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New Zealand’s capital city is a diverse, exciting, and truly beautiful place. Nesting at the southern base of the North Island, it is home to around 400,000 urbanites. With the rugged Cook Strait and the Wairarapa, Marlborough and Hutt Valley regions all just a road trip away, there will never be enough time to explore the expansive terrain. But never fear, because there are a plethora of options for the time-savvy tripper – you don’t even have to step out of the city!
Cuba Street – New Zealand’s Coolest Street
Expect to find Wellington’s creative centre right here, with buskers, galleries, street art, fantastic cafes and amazing markets and community spaces. But this isn’t just a place for the young, hip and initiated. The tourists, the suited, the very young and the very old help weave together the vibrant, layered fabric that really is the heart and soul of Wellington. To relax on Cuba Street, you can’t go past the mouth-watering tapas menu and easy-going vibe of Matterhorn. Afterwards, step down Cuba just a few metres and ascend the stairs at Mighty Mighty for live music, dancing, and a selection of locally brewed beers.
There’s something magical about being at the beach and in the city at the same time. Located just ten minutes from Wellington’s city centre is the man-made Oriental Bay beach and parade, where visitors don’t just admire the landscape, but actively contribute to it. Sunny days will see adventurers brave the chilly water, but there’s plenty of activity on the dry side. Kayak rentals are a great way to explore the shore year-round, but the most fun will be found on the crocodile quadricycles. For quieter meanderings, Chaffers Dock is home to a number of scenic eateries, as well as the atrium that hosts the Sunday morning farmers’ market.
Drive to Mount Victoria Lookout
You’ll want to bring your camera to Wellington’s most spectacular vantage point. High above the Southern Walkway you’ll find yourself awestruck by dizzying 360 degree views of the city and its surrounding treasures. You can drive right to the top, but the fit and enthusiastic can choose to brave the famous winds and reveal the view slowly as they climb to the apex. This really is the best view of the picturesque city and the ocean vistas that encircle it. Even the most fumbling photographer can return with postcard-perfect snapshots.
Te Papa Museum
Te Papa is the perfect way to explore New Zealand’s rich and fascinating cultural history and unique geography. Plunge into the story of Maori and its ancestral treasures, examine vast photographic and art collections, gawk at the heaviest colossal squid ever caught, and then engage with genuinely interactive exhibits and simulators. Still haven’t had enough? You’ll be shakin’ all over in the rocking Earthquake House.
Up Close and Personal With Wildlife
You’ll pack an amazing amount of sight-seeing and full-throttle adventure into this 3-hour seal watching tour of the south coast. Take a seat in an off-road vehicle with an expert driver and hold on! This is a bumpy ride on rugged terrain, but the incredible views and the close encounters with the wildlife are worth every thrilling minute. You might also expect to see deer, ostriches, and a staggering array of birdlife. The insightful commentary and warm hospitality of the tour operators makes this one of the most satisfying tours in the Wellington area.
Lord of the Rings Tour
For those who want a structured day that incorporates sight-seeing as well as a fascinating look into a Hollywood blockbuster, then the Lord of the Rings tour is the essential itinerary item for you. This full-day tour begins with a walk through Mount Victoria and the Greenbelt. Explore film locations in the Hutt Valley and the thousand-year-old Kaitoke Regional Park. For close-ups of the incredible costumes and creations seen in the trilogy, visit the Weta Workshop where you can see how the magic happens with your own eyes.
If you’re planning a visit to stunning Wellington, let Europcar help you get around with ease with our fantastic car rental options. Whether you’re more at home on the open road, or revitalised by the city lights, Wellington is sure to seduce you again and again.