Wellington Central

Visit Wellington City, New Zealand

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  • New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington sits at the edge of a large harbour, protected from its entrance by the Miramar Peninsula. In most places, hills rise steeply from the harbour edge. Suburbs are mostly hillsides and valleys. The central city is built on land reclaimed from the sea or uplifted by earthquake.

    Wellington was first settled by Europeans in 1838. It was not until 1865 that it became the capital, with a population of about 5000, due to a desire to hold the North and South Islands together as one country. Ferry services for passengers and vehicles sail from Wellington regularly for the South Island.

    Central Wellington has all of the amenities to be expected of a major world city. It has great cafés and restaurants, shopping and a vibrant night-life scene. The city regularly hosts fashion, art, comedy and film festivals, with orchestral and modern music concerts, ballet and dramatic theatre performances taking place throughout the year.

    There is accommodation in Wellington to suit any requirement, with transport in and around the city relatively easy by train and bus. Visitors should check availability, as accommodation can be difficult to find when major events occur, such as the IRB World 7s rugby tournament.

    Accommodation in Wellington City (NZ)

    Wellington City has a selection of 5-star hotels and lodges, self-contained apartments, motels and bed & breakfast establishments. There are also many motels, backpacker hostels and other budget accommodation options available in the city and suburbs.

    Some hotels provide courtesy transport to and from the airport or inter-island ferry terminal.

    It is wise to enquire about accommodation before a visit to Wellington, especially during summer, when popular festivals and sporting events can result in many establishments becoming fully-booked.

    Transport around Wellington City

    Wellington and its suburbs are well-served by road and rail transport. The central Railway Station is located near Parliament buildings, not far from the central city. Buses serve destinations without have rail connections.

    Wellington International Airport is located about 20 minutes drive west of the city.Shuttle buses and taxis regularly take travellers to and from the airport.

    Regular touring coach services connect with all main centres around the region.

    Tourist Activities around Wellington City

    Visitors who appreciate architecture and history have a lot to see in Wellington, from early wooden cottages, churches and administrative buildings to outstanding examples of modern architecture.

    One of Wellington’s biggest attractions is the national museum, located on the waterfront edge of the central city. Nearby is the City Gallery, one of the most significant of Wellington’s art galleries. There are also a regional museum, maritime museum and early settler museum.

    Another very popular attraction is Wellington’s famous cable car train, which rises up a steep hill from downtown to the botanic gardens, offering fantastic views of the harbour and city.

    The Wellington Zoo and Zelandia (the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) are popular attractions. Native birds and seals can also been seen during forest and coastal walks, of which there are many to choose from.

    Wellington often experiences strong winds, making it a great place for sailing, windsurfing and kite-boarding.

    The spectacular scenery around Wellington and the top of the South Island can be appreciated from a scenic flight by airplane, helicopter or glider.

    Charter boats offer fishing and diving in the deep waters of the harbour and Cook Strait.

    Visitors to Wellington can enjoy a range of adventure activities, such as kayaking, white-water rafting, quad-bike (ATV) and 4WD adventures, and motorsport activities.

    There are also traditional activities available, including golf, ten-pin bowling, paintball and laser-tag games.

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    Wellington Central