WHY WINDY WELLY IS A MUST SEE DURING YOUR TOUR OF NZ
Named the "coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet, Wellington is one stop on your tour of New Zealand that you don't want to miss.
World renowned for its climate, its culture, and its coffee, Wellington has more bars, restaurants and cafes per capita than New York (don't fact check us on that but we are pretty sure it's true – Lonely Planet said so). With an awesome art scene and cultural wealth aplenty, here are a few more reasons why we think you should take some time to hop off the bus and explore the world's southernmost capital city.
TE PAPA – AKA NEW ZEALAND'S NATIONAL MUSEUM
Start your journey here (picking up a coffee on the way from one of the numerous cafes). Te Papa Museum, also known as 'Our Place', blends modern technology with classic story-telling and is considered one of the world's premier interactive museums. Best part, general admission is free and it's all hands-on!
Created as a tribute to Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ movie franchises, the Weta Cave will usher you into the magical world of Middle Earth where you will come face to face with life-sized models of movie characters such as Gandalf and Gollum. Entry into the Weta Cave is free and guided tours start every 30 minutes.
EAT ALL THE FOOD. AND WE MEAN ALL OF IT.
Wellington is second to none when it comes to all things food and beverage and is also the craft beer home of New Zealand. Take yourself on a foodie adventure and try some of the local hotspots. Sample some of the best burgers the city has to offer, scout out some of its secret bars, try the endless array of craft beer or pose as a true Wellingtonian and brunch with the locals.
WELLINGTON CABLE CAR
For those who want to see more of the city, jump on the historic Wellington Cable Car from Lambton Quay and ride it to the entrance of the Botanical Gardens and Kelburn Lookout. Tickets cost just NZD$7 return.
GET AMONGST SOME NATIVE NATURE AT ZEALANDIA
Located 2km from Wellington (free shuttles operate daily), Zealandia is an award winning conservation project that lets you get up close and personal to some of New Zealand's rarest native animals. These animals include the Takahe bird, Tuatara lizard and even our national icon - the Kiwi. Tickets to Zealandia cost NZD$17.50 for entry.
MT VICTORIA LOOKOUT
Mt Victoria is located right near the city and it is an easy to climb to the lookout which offers 360-degree views of the city, it's surrounding hills and the harbour. Definitely worth the hike, especially on a clear day. Grab some fish and chips on the way and sit on the grass as the sun goes down and the lights come up.
Being the capital of New Zealand means that Wellington is also home to all our lovely politicians. However, it isn't them that people come to see, but rather the building in which they run our country. The parliament building, named The Beehive because, well, it looks like a beehive, is an architectural icon and operates free tour tours 7 days a week.
Definitely worth a visit. It's a good walk up to the gardens to help burn off all that delicious food and drink you've no doubt been sampling. Plus you'll be rewarded with over 26 hectares of unsurpassed views, unique landscapes, exotic forests, native bush and colourful floral displays. The vibrant colours and epic photo potential should be enough to attract any budding photographer and Instagram aficionado.
For more info on why you should absolutely positively hop off and spend longer in Wellington, check out the Discover Wellington website for local current events.