New Zealand's culture capital
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.
- Explore the capital’s best museums like Te Papa.
- Delve into the world of Lord of the Rings with a tour of the Weta Workshop Studios.
- Wander through the creative CBD and the pedestrianised Cuba Street.
- Visit Zealandia by night and see if you can spot one of the 130 native kiwis.
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.
Discover the capital of New Zealand. Relish in the delicious array of food markets Wellington has to offer. Explore the commonly named “windy city” by cable car, appreciating the beautiful bays and beaches that neighbour Wellington’s thriving CBD.
Our top Wellington example trips
Whatever you want your luxury tour or safari itinerary to include, we’ll create something fully bespoke for you… and only you.
Our top accommodation in Wellington
Wharekauhau Country Estate$$$$$Immerse yourself in the grandeur of a bygone era at the spectacular Wharekauhau Country Estate, an Edwardian lodge set on a hill with spectacular views of the thundering sea below and working sheep farm around. Breath-taking scenery and a welcoming, friendly atmosphere will make this a visit to remember. Take in the dramatic vistas of Palliser Bay from the 13 cottage suites, or find the utmost privacy at either luxurious Owners Cottage or home Wharepapa Cottage, each with three bedrooms. Natural materials are used throughout the suites – clay tiles, pebble mosaics and rich New Zealand wool carpeting add to the experience. Each room in the main lodge has its own distinct touch, complete with carefully-selected antique furniture and classic fireplaces. Unwind in airy open lounges flooded with natural light, or curl up with a book in a cosy corner. Whether relaxing in front of a crackling fire, or sharing a light-hearted moment in the sunny kitchen, at Wharekauhau you’re considered part of the family. An elegant formal dining room flows through into a country kitchen and conservatory, making mealtimes extra special. The kitchen’s ‘farm to table’ philosophy means fresh produce from the lodge gardens and surrounding areas – so look out for the chefs roaming the grounds collecting the freshest ingredients for the evening meal. With 5,500 acres of private land including ancient forests, peaceful lakes, rivers, and a wild and rugged coast to explore, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to a route for walking, mountain biking, horse riding or ATV quad bike adventures.
InterContinental Wellington$$$$$Within walking distance of the New Zealand capital’s harbour waterfront and popular tourist attractions, the revampled InterContinental Wellington makes for a sophisticated city base. 234 chic rooms offer views of the cityscape and harbour, modern features and walk-in showers. Muted tones and soft fabrics make for a haven of inner-city tranquillity with a focus on luxury. Arizona has been serving visitors and locals alike for over 24 years with speedy, professional and friendly service. The detailed and atmospheric bar and restaurant specialises in quality American-themed cuisine and drinks served the traditional way. The Lobby Lounge, the perfect place to relax over a variety of teas, coffee and light meals. To experience truly local flavours created by expert chefs, dine at Chameleon Restaurant. Emerge Health Club provides a fully-equipped gym with a hot tub, sauna and one of the largest indoor heated hotel swimming pools in Wellington. With extensive sports and fitness experience, the Emerge team is on hand for all your training needs. Then let go of day-to-day stress as you enter the oasis of Spa InterContinental with a wide range of luxurious rituals and therapeutic treatments from which to choose.
Peppers Parehua$$$$$Set among the vineyards just outside historic Martinborough, the Peppers Parehua country estate is surrounded by the rolling green hills of the Wairarapa region. Each of the 28 cottages and villas suitable for families and groups have been individually designed to make the most of the scenic views. Warm, cosy, romantic and charming, this is picturesque accommodation at its best. The vineyards and hills of the area are perfect for picnics, so ask the Peppers Parehua kitchen to pack a fresh hamper of local artisanal treats for you. At dinner time, let food and wine take centre stage at The Pavillion Restaurant. The intimate dining room overlooks the gardens, and the menu features the best of what the region has to offer. Go exploring on horseback or by bicycle, or tour the local wineries, or visit the Spa Boutique Parehua where the on-site team are ready to assist you with luxurious remedial and therapeutic treatments. To make the most of your visit, spend some time on the private jetty at the lake, go swimming or enjoy a game of pétanque or croquet.
Bolton Hotel$$$$$Located in the centre of the city, close to cafes, shops, restaurants and Wellington’s vibrant waterfront, the independent Bolton Hotel is a fine choice in the city. Offering a choice of 139 stylish and comfortable rooms, from elegant studios to one- and two-bedroom suites, there’s something to suit everyone, including large and small groups. The restaurant, Artisan, offers a creatively suave dining experience with Executive Chef McLean Fraser’s food carefully created dishes celebrating local cuisine, traditions and produce. Also within the hotel is a fully equipped fitness room with the latest cardio and weight training equipment, a heated lap pool, spa pool and sauna.
Sofitel Wellington$$$$$Lose yourself in a world of vintage bronze and golds and rich textures at Sofitel Wellington. The 129 rooms and suites, some of which offer views out over the surrounding hillsides, are designed to be luxurious havens in which to unwind after busy days adventuring in the city and surrounds. Go on a gastronomic journey at the sophisticated Jardin Grill, where the botanical theme of the décor combines perfectly with the gourmet menu. Dine inside, or stay warm beside the outdoor fire pit in the courtyard. Apart from the comfortable rooms, the hotel has various other welcoming spaces for guests to enjoy. Curl up in front of a fire in the chic Lounge, or enjoy a light meal a chat with your fellow guests in The Green Room.
QT Wellington$$$$$Immerse yourself in a world of colour and texture at QT Wellington. This design-driven hotel boasts a fascinating collection of high and low-brow art. The harbourside hotel offers guests 163 luxurious rooms and apartments to choose from. Sophisticated décor in muted tones offer a calming juxtaposition with the busy public spaces in the hotel. A meal at French-inspired Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar is an experience not to be missed. The menu features a mix of comfort food and fine-dining. Or tuck into Asian-inspired dishes at Hot Sauce, where you’ll find traditional Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai flavours with a contemporary twist.