The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is tucked away inside a harbour at the bottom of the North Island. It’s a popular destination for its passionate foodie culture, interesting arts scene, and beautiful waterfront.

Wellington’s weather is one of its most memorable features. Kiwis call it ‘Windy Wellington’ for its famous gusts. Flying into the Airport can be an adventure sport – but like the locals promise, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.

Things to do in Wellington

Wellington is a very walkable city, with a compact city centre nestled in hills. The waterfront area is full of wide boardwalks, sculptures and public parks. 

  • Visit New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, for a mixture of fun interactive exhibitions, New Zealand art and historical artifacts.
  • Lord of the Rings fan? The scene where the hobbits hide from a Black Rider was filmed on Mount Victoria
  • If you’re interested in architecture (or politics), visit New Zealand’s main Parliament building, the Beehive. It’s pretty clear how it got its name!
  • Catch the iconic red cable car from the main shopping street of Lambton Quay up the hill. Wander through the Botanic Gardens on your way back down.
  • Visit Zealandia wildlife sanctuary. It is home to all kinds of endangered bird life as well as tuatara (ancient lizards) and more. You can even take a night tour in search of kiwi.
  • Sports fans will enjoy the Wellington Sevens, the New Zealand leg of the international rugby sevens tournament. It takes place in February every year and participants dress up in crazy costumes.

Food, Drink & Nightlife

Wellington is a food lover’s paradise. The locals are serious about their food and you’ll find a huge range of food styles from all around the world, from Malaysian to Mexican. Most places are very reasonably priced, but there are also plenty of fine dining options if you’re looking to splurge. Find out more about food in Wellington.

Wellington styles itself the ‘craft beer capital’ of New Zealand so beer lovers will have a great time sampling local brews. And if you’re just looking for a fun night out, the bars along Courtney Place have you covered. There’s everything from cheap and cheerful sports bars and retro disco joints to whiskey bars and hidden establishments where cocktails come in teapots.

Wellington day tours

Get to grips with the city and see some of its beautiful coastline on a Wellington City and Bays tour with GreatSights.

Or if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, take a Weta Workshop tour and go behind the scenes!

Getting to Wellington

You can catch the bus to Wellington from towns and cities around the North Island including Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Gisborne, Wellington and New Plymouth. The overnight bus leaves Auckland at 7.30pm and arrives the next morning.

Interisland ferries connect Wellington to Picton in the South Island. You can book these along with your bus travel through InterCity. You can book the Interislander ferry on your FlexiPass bus pass and selected TravelPasses.