Wellington may be a small city, but its Victorian architecture and gentle appearance bely the vibrancy provided by its hip arts and culture scenes, brimming with quirky eateries and kitsch bars. Situated to the south of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington is a small city with a big reputation.
Wellington became the capital of New Zealand in 1865, when capital status was transferred from the larger city of Auckland in order to bring the government into closer proximity with the South Island. Among its many accolades, Wellington is the southernmost city in the world. But its claims to fame don’t stop there; Wellington is famous for its trendy vibe and lush surroundings, making it, maybe, the world’s coolest capital too.
Direct Flights to Wellington will bring you to Wellington International Airport (WLG), just 7k from the city.
If you are looking for cheap flights to Wellington, consider taking your trip in February or March. There are a number of benefits to going at this time of year: the weather is slightly more predictable during autumn than the wet and windy winter or unpredictable summer; and there are no school holidays, so places should be less crowded and cheaper than other times of year. Late summer – early autumn in Wellington have temperatures of up to 20°C, but can drop to 13°C.
A great way to kick off your trip to Wellington is with a ride on its famous cable car. Situated in the central business district of Wellington, the car is used by tourists and locals alike, taking its passengers to the Kelburn lookout, and the uppermost entrance of the Botanic Gardens. From this vantage point, you will see Wellington spread out at your feet; it is an opportunity to take in the breath-taking scenery and familiarise yourself with your surroundings. Once at the cable car, you can easily access the Cable Car Museum, Space Place, located at The Carter Observatory and Planetarium and, via a free shuttle, Zealandia Ecosanctuary. Zealandia covers an area of 225 hectares, and is home to scores of native and endangered species. The remarkable feat in conservation allows some of New Zealand’s most rare and precious creatures thrive, free from the risk of predators. Visitors can take a guided tour, explore and learn in an environment that feels as though it is straight out of the movies.
Wellington is known as New Zealand’s Arts and Culture capital, and no wonder: it is home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand’s biennial Festival of Arts, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, as well as a plethora of museums and galleries. It is easy to be overwhelmed by choices on your trip to Wellington, so it is a good idea to research a few different museums and galleries to establish which ones you would most like to see. It is worth starting your tour of New Zealand’s museums with a trip to Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s National Museum, and the most visited museum in all of Oceania. The six-story museum tells of a range of influencing factors in New Zealand’s history, including New Zealand’s natural environment, Maori culture, art and design, and the culture of Pacific communities in New Zealand. Film buffs can test their knowledge at Weta Cave, where you can immerse yourself in iconic films, such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Here, you will discover miniature worlds, sets and props, whose miniscule perfections defy belief. With so many museums and galleries to choose from, you must be guided by your timeframe, your tastes, and your interests to ensure that you don’t miss out on something truly special. If you do, don’t worry: it is always good to have an excuse to return to New Zealand!
In Wellington, the buzzword is “cool” – trendy new bars, cafes and restaurants are continually springing up and competing each other to attract hip new custom. As a result, Wellington is not short of eateries for all tastes and budgets; from Asian fusion food, to serious barbequed meat and fresh fish; the difficulty will be in deciding where to go and what to choose! For a busy vibe, great nightlife and food, you can head to Courtenay Place; for a touch of indulgent, why not visit the upmarket Lambton Quay, whose designer shops, delicatessens and eateries offer a feast to the eyes, but may not be so kind on the wallet. For a relaxed vibe, we love the slightly less conventional Cuba Street, where you will find a broad range of ethnic cuisine at slightly more favourable prices. From Wellington, you can easily access the South Island via ferry (with or without a vehicle). The three-hour trip will bring you a short drive from Marlborough, Hawkes’ Bay and Wairarapa, where some of the world’s best wine is produced. It would be rude to take a trip to Wellington without following New Zealand’s wine trail, so relax, enjoy the warmer climate of the South Island, and don’t forget to sample a few glasses as you explore! Setting New Zealand’s wine aside (you will be forgiven for doing so with great reluctance), Wellington is also the hub of one of New Zealand’s latest crazes: craft brewing. The burgeoning culture is bolstered by steadily increasing numbers of specialist brew bars, which are continually springing up, as well as two of New Zealand’s biggest beer festivals: Hopstock in April, and Beervana in August. If the wine and beer have left you a little worse for wear, indulge in a cup of coffee, another of Wellington’s unofficial claims (apparently, they brew the best coffee, too). One thing is for certain, once you have been introduced to the many delights of Wellington’s coffee houses, you will never look at a cup of coffee in the same way again! There is no doubt that Wellington is quickly making a reputation for itself; nor are we denying that there is a dazzling array of choices for your trip to New Zealand. It is, however, not unheard of for up-and-coming cities to become a little too cool for their own good. Right now, however, Wellington is just perfect: oozing culture, great food and drink, and just enough cool to make you feel good. Are you looking for cheap flights to Wellington? Travangelo can help.