As the ultimate urban destination, Wellington offers something for everyone, no matter where your interests lie or what time of the year you visit.
Nestled between a dazzling harbour and tree-lined hills, Wellington has a well-deserved reputation as the number one New Zealand centre for arts, culture, nationhood, sport, fashion, and restaurants and cafes. You can easily stroll from one attraction to another while absorbing the cosmopolitan flavour which gives Wellington all the stimulation and sophistication of the world's biggest cities while remaining compact and village-like in nature.
Immerse yourself in Wellington's past by discovering the symbols of our nationhood in Thorndon, home to the Parliamentary precinct and many other heritage treasures. History seeps from the beautifully refurbished halls of Parliament Buildings where free daily tours provide an insight into weightier matters of state.
Across the road at the National Archives, you can view the original Treaty of Waitangi, and the Old St Paul's Cathedral in all its Gothic glory is a must see. Nestled among character wooden homes on Tinakori Road is the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace. You'll feel like a time traveller when you step into this intricately restored home of New Zealand's most famous author.
Katherine Mansfield also features on the Wellington Writer's Walk. Take a stroll along the waterfront and immerse yourself in the words of the many great writers that Wellington has produced.
As you walk in their footsteps you'll encounter New Zealand's national museum Te Papa. Te Papa is where New Zealand's past, present and future are exhibited in provocative, challenging and entertaining ways. From the interactive Time Warp to the contemporary Marae to the natural wonders in Bush City. Te Papa exalts the senses on every level.
Te Papa is open every day from 10 am until 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursday. Admission is free.
Wellington is the perfect place to take a break from the stress of city life. Buy a ticket for a ride up the red Wellington Cable Car, which recently celebrated its one-hundredth birthday, and escape into the tranquil surrounds of the Botanic Gardens.
Wellington Zoo is minutes drive or a short bus ride from the central city and makes for a great family day out. If you want to learn more about New Zealand's unique fauna and flora, visit the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is a unique protected natural area for New Zealand's endangered wildlife. Over 35 kilometres of bush tracks and paths criss-cross 252 hectares of regenerating forest. Offering walks and activities for everyone from children to the elderly and the experienced tramper.
Boasting capital status for more than just matters of the state, Wellington is proud of its reputation as the arts and cultural heart of the nation. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the National Opera all call Wellington home. In the evening, the curtain goes up on a myriad of dramas at local theatres and venues.
Whether it's the informal and adventurous works of young writers or professional renditions of the classics, Wellington is truly a city where "The plays the thing." Festivals abound from fringe to film and comedy, not to mention the country's biennial cultural extravaganza, the New Zealand International Festival of Arts.
Shopaholics are warned that Wellington boasts the most extensive and diverse range of quality shopping in the country. With a downtown that celebrates four richly different experiences. Experience the shopping intensity and indulgence of the Lambton Quarter, the intellectual lifestyle of the Willis Quarter, the innovation and community of the Cuba Quarter and the sheer entertainment of the Courtenay Quarter, all within walking distance of each other.
With more cafes', restaurants and clubs per capita than New York, the capital has become a mecca for connoisseurs, caffeine addicts and those who love to party. For a dining experience to remember it's hard to go past Logan Brown. You can pick from a melting pot of choices along Courtenay Place or dance the night away.
Adding to the entertainment is Courtenay Central, home to ten luxurious cinemas and over thirty food and retail outlets. Courtenay Central's Reading Cinemas boast the most comfortable seats in the country.
As the political centre of the country, there is always plenty to debate. But no one can argue that Wellington is not great fun!