At the bottom of the world on a sparkling harbour, at the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, is Wellington: the little city with a big heart.
Wellington is famous for its natural beauty, creative energy, culture, history and cuisine; the Financial Times hailed it the best city in the world for quality of life in 2017, and Lonely Planet called it ‘the coolest little capital’. Home to half a million people, it’s a region of innovation, diversity and creativity.
Wellington is the country’s cultural heart: visitors here can discover more than 55 art galleries, the national orchestra, ballet and opera, plus the interactive national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. As movie buffs will already know, Wellington has nurtured an Oscar-winning film industry; go behind the scenes with Weta Studio Tours.
The region is famous for its food and drink scene, too. Renowned for its creative craft brewers, Wellington was recently named the best beer destination in Oceania by Lonely Planet. Then there’s the city’s long-established coffee culture, which can be experienced on every corner of the compact central city.
© Golding's Free Dive
Wellingtonians are masters of casual dining and the city has plenty of great restaurants, night markets and food trucks – it’s said to have more eateries per capita than New York. Don’t miss popular Hannah’s Laneway, where some of the most exciting bars and restaurants are located, including Pomodoro for perfect pizza, Shepherd for creative shared plates, Golding’s Free Dive for craft beer and Leeds Street Bakery for moreish cookies.
Wine-lovers are in luck, too: Wellington is nestled between two world-class wine regions – Wairarapa and Marlborough – so the perfect wine match can be found for any dish. The city is at the centre of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail: a self-drive touring route that makes it easy to sip your way around New Zealand’s celebrated wineries.
Wellington is compact and accessible; you can walk from one side of the city to the other in less than 20 minutes. And you’re never far from the great outdoors – the city is nestled between bush-clad hills and a lively waterfront dotted with parks, cafes, sculpture and playgrounds. It’s also the perfect gateway to New Zealand, handily positioned at the bottom of the North Island, a 25-minute flight or short ferry ride to South Island.
Fly into Wellington International Airport and kick-start your New Zealand getaway…