, natural environment, arts, and culture. Interactive technology and superb displays bring the story to life. Motion simulators allow visitors to witness the explosive creation of pre-historic New Zealand, or to experience a virtual reality bungee jump. There is also an interactive section on volcanoes and earthquakes where the effects of an earthquake can be felt from inside a house and a volcanic eruption viewed on screen. Other attractions include a range of magnificent exhibitions featuring some of the country's most important Maori treasures, a modern 'marae' or Maori meeting house, and an informative display on the Treaty of Waitangi, between the Maori chiefs and European settlers in 1840. The natural world is also explored, featuring all the natural inhabitants of the country.<br /><br />

Wellington Cable Car

Address: Cable Car Lane, 280 Lambton Quay Wellington

The cable car is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wellington. It takes people to the lookout at Kelburn, where there is a beautiful view over the city and across the harbour. Visitors can either take a return journey or walk back down through the beautifully landscaped Botanic Gardens. At the top terminus there is the small Cable Car Museum explaining its history.<br /><br />

Mount Victoria

Address: Lookout Road, Wellington Wellington

Mount Victoria, locally abbreviated to Mt Vic, is a prominent hill to the east of the centre of Wellington and its associated suburb. To the south of it is a spur, Mount Albert, and the two are linked by a ridge. The suburb of Mount Victoria is a mixture of residential and commercial activity on the western flank of the ridge above the southern end of the Wellington CBD. Mt Vic boasts beautiful views of the city and the suburb is well populated by artisanal cafes and eateries that add to the local feel of the walk. A bonus point of interest for fanatasy fans is that Mount Victoria was the location where numerous scenes for the film version of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was shot. Note: wear a sturdy pair of walking shoes, as the climb is very steep in parts and may be unexpectedly challenging if visitors come unprepared.<br /><br />

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