Wellington city and harbour at night
Wellington Harbour

Wellington

This city might be small, but with impressive restaurants, art-lined laneways, quirky boutiques, and cool hotels all crammed in; our Wellington travel guide will show you the way. With creativity and invention fuelling the city, Wellington’s natural surrounds are the perfect picturesque balance to the energetic vibe filling the cool capital of New Zealand.

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Places to stay

Hotels with harbour views, delightfully dapper deals or cheap yet cheerful beds for those on a budget, Wellington has a little something for everyone. In the centre of things, you’ll find a suite of accommodation options, including DoubleTree by Hilton, Grand Mercure Wellington, and Park Hotel, that’ll place you in the middle of the city’s nightlife and restaurants. Luxurious stays can also be had at the city’s only 5-star stay, the InterContinental Wellington, the Bolten Hotel which is a boutique stay near Parliament, or the Museum Hotel which is close to Te Papa for culture lovers.

For those that want water views, stay along the harbour near Oriental Bay, at the quirky QT Museum Wellington or the firm favourite the Copthorne Hotel, to make the most of the stunning views and awesome attractions. Cute Airbnbs and fun backpackers, like The Marion and The Dwellington, are also aplenty in the city so if you’re on a budget, you’re in the right place.

If you fancy getting out of Wellington, there is no better place to spread out in style than at Wharekauhau which is New Zealand's most exclusive country estate. No matter what you’re after, it’s easy to find your pocket in this capital city.

Things to do

Whether you want to take it slow while strolling the charming streets or pack as much in as possible, Wellington is well placed for you to pick and choose what pace suits you. As well as being the nation’s capital, Wellington also hosts some of New Zealand’s best coffee with cafes like Coffee Supreme, Acme & Co, and Flight Coffee all serving up seriously good morning brews. 

No visit to Wellington would be complete without a trip to Te Papa Tongarewa which is one of New Zealand’s most prized museums with innovative takes on the country’s rich history and engaging exhibitions. Another cultural hotspot is Hannahs Laneway which is an inner city maze of alleyways featuring tasty treats you’ll want to track down like Fix and Fogg’s Wellington-made peanut butter or Pizza Pomodoro’s epic slices.

Head for the snap-happy colourful boat sheds lining Clyde Quay Harbour in Oriental Bay. For interesting boutiques and one-of-a-kind gifts, Precinct 35 is a creative hub of locally produced fashion, homewares and baked goods. If you want to work out something besides your wallet, head for a hike up Rangituhi Colonial Knob or Escarpment Walk is a beautiful coastal trail.

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Plan your visit to Wellington Piha Beach

Wellington’s wild side

Take in nature at Zealandia, a non-profit sanctuary for rare native wildlife set within a peaceful reservoir or witness New Zealand’s epic wildlife in their natural habitat, book one of the limited spots on a tour of Kapiti Island to see some of New Zealand's most endangered birds.

Whitireia Park is a hidden headland gem where you can wander the grasslands overlooking Porirua Harbour. Otherworldly wilds live at Weta Cave and Workshop where you walk amongst the worlds of movies like the Hobbit, King Kong and Avatar.

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Discover more things to do in Wellington Blue boatsheds in Wellington

Top sights

See the stunning view from the city to the sea at the Mount Victoria Lookout and then wander through the nearby nature trails. For lively entertainment head to the inner city bohemian 'Cuba Street', for a medley of buskers, art galleries, vintage fashion, graffiti-filled alleyways, cafes, restaurants and community exhibition spaces.

If you prefer to sit, ride Wellington's famous red cable car from the central business district up through the terraced houses of Kelburn and the Botanic Garden.

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Driving with map through countryside

Getting around

From the airport: taxis and shuttles operate the 8km trip into Wellington city and beyond. The Airport Flyer express bus service operates daily from Wellington Airport to Hutt Valley, the centre of Wellington and on to Queensgate in Lower Hutt. 

In and around the city: it's easy to discover Wellington on foot, but there are plenty of taxis, buses, day tours, trains and ferries to get you around too. Don't forget to ride the red cable car, or there's the Interisland ferry that will take you across to Picton in the South Island.

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Important information

Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: ^ Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 3 Qantas Points per A$1 value unless otherwise specified, for hotel stays booked through qantas.com/hotels, except Classic Hotel Rewards and Airbnb bookings. Points Club members will earn 25% more Qantas Points, and Points Club Plus members will earn 50% more Qantas Points. Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least 8 weeks after check-out. Qantas Points may be earned by the member in whose name the booking is made. Members will not be able to earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable).  

Disclaimer: ~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.

Disclaimer: ++ Status Credits are earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar, oneworld® member and oneworld connect® airlines only - see the Airline Earning Tables and Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions for details. Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes. 

Disclaimer:  Meals, beverages, entertainment offerings vary between flight times.

Disclaimer: ± Inflight entertainment varies by route and aircraft.