Wellington holidays promise the perfect balance between cafe culture, retail therapy and some jaw-dropping views. Extending off on the southern end of New Zealand’s North Island, it is a top choice for solo travellers, couples and fun filled family excursions alike.
Visitors curious about architecture should make their way to the parliament building referred to fondly by locals as ‘The Beehive’. Its unique swirling exterior is a sight to behold, and it’s located just five minutes away from Te Papa – the capital city’s sought-after interactive museum. The museum is home to hundreds of masterpieces, as well as a myriad of botanical and zoological collections to stimulate all of the senses.
Be sure to sample some of the country’s most delicious, full-bodied wines while following the New Zealand Wine Trail, which takes you through its top wine-producing regions. For another adventure trail, visit Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop and the Weta Cave, which promises an opportunity to go on a Middle Earth adventure all of your own. The set of Lord of the Rings is a must for any fans. Whether you’re savouring the beauty of Mother Nature, or exploring the many man-made delights the bustling city has to offer, your holiday in Wellington will cover all bases.
Wellington holidays: A treat for the tastebuds
Wellington is the go-to destination for foodies visiting New Zealand. It’s celebrated for its culinary history, with a focus on decadent dishes that are a feast for the tastebuds as well as the eyes. It’s also known for serving up rich and perfectly roasted coffee. This is what has created the city’s beloved cafe culture. You’ll find a quirky cafe nestled on every corner of the city, and each and every one promises a memorable, caffeinated experience.
Foodies will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from bustling brownie bars with gooey, chocolate drizzled treats to comfort food cafeterias promising moreish meals guaranteed to satisfy your craving. The options are practically endless, and it’s very difficult to go wrong. Wellington is well deserving of its name as the ‘culinary capital of New Zealand’. Book a Wellington multi-centre holiday and pair the city with a food tour of New Zealand or the country’s famous wine trail.
Great sample itineraries
Wellington holidays should include a hearty blend of exploration, adventure and relaxation. Browse our carefully-crafted sample itineraries below for inspiration to create your own customised, memorable holiday in Wellington.
Self Drive Tour Of New Zealand South Island
Te Papa Tongarewa
This award-winning museum is well known for its fantastic interactive displays and exhibits, which will teach you about everything from New Zealand’s culture to its natural wildlife. Take a private or group guided tour, attend a workshop or lecture or simply spend an hour or two wandering through the museum yourself.
Climb to the top of Mount Victoria, or take the cable car, and enjoy the spectacular views back over the city and the luxury yachts in its harbour. From the peak at 196m, you can see the luscious vegetation of the mountain. Take a picnic of delicious New Zealand cuisine and local wines as you immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere of the area.
Wellington Cable Car
Take the Wellington Cable Car through the historic streets of Wellington and its surrounding, luscious hills. See the Botanic Gardens or the Cable Car Museum, journey through colourfully lit up tunnels and learn about the fascinating history of the area. See the city’s centre, its quieter suburbs and picturesque harbourside.
Gourmet city tours
Wellington is a small city, with more restaurants than even New York City, making it the ideal place for a walking food tour. It’s home to a wide variety of gourmet choices, including Ortega Fish Shack where you can taste fresh seafood. Head to Logan Brown, which is the ideal place to try traditional New Zealand cuisine. For something more relaxed, enjoy one of the many cafés or head to a wine bar to try local specialities.
Best time to visit Wellington
Many will agree that the best time to visit Wellington is between March and May when the weather is pleasant and the city isn’t overcrowded. Temperatures will vary between 11°C and 16°C during this time. Peak travel season in Wellington is between December to February, which is the warmest period of the year and sees temperatures reaching highs of up to 22°C. The rainy season begins at the end of May and continues until early September, so keep this in mind if your dream Wellington holiday includes plenty of time spent outdoors.
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“Ride the tram to the top of Mount Victoria for panoramic views out over Wellington city and harbour. It's a great picnic spot from where you can watch and appreciate the sunset too.”
“Not only is the Interislander an easy way to get across the Cook Straight from New Zealand’s North Island to the South Island - it also allows you to experience some spectacular views. The journey lasts three hours and takes you past Wellington’s harbour, the North Island coastline and into Marlborough Sounds – the entrance to the South Island.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Wellington holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Cirque Du Play
Cirque Du Play is a family-friendly event that allows your children to be the ringleader of their own circus. Think interactive toys, kinetic mobiles and mesmerising shadow play. Cirque Du Play is hosted at PlayHQ, runs for most of the year, and is suitable for kids aged three and up.
NZ Fringe Festival
New Zealand’s Fringe Festival is known as the country’s ‘edgiest’ event and kicks off in March. It runs for a period of 23 days, offering artists the opportunity to show the locals and tourists what they can do. All of the incredible events are self-funded and self-produced.
Wellington Cup Day
Wellington Cup Day is based on showcasing the finest display of horses, trainers and jockeys in the country. It’s a must for anybody who enjoys the races, and this fashionable event takes place in January each year.
Newtown Festival is the all-in-one festival, boasting the best of the best when it comes to mouth-watering food, hip and happening music and artisanal crafts. There are over 400 unique stalls to visit and 12 different stages featuring the hottest acts from around the globe. Newtown Festival usually takes place during the month of March.
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