Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, is imaginatively positioned between a picturesque harbour and forested green hills. The city is home to memorable arts, cultural and heritage attractions including the national museum, Te Papa. Natural attractions, such as the wild south coast, are within easy reach of the city centre. Sophisticated yet friendly, Wellington has great shopping and nightlife. The downtown area can match New York with the number of cafes and restaurants per head. Just north of Wellington city is the Hutt Valley, an area that offers a variety of outdoor and adventure experiences, including bush walks, fishing and thrilling mountain bike tracks.
Wellington has one of the world’s most beautiful harbours. The waterfront area between downtown and Oriental Bay is a popular recreation area for visitors and city dwellers.
Walk around Queens Wharf to Oriental Bay for a swim at the golden sand beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, try sea kayaking, rollerblading and rock-climbing. Or make yourself comfortable at a café, bar or restaurant and quietly absorb the massive harbour views.
There are numerous other walking routes to follow, from coastal tracks to hikes through the hills. Nothing defines a city’s character quite as well as its architecture. Wellington’s most striking architectural feature is the collection of historical timber houses displayed on the green hills surrounding the harbour.
The wooden theme is a consistent one, as you’ll see when you visit Old St Paul’s, Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, Antrim House, historical Thorndon and the Old Government Buildings – the largest wooden structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
At the southern end of Lambton Quay, you’ll find an interesting collection of parliamentary buildings. Admire the Victorian Gothic Parliamentary Library, the Edwardian neo-classical Parliament House and the 1960s ‘Beehive’ – the executive wing of the parliamentary complex.
Catch the cable car from Lambton Quay up to the Botanic Garden, then wander down through 26 acres of specialist gardens, native bush and lawn areas to historical Thorndon, New Zealand’s oldest suburb. Or take in the 360° panorama of Wellington city, harbour and the Cook Strait from the top of Mount Victoria.