Welcoming Wellington – New Zealand
With winter fast approaching thoughts are turning to winter sun getaways, and what better place to escape the frost than in New Zealand’s cultural capital, Wellington. Located on a stunning stretch of coastline where rugged hills and lush greenery meet the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, Wellington is a city that oozes diversity and paradox, a place where nature and high-tech modernity meet and intertwine with spectacular results.
Situated at the far south of North Island, the stunning harbour permeates Wellington’s core and provides a focal point for many of the city’s cultural and leisure activities. Bursting with quality restaurants, cafés and bars, this is the place to enjoy a relaxed coffee or leisurely lunch before exploring the streets and walkways that fan away from the water to right and left, full of quirky boutiques in which to hunt out gifts, bargains and fascinating one-off designer pieces. Although the suburbs reach far into the distance, to the fertile hills that flank the city, the central area is relatively compact and perfect for discovering on foot.
For those with a head for heights, a ride on the Kelburn cable car is a must. Operating between Lambton Quay and Kelburn, it offers spectacular views over the harbour and the modern rooftops of this vibrant, contemporary city. Take a wander through the Botanic Garden, which offers plenty of shade from the summer sun, and don’t forget to look in at the Cable Car museum with its two restored cars from the original installation and quirky pieces of original machinery.
For more iconic views of Wellington, head out of town to one of the many viewpoints where you will be treated to another perspective of this attractive city. Mount Victoria is arguably the best, with its full 360-degree panorama that stretches for miles in every direction.
Back in the city, museums and galleries are found in abundance, showcasing everything from contemporary art to Wellington’s rich maritime history. Theatres abound and it’s well worth picking up one of the local listings magazines for full details of performances during your stay, as well as information about the many annual festivals that attract visitors from North and South Island, and indeed all over the Pacific to enjoy their variety and colourful ambience.
Evening entertainment is liveliest around the Courtenay Place area, with plenty of choice in bars and clubs and a relaxed, friendly vibe that embraces locals and visitors alike. One of the benefits of being a relatively modern city is the variety of accommodation on offer, and Wellington is no exception. Choose from quirky boutique hotels or five-star grandeur and wherever you stay, with so much to see and do you won’t be disappointed.