Travel trade toolkit

Introducing Wellington

New Zealand’s capital city is full of hidden laneways, and world-class coffee and craft beer. Experience Te Papa’s interactive museum magic, go behind the scenes at Wētā Workshop to see props from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and still have time for shopping and dinner at one of Wellington’s award-winning eateries.

Unable to render element

Getting around

The best way to explore Wellington is on foot. The CBD is only two kilometres wide, so you can walk from one side to the other in under 30 minutes. All major attractions are within walking distance or have shuttle transport.

Wellington International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the heart of the city. The Airport Express (AX) bus departs for the city every 10 to 20 minutes.

Getting around Wellington

Arts and culture

Wellington is New Zealand’s arts and culture capital. It is home to national performing arts companies like the Royal New Zealand Ballet and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and around 50 galleries. Wander through hidden laneways to discover street art and follow the sculpture walks along Wellington’s waterfront.

The capital city is home to Aotearoa’s national museum, Te Papa. You can visit He Tohu to see New Zealand’s founding documents and take a free tour of New Zealand’s Parliament buildings. Learn about Wellington’s history at the Wellington Museum and Cable Car Museum.

Easy access to nature

Surrounded by hills and with a beautiful sparkling harbour, Wellington has a range of nature experiences, all within easy access. Visit Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne the ecosanctuary named by Time magazine in their top 100 places in the world. Just a ten-minute drive from the city, Zealandia offers a chance to see and hear native birds in a native bush setting that feels like going back in time.

Visit Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre in Wairarapa to learn more about tangata whenua and conservation efforts to protect native wildlife. Take a boat across to Kapiti Island to spot rare wildlife and experience Māori hospitality and storytelling from the kaitiaki (guardians) of this precious place.

For those who love to ride, Remutaka Cycle Trail is a must. For a more relaxed ride, take an e-bike ride around Wellington with Switched on Bikes.

“…the best part of Wellington is that everything is a 10-minute walk away from wherever you are. And that 10-minute walk will be injected with fashion, film, food and coffee.”

Timeout Sydney

Food and drink

Wellington is a place where all tastes are catered for. Casual dining is our specialty, with a wide range of restaurants serving some of Aotearoa’s top cuisine in a laidback yet professional setting. Wellington’s café culture and coffee scene is something you must experience, as is our booming craft beer industry. 

Wellington’s nightlife is centred around Courtenay Place and Cuba Street. Find stylish cocktail bars hidden up stairs and down laneways. The entertainment district of Courtenay Place is lined with dance clubs, pubs and bars, and live music is best found on Cuba Street.

Unable to render element

Accommodation

Wellington hotel occupancy is usually lower from mid-December to early February because of reduced corporate travel. The city hosts lots of events and conferences year-round, so it always pays to book ahead.

In downtown Wellington, you’ll find international hotel brands including InterContinental Wellington (IHG), DoubleTree by Hilton, Copthorne (MCK), Grand Chancellor, Accor hotels including Sofitel, Novotel, and Ibis, and Wyndham (TRYP, Ramada, Microtel).

Explore accommodation

How to have a perfect day in Wellington

Here’s a sample itinerary to show what a full day of activities in Wellington could look like for your clients. 

9:30am

Get your bearings and see the best of Wellington on a half-day sightseeing or e-bike tour.

Alternatively, discover movie-making magic on the Wētā Workshop Experience and Guided Transfer.

1pm Grab lunch at one of Wellington’s great cafés.
2pm Visit the national museum Te Papa to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s rich culture and history.
4pm

Browse the shops on your way to ride the Wellington Cable Car for a picturesque view over Wellington.

Take the Cable Car back to the city or walk back through Wellington Botanic Garden.

5:30pm Dine at one of our top local restaurants.
7pm Join a Zealandia by Night guided tour to learn more about this award-winning ecosanctuary and New Zealand’s unique natural environment.

For multi-day itineraries and more inspiration on activities and experiences, check out our Product Directory.

Wairarapa: Wellington’s wine country

Just over an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington is the wine-making region of Wairarapa. Blending village charm with luxury retreats, award-winning vineyards, stunning scenery and boutique shopping, highlights include:

  • savouring wine and a platter at Martinborough vineyards including Poppies, Palliser, Moy Hall, and Cambridge Road
  • cycling the vines
  • boutique shopping in Greytown 
  • trying local food — olives, cheese, bread, chocolate and beer — and meeting the producers.

For more about the Wairarapa region visit Destination Wairarapa.

Wairarapa and Wellington sit at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Let your self-drive clients take the scenic route between Wellington and Wairarapa — just tell them to follow the grape signs along State Highway 2.