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From first class bars and a world leading film industry, to holidays that don’t cost the earth, Wellington’s got lots of tales for you to tell.
Our team can also help with market-specific hooks; chances are we know someone interesting from your city or country to give you a local spin. If you’re after the inside scoop, have a look at our Word on the Street blog written by locals for locals.
Here in Wellington we're all about global domination... in a world peace kind of way. Wellingtonians love Wellington, New Zealanders love Wellington, and now we're on a mission to make the entire world love Wellington.
In naming our fair city at number 4 on its list of top 10 cities to visit in 2011, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel mused that Wellington may just be 'coolest little capital in the world'. Why? Lots of reasons - like because we are actually quite little (about 180,000 people live in the city) and there's always heaps of fun stuff going on.
We’re pretty proud of a few other accolades we’ve received in the last few years. The BBC named Wellington as one of 2015’s hottest cities and Lonely Planet put the Rimutaka Cycle Trail on the list as one of the world’s hottest new travel experiences for 2015. Rough Guides put Wellington at number 6 on its list of top places to visit and according to the lovely folk at Elle magazine, Wellington is New Zealand’s hippest city.
No it’s not a James Bond flick, it’s our catch cry when talking to people from the other side of the world. You see, Wellington is a Kiwi favourite but we’re still working on spreading the word globally. Back in the day, Wellington didn’t feature significantly in a lot of trade brochures because there wasn’t a lot of commissionable product to sell in the capital of cool. Who knew having heaps of free and cheap activities would be a bad thing!?
The good news is, we’ve had a number of new commissionable attractions open in recent times and the best little secret in the world isn’t so secret anymore.
Visitors can step back in time and travel to the edge of the Universe in Wellington. Zealandia takes you back in time to the day before humans arrived. Visitors meet the extinct giant moa and fearsome Haast's eagle and hear the haunting song of the extinct huia. Discover the impact of human settlement on a fragile paradise and the groundbreaking work that’s being done to restore a piece of New Zealand to what it once was.
After a stroll through the world-first wildlife safe haven, head to New Zealand’s ‘Place for Space’, Space Place at Carter Observatory. The observatory features interactive exhibits and a 9m dome digital planetarium that takes you from Wellington to the edge of our Solar System and beyond.
Wellington's compact nature makes the city easy to navigate by foot, and a fantastic public transport system is available for those wanting to venture further afield. Our city is home to heaps of visitor experiences with a green bent, including the multi award-winning Zealandia.
Our accommodation operators are all doing their bit too - YHA Wellington was the first backpacker hostel in New Zealand to gain Qualmark Enviro-Gold status and was a previous winner in the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. Wellington is also home to New Zealand’s first carboNZero-certified taxi company, Wellington Combined Taxis.
Oscar winning director Guillermo del Toro has described Wellington as “Hollywood the way God intended it”. The city’s ‘Wellywood’ nickname was coined as homage to our world-leading film industry. You might have heard of a couple of little trilogies called Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that were made here, and blockbusters are filmed or worked on here all the time by the likes of Weta Workshop and Park Road Post.
Visitors can get a taste of Wellywood at the Weta Cave in Miramar, which takes you behind-the-scenes of Weta’s filmmaking brilliance as well as selling their famed collectables. A number of tour operators also offer film-based tours, including Wellington Rover Tours, Flat Earth New Zealand Experiences and Wellington Movie Tours. You'll find capital Film Tourism in Wellington.
Follow your nose and your stomach in Wellington and discover the best cuisine New Zealand has to offer. Said to have more cafes, bars and restaurants per capita than New York, the city has taken out the country's cuisine prize more times than is probably fair. Visitors can pick up local produce and products from a range of boutique weekend food markets or the award-winning Moore Wilson Fresh. We've noted down a list of must-do foodie experiences in the capital which we think are well worth a visit.
Collect local cheeses, pickles and fresh bread for a picnic in the Botanic Garden or on the city’s golden sand beach; or serve seafood fresh from the surrounding bays with local wine in your hotel suite. The annual Visa Wellington On a Plate food festival in August celebrates the region’s culinary prowess through a delectable menu of events.
Wellington is well known and loved for its ability to show you a good time, but there’s more to the capital’s nightlife than classy cocktails and boutique brews.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is open late on Thursday evenings, or you could go in search of Kiwi at Zealandia on a Night Tour, sleepover at Wellington Zoo, or meet the stars at Space Place.
Wellingtonians are said to be among New Zealand’s fittest people, with over 18,000 residents choosing to walk or jog to work . As well as strolling through shops in the compact downtown, visitors can learn about the scenery and heritage on a number of walking trails and guided walking tours. Start your day with a walk up to the Mount Victoria Lookout and spend an afternoon seeking seals and marvelling at the Red Rocks on the South Coast.