New Zealand is widely known for its beautiful landscapes and breathtaking natural sceneries, but the country’s capital is also a place to be seen and it won’t disappoint any travelers.
Wellington is located at the south of New Zealand’s north island (see map), and is commonly reffered to as Windy Welly, because-you guessed it- it is really windy. And when I say windy, I mean, pack your raincoat, umbrella, sweater and boots. However, this city has much to offer despite its windy nature.
Perhaps Wellington’s most well known asset is its iconic Cable Car, which just recently turned 110 years of age. The transport will take you all the way to the city’s Botanic Garden, the cable’s museum (which is free of cost), and the Carter Observatory and Planetarium, providing for more than enough entertainment and culture than you can pack in one day.
|Wellington’s Cable Car returning to the City Centre.|
Near the cable’s last stop, you can also wait for the free shuttle that will take you to Zealandia, an amazing reserve full of some of New Zealand’s most representative species of fauna and flora. For this one it is highly advisable that you wear comfortable shoes that will most likely get dirty from walking through muddy trails. Nothing to be alarmed by, but ceirtanly important to consider.
|Zealandia in Wellington, New Zealand.|
If you are more of the scientific/cultural type, then you will love Te Papa Tongarewa, the city’s most famous museum, also known as “Museum of New Zealand”. Inside the walls of this massive edifice, you will find information about nature, science, giant squids, Maori culture, New Zealand’s history and much much more, the museum even has its own Marae (Maori sacred place of reflection and prayer) and in almost every room you can find an interactive or fun way to learn.
|Outside of Te Papa Museum in Wellington.|
Wellington is also well known for being one of the best places to eat in New Zealand, so if you are there, get your fork and knife ready to taste delightful food. There is something for all tastes and budgets, so don’t be afraid to explore the city’s innermost corners. However, if you want to go through the Wellington experience, it is probably better that you make your way to Cuba Street, known for being the city’s bohemian area.
|Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo by Anne Deveraux. Source: http://www.idealog.co.nz/blog/2012/07/students-propose-creative-concepts-stronger-cuba-street|
The street was orginally named after a ship that arrived in Wellington with immigrants that longed to settle in New Zealand. The area was also once known for being populated by prostitutes, sailors, homeless people and artists, but much has changed, as it is now more prominent for its boutiques, cafés and bars. However, the soho vibe of Cuba Street is still very present.
These are only a few of the many things that one can do in Wellington. For example, if you are the classic social sciences student, you probably will want to pay a visit to the nation’s parliament, which is easily recognized for its behive-like architecture.
|New Zealand’s Parliament in Wellington. Source: http://www.virtualoceania.net/newzealand/photos/cities/wellington/parliament/nz0406.shtml|
But if the political landscape is not your cup of tea, you can always visit Weta Cave, where much of the magic that went into the making of the Lord of the Rings movies took place.
So there you have it: Wellington, or Windy Welly, a city that hides behind Auckland’s “biggest-city title”, but that has an amazing vibe and can easily make you fall in love with it within the first few steps you take inside the city’s heart.
If you are looking for information about Wellington and what to do while you are there, we suggest to take a look at this page: http://www.wellingtonnz.com/
If you already know what you want to do in Wellington, but not where to stay, then take a look at this other one: http://www.wellingtonnz.com/accommodation
Hopefully you’ll be on your way to Wellington soon. Have a good trip!