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The nation’s capital and the home of New Zealand’s parliament, Wellington is gloriously set beside its magnificent harbor with some stunning modern buildings surrounded by quaint wooden Victorian houses, often beautifully painted in primary colors, dotting its steep, hilly suburbs.

For orientation, a cable-car rises up to the Botanic Gardens, beautiful in themselves but also a great vantage point. From here you can take in the views over the city to the redeveloped waterfront area, home to upmarket restaurants, museums and galleries.

Lambton Quay constitutes the business district of the city, stretching from the train station at the northern end to just north of Civic Square, at the heart of central Wellington. Here the main shops, cafes and restaurants can be found.

Wellington's highlights

Considered to be one of the leading cities for arts and culture in New Zealand, Wellington is home to the National Museum (Te Papa Tongarewa), the National Archives which house the original Treaty of Waitangi, a host of theaters and a delightful array of heritage buildings.

All can be taken in on a walking tour of the city, taking time in between the attractions to soak up some of the city’s thriving café culture. Wellington also hosts a variety of New Zealand’s festivals, including the spectacular World of Wearable Art awards and the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Away from the bustling center you will find quiet, historic suburbs and several popular swimming beaches, with Oriental Bay within walking distance of the main center. Wellington is a vibrant, sophisticated and culture-driven city, not least after dark, when the pace of life picks up in many restaurants and bars.

Te Papa Museum

With an agenda to interpret and present the nation’s treasures and history to a national and international audience, the New Zealand Government commissioned Te Papa Museum. After five years of development, Te Papa was opened in 1998 on the Wellington waterfront.

The size of three rugby fields, it not only houses a multitude of exhibitions but also 26 audio-visual displays, 28 audio shows, 121 mechanical interactives, ten specially designed Te Papa computer interactives, two sound and light shows and finally the museum multimedia database, Te Papa Onscreen.

Entry is free, meaning you can choose whether to make a few shorter visits or dedicate a morning or afternoon to meandering through the displays.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Haley

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Wellington by contacting one of our New Zealand specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Wellington

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Wellington, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Wellington

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Wellington

    Accommodation choices for Wellington

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Wellington. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • QT Museum Wellington , Wellington

      QT Museum Wellington

      First Class

      A unique and privately owned hotel, the QT Museum Wellington is ideally located for the Te Papa Museum and Wellington's waterfront, and just a few minutes' walk from the city's shops and restaurants.

    • Harbourview Club Room, InterContinental Wellington

      InterContinental Wellington

      First Class

      The InterContinental Wellington is the perfect base to explore the capital city. Its rooms are spacious and well appointed, and many enjoy great views over the city and the harbor.

    Ideas for experiencing Wellington

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Wellington, and which use the best local guides.

    • Wellington Food Tour
      Wellington, New Zealand

      Wellington Food Tour

      Wellington Food Tour

      Spend time behind the scenes with a personal guide at some of Wellington's excellent food venues.

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    • Zealandia Night Tour
      Kiwi bird

      Zealandia Night Tour

      Zealandia Night Tour

      Zealandia, which encompasses the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, is an urban wildlife haven where some of New Zealand's most endangered native animals thrive in this predator-free environment. The guided night tour begins with highlights of the fully immersive and interactive exhibition, where you will discover how this safe haven was created.

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    • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
      Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

      Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

      Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

      Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. Explore areas of New Zealand's history, culture and natural environment via interactive exhibits.

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