🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
New Zealand's capital city and also known as our arts and culture capital. A special blend of heritage buildings, museums and galleries, fine food and live entertainment opportunities make this city a great place to visit in any season.
Highlights can include:
- Wellington Waterfront is ripe for recreation, a way to stroll from one side of the city to the other along the waters edge 🏙️
- you're in the culinary and creative soul of the city when you arrive in Cuba Street, home to the iconic kinetic sculpture The Bucket Fountain 🛍️🎨🍽️
- take the historic trip on NZ's only public running Cable Car and take in the fragrance of the Wellington Botanic Garden 🌼🌷
- a tranquil retreat for both wildlife and visitors Matiu / Somes Island offers wildlife-rich tracks and historic sites 👟
- offering sublime views of rugged coast the Seal Coast Safari provides encounters with kekeno/NZ fur seals 📸
- iconic Old St Paul's Cathedral is one of the best examples of timber Gothic Revival architecture in the world ⛪
- created by Sir Peter Jackson, The Great War Exhibition commemorates the first World War in a stunning array of movie-like sets at the National War Memorial 🎖️
- try popular Aro Valley brewery, Garage Project Cellar Door + Taproom where 18 taps change weekly 🍺
- head to the lookout of Mount Victoria and be rewarded with stunning views over the city 📸
- a visit to The Beehive+ Parliament Buildings is popular with locals, but also offers insight into how we keep important buildings safe in earthquakes with base isolators 🇳🇿
- Wellington City Walkways cover a wide range of landscapes and take in scenic views of the city and coast 👟
- follow in the footsteps of hobbits, dwarfs, elves and men on a Wellington Rover Tour, providing the most comprehensive Lord of the Rings filming location tours 🎥
- every Saturday The Wellington Underground Market showcases an eclectic range of stalls including the regions best artisans, designers, makers and bakers 🛍️
- providing wonderful insight into the rich social and cultural history Wellington Museum showcases the city's colourful history 🔍
- Wellington's beaches and bays don't disappoint - from favourites with the golden sand Oriental Bay and Scorching Bay to popular surf beach Lyall Bay and traditional fishing hub Island Bay 🌊
- the world's first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary ZEALANDIA is home to rare and wonderful endemic New Zealand wildlife 🌲
- home to New Zealand's most influential theatre-makers, Circa Theatre presents powerful and captivating original theatre 🎭
- at The Weta Cave snap a selfie with life-sized sculptures, wander through a mini museum, and watch an exclusive documentary - it's a movie lover's paradise 🎬🤳
- passionate about connecting people with animals and saving animals in the wild, Wellington Zoo offers fun for everyone 🐾
- Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand's bold and innovative national museum and a recognised world leader in interactive and visitor-focused museum experiences 🇳🇿🔎
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors 5.5
🐚 Beaches 4.0
🌦️ Chance of Rain 3.5
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun 5.5
🛒 Shopping 7.5
🍽️ Food + Wine 7.5
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of Wellington NZ on YouTube
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in Wellington City
You'll travel to this region by car, coach, train, ferry from the South Island or by flying into Wellington Airport. Upon arrival you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
The best way to get your bearings is on foot in Wellington, as the city centre is relatively compact and easy to walk around. Lambton Quay is the business end of town, home to great shopping, historic buildings and at one end The Beehive and Parliament Buildings and the grand Wellington Rail Station.
From here, you can walk along picturesque Wellington's Waterfront across to Te Papa, New Zealand's Museum, where you can easily spend a lot of time learning the awesome stories, our interesting heritage and discover local treasures found across our country.
Cross the City To Sea Bridge to trendy Cuba Street and soak up the bohemian atmosphere while sipping on a 'flat white' watching hipsters walk by The Bucket Fountain. Great shopping and art features here, alongside delicious restaurants, cafés and eateries - you'll be rewarded for venturing into the quaint laneways and surprised by their contents.
Continue your adventure by hiking up Mount Victoria for panoramic views over the entire city. Then wander down through prime real estate high above Oriental Bay, bringing you down to the promenade beachside popular for recreation.
Finish your first day dining in Courtenay Place sampling a delicious meal, followed by a dessert cocktail in this area popular after dark. Or if you love your craft beer venture to Husk or The Garage Project and sample interesting lager alongside great food in the unique atmosphere only Wellington City provides.
Day 2 : Wellywood dreams
Thoughts of visiting Wellington City have become synonymous with Weta Workshop and the film studios of Sir Peter Jackson, long before the ever-popular Lord of the Rings films brought their work to the world. You'll be able to explore The Weta Cave and venture through a guided tour of one of the workshops, to get a taste of how the magic of film comes to life. Fans of the films will likely want to do nothing else but jump aboard a tour that takes you to filming locations. There's several boutique cinemas if you're inspired to watch a current blockbuster too.
For those wanting to get back to nature, Wellington's Walkwaysprovide plenty of opportunity to venture outdoors, with so many great tracks and trails in the green belt and beyond. All of them offer something a little different from the next, but we're happy to pass along our local favourite ideas and insights to you. For those wanting to guarantee an interaction with our bashful wildlife, you'll want to see ZEALANDIA which will have you encountering native and endangered birds while walking around a picturesque reservoir.
After your days events, we've arranged for you to delight in dinner and celebrate your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area. Wellington will leave you spoilt for choice, with many restaurants critically acclaimed deservedly among New Zealand's best.
Day 3 : Depart Wellington City
On your way out of the city, take the opportunity to shop for something unique at the Underground Market, or take the opportunity to pop to one of the residential coastal suburbs for a coffee in Scorching Bay, Lyall Bay or Island Bay before continuing on to your next adventure. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.