Kiwi culture, global cuisine,
and laid-back living by the harbour
As New Zealand’s cultural epicentre, Wellington is home to the national museum, Te Papa, a treasure house of indigenous Māori artefacts. It’s also home to dynamic art galleries and theatres, and makes a welcoming base for the national symphony orchestra. Literature lovers sift through scores of independent bookstores with a regular turnover of second-hand titles.
It doesn’t take long to wander Wellington city centre – the CBD is compact and completely walkable yet full to bursting with busy restaurants, cosy cafes and new boutiques. The dining scene puts plenty of emphasis on high quality Kiwi produce but also makes room for a wealth of global cuisines, spanning Italian, French and Pan Pacific.
New Zealanders love their coffee of course, and you’ll find trendy roasters and casual brunch spots serving specialty brews all over town. Known affectionately as ‘Welly’, its location at the exposed southern tip of the North Island means it gets more than its share of wind and rain, but plenty of sun too. As locals say, “you can’t beat it on a good day”.
Take a peaceful walk along the promenade at Wellington Harbour. Ride a bike along the waterfront and around the bay for magnificent views over the Cook Strait. Or join mountain bikers heading to Makara Peak for challenging routes over hilly terrain. Blessed with that beautiful natural setting, Wellington is within easy reach of Kapiti Island, a protected eco-reserve full of native birds, including kiwis, while the Hutt Valley’s parks, beaches and hiking spots are popular with New Zealanders and visitors alike.