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Daytrips from Wellington are a piece of cake. Venture to the neighbouring regions and discover vineyards, culture and heritage sites and culinary delights all just a short drive or train ride away.
Just an hour away from central Wellington by train or car is the idyllic Wairarapa wine country, one of NZ's coolest wine regions. Packed with colonial charm, Martinborough wine village in Wairarapa has more than 20 wineries within walking or cycling distance of the village square.
A 15-minute drive from central Wellington is Petone, a quirky suburb with a thriving international food scene. Check out the fresh and beautifully plated fare at Insta-worthy Comes and Goes or enjoy Asian fusion farre at Oli & Mi and Italian dining at La Bella Italia.
Get a dose of culture and heritage in neighbouring Hutt Valley. Here you’ll find the seaside settlement of Petone, a site of historic significance. Visit the Petone Settler’s Museum and learn about early New Zealand pioneers. For an art fix, check out the cutting-edge Dowse Art Museum.
Take the East by West ferry from central Wellington across the bay to picturesque Eastbourne and spend the day gallery hopping and enjoying this quaint beachside community.
Venture along State Highway 1 to PATAKA Art + Museum.It showcases the best in Maori, Pacific Island and New Zealand contemporary art and culture with a regularly changing schedule of exhibits.
Petone is home to cafes and coffee roasteries galore. For some freshly roasted brews, stop by local roasteries Ripe Coffee and Revive Espresso. If you're in need of another caffeine fix, cruise along Jackson Street where you'll find cafes aplenty.
Another brew - the craft beer variety - can be sampled right across the region. Try Baylands Brewery in Petone, Tuatara Brewery in Paraparaumu or Upper Hutt's newest brewery hot spot, Brewtown, which is home to Panhead Custom Ales, Kereru Brewing, Te Aro Brewing and Boneface Brewing Co.
Wander through the lush bush reserve at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre in Wairarapa, and meet Manukura, the only white kiwi in captivity. Or head to stunning Cape Palliser on the Wairarapa coast and see a huge colony of fur seals.
In the Hutt Valley take the ferry to Matiu/Somes Island, a predator-free reserve with great walks and native wildlife aplenty. A little further north, an overnight visit to Remutaka Forest Park could have you listening to some of the 100+ wild kiwi that roam.
On the Kāpiti Coast, be inspired by the remnant native forest, unique and amazing wildlife on the renowned bird sanctuary, Kāpiti Island. Prefer to stay on the mainland? Head to Nga Manu, one of New Zealand’s most important lowland nature reserves.
If you're in the mood for a little retail therapy, you can't beat a visit to charming Greytown. Just a short drive from Martinborough, you'll find a trail of boutiques, artisan products, antique shops and lovely cafes.
Head to the outlet stores in Ōtaki for brands like Annah Stretton, Bendon, Icebreaker, Kathmandu, Rembrandt, and Ziera Shoes, and grab yourself a bargain.
Planning on extending your journey? Well you’re in luck! Wellington is the gateway to the South Island, where you’ll find more fantastic wine regions and stunning national parks. Considered one of the most spectacular ferry rides in the world, the Interislander is an experience in itself. Be sure to enjoy the view from the deck and keep an eye out for dolphins on the bow wave.