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Wellington Region Tourism And Travel Guide
15° C / 59° F
December to February
5 to 7 Days
Wellington International Airport (8 kms)
Wellington Railway Station (2 kms)
Wellington is the National capital of New Zealand and it is located on the southern tip of the North Island. Wellington is known for its vibrant city life and its adventure tourism. The city is a picturesque sight with its gorgeous waterfronts, its towering cityscape and all the greenery surrounding it. It is the place to be when it comes to tasting exotic cuisines or drinking home craft beers or even shopping for the hippest collections. This short tourist guide to Wellington will give you a virtual tour of this enigmatic city.
How To Reach
Being the national capital, travelling to Wellington is not a matter of difficulty. International travellers can use airways to get to the North Island and for domestic travellers, a number of well-established roadways connect Wellington with the other cities.
Wellington International Airport is one of the main hubs in New Zealand with staggering yearly traffic. It is connected to most major cities around the world through connecting flights. In India, this includes Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai along with other major cities. The airport is located only 8 km away from the central business district and regular airport flyers are available for easy commutation. For Indian travellers, it is important to carry their visas before entering.
Though there aren’t any ships from India to New Zealand, there are a number of cruises from Australia that stop at Wellington. For those who want to reach Wellington from the South Island, there are ferries plying the route regularly.
Wellington is connected to every city in the North Island through its many highways. There are buses travelling from Auckland and Rotorua on a regular basis but the best way to travel would be by hiring a cab or renting a car which is easily done in New Zealand.
The best way to get around in Wellington is on foot or by bus. You can also easily catch cabs and ferries to commute as well.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The weather in Wellington can be categorized into four seasons, much like it is in the rest of the country. Summer is the most popular season and the city can get very crowded. Autumn is the best time to visit if you like the off-season months.
Summer (December to February):
The climate can be described as mild and warm although there are some windy days. The temperature averages at 26°C during these months. Summer is the best season for outdoor activities.
Autumn (March to May):
The months that entail autumn are the driest in the year and have the most predictable weather. The temperature is pleasant and ranges from 14°C to 21°C. It comes with all the advantages of being off-season, including cheap accommodation.
Winter (June to August):
These are the wettest months of the year and receives almost constant rainfall. It can get quite chilly especially with temperatures going down as low as 8°C. It is not a very popular time but if you enjoy rainy weather, the season has its perks.
Spring (September to November):
Spring in Wellington looks its part with the many blooms filling the city. It is a great time to visit Wellington's Botanical Park. The temperature climbs up drastically and can reach up to 24°C. The city still receives rainfall but it is, overall, a great time to visit.
Things to Do
Wellington has a large assortment of activities to choose from. These include exploring the culture of the city to exploring the green outskirts; here is a short list of a few of the things you can look forward to.
The cable car is a short but romantic ride that begins at the heart of the city and goes all the way to Kelburn, a gorgeous suburb. The ride is popular for its panoramic view of Wellington and the surrounding scenery. At Kelburn there are a number of tourist spots worth exploring, which includes the botanical garden and the Carter Observatory.
Beaches and Water Sports:
Wellington is a city by the sea and hence has the gorgeous Oriental Waterfront adorning its southern face. It is so close to the city that it is always bustling with activity. Away from the city, there are many other beaches that are also perfect for water sports like surfing. Lyall Bay and Scorching Bay are a few of the kind.
Over 200 hectares of forest land lies a short ride away from the city. A trip to Zealandia is often described as a trip to the past because of their successful exercise of restoring the land to its natural state. It has a very interesting history so make sure you give it a visit to learn more about it.
Wellington’s naturally rocky neighbourhood provides the perfect landscape for mountain biking. Makara Peak Mountain Biking Trail is the best place to try out, especially because they have a number of trails that are of different difficulty levels. Red Rocks Coastal Track and Brooklyn Wind Turbine are also great options.
Kaitoke Regional Park:
Located on the Upper Hutt Valley, the park spans a staggering 2500 hectares of land! It is of such stunning beauty that ‘Rivendale’ from the Lord of the Rings was shot here. They offer a large number of sports and activities here at the park including rafting, kayaking, trekking and swimming. You can also camp here.
Fur Seal Colony:
A little away from the city at Red Rocks Coastal Park is the Winter home of the adorable fur seals. The tour organizers arrange to watch the seals from up close. The tour includes detailed information about the endangered species and its habitat and a safari on a 4WD that will take you around the entire park region.
Weta studios is a place where some of the most enigmatic movies were shot. A tour of the studio will offer insight into the art of set designing, etc. It is a chance to get close to some props and watch as costumes are made. The gift shop is a paradise for film fans thanks to its collection of replicas, DVDs, costumes and collectables.
A short ride off the coast of Wellington is one of the most popular excursions, Kapite Island. The island has had a long history but today it is home to many birds including a number of endangered species. It is a great place to watch the little-spotted kiwis, as there are quite a few on the island. The tour organizers will arrange the permit, stay and food while you are there.
In the suburb of Kapite, is the Carter Observatory. They have a public wing called Space Place that has numerous activities that are both fun and educational. A sky show at the planetarium, interacting with models of celestial objects and looking through the telescope at the marvellous southern sky are only a few of the things you can do here.
Wellington has a large collection of eateries that vary as much in the price range as it does in cuisine. They have dishes from all around the world including Malaysian, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Turkish and so on. There are cafes, fast food centres and restaurants all over the place. The one thing you can expect everywhere including the suburbs is a fish and chips shop; it is their speciality. Cuba Street is a great place to explore food options. Most beaches also have exotic restaurants accompanying them. If possible, you should attend the food and wine festival held in Wellington. The festival showcases some of the best cuisines, music, craft beer and wine in the city.
You will find that Wellington is a shopper’s destination with whole streets dedicated to shopping. You can find places selling anything from the most fashionable attires to film memorabilia. Finding souvenirs could not get easier than in Wellington. The Golden Mile is a stretch of streets that include shopping streets like Lambton Quay and Courtenay Place among other streets. This is where you can find high-end shops. Then there is Cuba Street filled with quaint shops and giving off a hippie aura. The street has a character of its own that can only be experienced and not described.