Built around a big blue harbour and backed by rolling hills, Wellington is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than NYC (whatever the exact number, it’s definitely a lot). Nature lovers, hipsters, movie buffs and pretty much everybody else will adore Wellington, for its gardens and wildlife sanctuaries, amazing food and coffee, fascinating museums and film workshop tours. Book your Wellington holiday package with us and start your New Zealand adventure in its capital of cool.
A Polynesian explorer named Kupe discovered Wellington in 950 AD. In the 1840s, Europeans began to arrive. The New Zealand Company chose the name Wellington to honour the Duke of Wellington, one of its supporters. In 1865, Wellington took Auckland’s place as the capital of New Zealand.
Things to do
Right next to Wellington’s spectacular harbour you’ll find the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here are six floors of fascinating art and exhibitions with categories ranging from Maori to Art to History. See a real-life colossal squid up close, shake up your holiday in the Earthquake House and take a look at hundreds of art works spread through 11 galleries.
There are plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors in Wellington. Wellington Botanic Garden has 26 hectares of forest and flowers, including the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, a geometric pattern of rose beds arranged by colour. If you want to see some of New Zealand’s rarest and most interesting wildlife (plus a gorgeous reservoir to walk around), make sure you visit Zealandia. Wander through protected native bush and keep your eyes peeled for rare birds and lizards. Or mix it up with a Zealandia by Night tour.
If you need more sights to see in this harbourside city, the Beehive is probably Wellington’s most interesting-looking government building – it’s shaped just how it sounds. Wellington Zoo, Wellington Museum and Space Place at Carter Observatory should all help to keep you and the whole family busy.
If you’re a fan of legendary filmmaker Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame), go behind the scenes of the studio responsible for LOTR’s special effects: Weta. Take a tour of the Weta workshop for props and costumes, plus crew members telling stories of the creative process.
Shopping and dining
Wellington has heaps of unique local shopping opportunities, from the markets of fresh local food and wine to the quirky shops and second-hand goodies of Cuba Street. There’s a thriving restaurant scene ranging from fancy to simple and easy. The craft beer scene is equally impressive, there are heaps of cafes to chill out in, and if you want to bring back the brunch, this is the place.
It’s easy to get around on your Wellington holiday. The city centre is small enough to walk across, and the public transport system includes buses, trains, ferries and a cable car. To get here, bundle up your flights and accommodation into a Wellington holiday package on Wotif, and you’ll be on your way in no time!
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Wellington? Check out our Wellington travel guide!
This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of St Paul's Cathedral and Old St Paul's. Carter Observatory and Botanic ...
James Cook Hotel Grand ChancellorAU$92James Cook Hotel Grand ChancellorAU$92
Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Wellington Central Business District and Old Government Buildings. Beehive and Old St Paul's ...
Rydges WellingtonAU$155Rydges WellingtonAU$155
Located in Te Aro, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Wellington Town Hall, Michael Fowler Centre, and Civic Square. City Gallery Wellington and City-to-Sea ...
West Plaza HotelAU$100West Plaza HotelAU$100
Situated in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District, Beehive, and Old Government Buildings. Civic Square ...
Novotel WellingtonAU$131Novotel WellingtonAU$131
Located in the heart of Wellington, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lambton Quay, Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station), and New Zealand Parliament ...
Park Hotel Lambton QuayAU$121Park Hotel Lambton QuayAU$121
Located in Te Aro, this property is steps from Wellington Central Business District and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 10 ...
Mercure Wellington Central City Hotel and ApartmentsAU$105Mercure Wellington Central City Hotel and ApartmentsAU$105
Located in Te Aro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also ...
Mercure Wellington Abel TasmanAU$93Mercure Wellington Abel TasmanAU$93
This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 15-minute walk of Oriental Parade, Civic Square, and Cuba Street Mall. Mount Victoria ...
Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental BayAU$140Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental BayAU$140
Situated in Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station). Old Government ...
DoubleTree by Hilton WellingtonAU$158DoubleTree by Hilton WellingtonAU$158
This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of National Library and Beehive. Old Government Buildings and Carter ...
The Thorndon Hotel Wellington by RydgesAU$91The Thorndon Hotel Wellington by RydgesAU$91
*Savings based on all Flight + Hotel package bookings on Wotif.com from Jan 2017 to Jun 2017, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.