Nestled on rolling green hills that spill down to a charming harbour, New Zealand’s capital is an epicentre of culture and creativity – renowned for its arts, gastronomy, heritage and bohemian character.
It’s no surprise Lonely Planet recently named Wellington the coolest little capital in the world, this compact city is as charming as it is picturesque. Victorian timber houses line steep winding streets down to a lively and eclectic centre, waterfront promenades weave around the bay to exposed wind-swept coastlines and grassy hilltops offer spectacular views across the sparkling inlet.
The CBD is a creative hub and easy to get around by foot. Wander pedestrianised Cuba Street to get a taste of what makes this city tick with its theatrical street performers, colourful sculptures, cafes spilling out into the road, boutique shops and numerous watering holes to sample the local craft beers and coffee that the city is renowned for. Wellington is also home to New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, which is well worth a visit for an interactive account of the country’s history and insight into Maori culture and traditions.
An hour’s drive north of Wellington takes you to the rural region of Wairarapa with its lightly populated townships and a thriving wine scene. Visit Martinborough, the heart of the wine industry or head out to the coast to reach the southernmost point of the North Island, Cape Palliser.