The capital of New Zealand since 1865, Wellington is a true harbour city built between a beautiful harbour and Cook Strait, which separates the North and South Islands.
Easily accessed by road via a pleasant drive south through delightful countryside and a scenic coastal road, Wellington is a modern, vibrant city that has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding restaurants, cafes, bars, nightlife and theatres.
Wellington is the world’s most southern capital city and is home to the New Zealand Parliament Buildings, a distinctive building commonly called the Beehive.
The first settlers were Maori, who are reputed to have arrived in the area over 1,000 years ago. The first European settlers arrived in 1839 to find there were numerous Maori settlements around the shores of the harbour. The city was carefully planned and consequently features extensive parklands in a “green belt”.
Wellington has been at the forefront of many of New Zealand’s social reforms including the 1893 decision to grant the vote to women - a world-wide first. Wellington remains a centre of social reform and political activity. The city has a reputation for a progressive and positive approach to civic affairs and is rightly recognised as Positively Wellington.
The national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, is an innovative cultural attraction. Te Papa provides an insight into New Zealand life featuring European and Maori experiences and perspectives. The museum is recognised as a world leader for its inter-active and modern displays.
Wellington has the only passenger cable car in New Zealand. It runs from downtown Lambton Quay to the upper suburbs. The view from the lookout takes in the central city, the Hutt Valley, Eastbourne and Mt. Victoria.
The café culture and reputation of Wellington is well-earned with some of New Zealand’s leading restaurants being located in the central city. There are more than 300 eating places in the Wellington region and visitors to Courtenay Place, Lambton Quay, the waterfront and downtown Cuba Street will be rewarded with world-class cuisine, exemplary service and selections of leading New Zealand wines and beers.
Seaside villages surround the harbour and ocean beaches line the coast north of Wellington. Each has its own unique character and have wonderful restaurants and bars offering local seafood and fresh food.
Wellington is fortunate to have some of the leading theatres in New Zealand including Downstage Theatre which has over the past 40 years has established a reputation for world class productions. Circa Theatre has a reputation for innovative and exciting professional productions while Bats Theatre offers accessible, exciting and unpredictable theatre experiences. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Opera Company are based in Wellington and have regular outstanding performances.
Wellington is the gateway to the Martinborough wine region - a drive of approximately an hour and a quarter north. Martinborough is a small rural town that features approximately 40 quality wineries. Many are open for tastings and sales throughout the year and several also have a restaurant or café.
Wellington is a very special city that deserves its growing reputation as the cultural and culinary centre of New Zealand.