Wellington Tourist Information and Tourism

(Wellington, North Island, New Zealand NZ)

Wellington Information and TourismWellington, the capital city of New Zealand, is situated on the southern coast of the North Island and is actually the second-largest city in New Zealand. The naturally beautiful city of Wellington is bordered by a spectacular harbour and offers many outstanding vistas, along with a large number of attractive Victorian buildings, which are often sited on steep hillsides and regularly photographed.

Home to many national treasures, Wellington is widely believed to be New Zealand's most attractive large city and is a major crossroads between both the North Island and South Island, with regular ferry crossings.

Lambton Quay is an important point of reference in the city centre and serves as a prominent business street, running parallel to the nearby seafront. The very heart of Wellington stands on the northern side of Lambton Quay and stretches to the south-east, incorporating the Kent and Cambridge areas. Other pleasant parts of the city include Cable Street, Jervois Quay, Oriental Parade and Queens Wharf. Tourist information is available at the Wellington Visitors Centre on Civic Square, close to Victoria Street, while additional tourism outlets are to be found at Cable Car Lane and at the main airport terminal in the neighbouring suburb of Rongotai.

Wellington Information and TourismAll levels of accommodation are widespread in Wellington, with many inexpensive hotels being clustered around the city centre, Courtenay Place, the bustling Civic Square and Lambton Quay. The peak holiday season tends to fall between December and February, when available guest rooms can soon become scarce. More information about Wellington Hotels and Accommodation.

Wellington's many beaches and scenic stretches of coastline have long attracted hoards of visitors, who come here to sunbathe, swim, snorkel and surf. The Eastbourne area is amongst the most desirable coastal spots and the water here is generally suitable for swimming. Both Days Bay and Sunshine Bay are especially popular in Eastbourne.

Wellington is home to countless major tourist attractions. The most of these visited include the City to Sea Bridge - a magnificent landmark connecting the city centre to the waterfront district around Lambton Quay; Civic Square - developed in the early part of the 1990s, resembling a typical Italian piazza in style; the striking Parliament Buildings - incorporating the breathtaking, modern Beehive office and the eye-catching Parliamentary Library; Government House - home to New Zealand's Queen's representative; Hutt River - an important natural landmark featuring scenic walking trails; the National Library and Archives - containing a wealth of important artefacts and historic documents; the Old Government Buildings - one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, dating back to 1876; the Premier House - the official residence of the Prime Minister, located in the Thorndon district of Wellington; Bishopscourt - the main office of New Zealand's Anglican Church; Sexton's Cottage - built in the mid-19th century, with original period timber architecture; the Wellington City Library - a striking, contemporary building housing a vast collection of books and local artefacts; the University of Victoria (VUW) - a spreading university complex home to around 20,000 students; St. Paul's Cathedral - in the Thorndon area of the city, designed in the 1930s and finally completed in 1998; and Old St. Paul's Church - widely considered to be one of the finest historic timber churches in the whole of New Zealand.

Wellington Information and TourismOther popular tourist attractions include regular guided walking tours - operated by Wellington City Council, offering a real insight into local sightseeing; cruises - available around the city's coastline and harbour; the Kelburn Cable Car - a Swiss-built funicular railway providing some truly spectacular scenic views of the city and Port Nicholson; the Wellington Opera House - situated in the city centre, with regular theatrical performances and a variety of concerts; the Carter Observatory - featuring powerful telescopes and a sizeable planetarium; Mount Victoria - a striking natural attraction with spectacular panoramic views; Mount Kaukau - favoured by locals, containing a number of challenging walking trails; Porirua Harbour - the city's original harbour, on the northern side of the city; Wellington Zoo - a popular attraction for families with a huge collection of exotic animals; the Botanic Gardens - within easy reach, featuring landscaped gardens, mature trees and a visitors' centre; and the vast Central Park - with large expanses of grassed areas, benches, pathways and playground areas. More information about Wellington Tourist Attractions and Wellington Landmarks.

Wellington also contains more than 50 excellent museums, packed with information about this region of the North Island. Cultural highlights include the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) - filled with numerous interactive displays and a host of artefacts from all over New Zealand; the Museum of Wellington City and Sea - formerly known as the Maritime Museum, with maritime artefacts from around the area; the National Cricket Museum - dedicated to the history of cricket throughout New Zealand; the Southward Museum - home to the largest collection of vintage and historic cars in the whole of the southern hemisphere; the City Gallery - in central Civic Square, ranking amongst the city's premier art galleries, containing many important paintings and sculptures; the National Library Gallery - with an important collection of photographs; the New Zealand Portrait Gallery - featuring a number of impressive sculptures, prints and drawings; and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts - one of Wellington's most important art galleries. More information about Wellington Museums and Wellington Art Galleries.

Attractions nearby Wellington include many districts, suburbs and small towns. Close to Wellington you will find the Hutt Valley - including Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Days Bay and the historic Pencarrow Lighthouse - in nearby Eastbourne; the Kapiti Coast - comprising a number of peaceful beaches, Kapiti Island, Paraparaumu, Paekakariki, Waikanae and Otaki; and the Wairarapa region to the east and north-east of Wellington, named after the enormous Wairarapa Lake. Other attractions within easy reach include plenty of scenic walking / tramping trails, and top skiing resorts in Whakapapa, Turoa and other areas around Ohakune (on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu), all of which are situated just over 300 km / 190 miles to the north. There are also a host of vineyards, wineries and breweries in the Wairarapa region, including Martinborough Valley.

With constant sunny weather, major tourist attractions, countless heritage buildings, impressive historic landmarks, breathtaking coastal scenery, and plenty of things to see and do, Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, regularly attracts visitors from all over New Zealand, Australia and the world.

More Wellington Information / Fast Facts and Orientation