Everyone knows Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films were produced from here. But there is so much more to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. On the southwestern tip of the North Island, the city is little more than three hours direct by air from Australia’s east. Facing a sparkling harbour and ringed with a lush greenbelt, Wellington is a small but perfectly formed getaway.
Wine and dine in precincts that range from arty to party. Catch an international music act or sporting event at the city’s modern stadiums. Immerse in Maori culture and more at one of the world’s best interactive museums. Get into great mountain biking, hiking and other fresh air pursuits. And of course, geek out on Lord of the Rings tours to the actual film locations.
- Country: New Zealand
- Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
- Offical Language: English, Maori
- Visas: Australians travelling to New Zealand as tourists do not require a visa
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: New Zealand outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 19, F 20, M 18, A 16, M 14, J 12, J 11, A 11, S 13, O 14, N 16, D 18
Rainfall (max mm)
J 73, F 66, M 87, A 99, M 113, J 126, J 145, A 118, S 105, O 100, N 86, D 93
Enjoy the sights from...
- Wellington Botanic Garden
- Wellington Cable Car
- Mount Victoria lookout
Boasting an attractive blend of art, culture, cuisine and scenery, Wellington has earned the moniker of ‘the coolest little capital in the world’.
Spend a few hours at...
- The Museum of Wellington City & Sea
- Entertainment hub Courtenay Place
- Westpac Stadium, home of the Sevens
You’ll never go hungry or thirsty in Wellington. This is a city that takes culinary pursuits very seriously, none more seriously than coffee. The city’s best baristas have rock star status, with fans faithfully following their takes on bespoke roasted beans.
Indulge in some fine dining at...
- The White House Restaurant
- Ortega Fish Shack
- Boulcott Street Bistro
Wellington is a compact city with distinct inner precincts fanning out into some diverse and picturesque suburbs. Australians usually choose to stay centrally, to make the most of the CBD attractions.
Whether it’s the best of high end from New Zealand’s famously inventive fashion designers such as Karen Walker of Zambesi, a quirky gift or souvenir to take home, or a rare piece of vintage vinyl to slap on the turntable, you’ll find it in Wellington. Head to Lambton Quay for designer and bespoke. In this area, find the Old Bank Arcade, an ornate warren of fashion, beauty and more. See three gorgeous floors of merchandise at 150-year-old department store Kirkcaldie & Stains.
Wellington like a Local
If you're an arts lover, it's worth checking if your holiday dates coincide with any of the popular Wellington events such as New Zealand Festival, World of WearableArt awards, or Wellington Jazz Festival.
1. Ferry nice: The ferry ride from Wellington to the Lower Hutt and Eastbourne is a gorgeous way to get another aspect on this pretty city. Eastbourne is a cute seaside village with some great gelato and the amazing cakes of the Eastbourne Deli. There are some fantastic walking trails, including one to the Pencarrow Head lighthouse.
2. Flat white: New Zealand reckons it invented the flat white coffee. While Australians would beg to differ, the Wellington brew definitely has its own style, usually due to a smaller cup than that which is used across the ditch and also the difference in the milk.
3. Brooklyn: Feeling energetic? Walk up the hill behind Oriental Bay to the suburb of Brooklyn, where you’ll notice the pretty weatherboard houses that characterise the city along the way. Brooklyn itself is an outstanding little village with a great pub, restaurants and a fantastic Art Deco movie cinema. And you can always catch public transport or drive there too – the ascent is pretty steep.
Explore beyond the city centre in...
- Lower Hutt
- Miramar Peninsula
Did you know...? You can explore some amazing abandoned military bunkers and barracks, constructed in the late 19th and mid-20th centuries to guard against invasions that never happened. Picnic and hike at Wrights Hill Fortress and Recreation Reserve, in Wellington’s ecological corridor. If you visit on an open day, you can get underground into the tunnels.