New Zealands Capital, the windy city of Wellington, is a melting pot of activity in the arts and music world. Wellington combines the flair and flavours from many different cultures across the globe, and transcends boundaries by blending old and new in a way that makes the city a social and cultural highlight in New Zealand.
Famous for its cafe culture, the Te Papa Museum, and its splendid architecture, Wellington's diplomatic significance has seen the city blend its role as national capital with influences from many cultures, its Maori heritage and its vast population of university students.
Getting in and around Wellington
Wellington International Airport (WLG) is located 7km southeast of central Wellington. The airport handles over 5.1 million passengers a year, and is relatively small given the volume of passengers that passes through annually. Wellington Airport has become world-renowned for its windy autumn landings, and the Wellington Airport Corporation likes to use the slogan “wild at heart” to describe itself. Rest assured, though, with the knowledge that some of the world’s top pilots fly into windy Wellington, and it's actually one of the safest airports in the world.
The airport terminal has a fantastic range of healthy food options at reasonable prices — refreshing for an airport whether you are health or cost conscious.
A number of taxi companies offer services at the airport, with Wellington Combined Taxis being the one preferred by the Wellington Airport Corporation. If you're coming in on a red eye flight late at night, make sure you have the number of a local taxi service. The airport shuts down quite quickly after the final flight comes in, and it's rare to find a waiting cab after it does.
You’re practically guaranteed a pleasant experience with Wellington's taxis. All aspiring taxi drivers in Wellington must first pass a knowledge test about the greater Wellington area, and as such will have a high standard of knowledge and be able to easily get you where you're going.
Buses and shuttles are available from the airport and CBD to all over the region, including traditional spots like Courtenay Place, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. Beware though Wellington bus and shuttle services don't run after around nine in the evening, so if you are flying in later than this, you'll probably have to take a cab.
Wellington Car Hire
Rental car hire is available at the airport from the usual suspects including Hertz, Thrifty, Avis, Europcar and Budget. You will find the desks for each of these companies on Level 0 (Ground Level) of the main terminal building, near the baggage claim.
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- Duxton Hotel is situated right in the heart of the city, close to the Convention Centre, Courtenay Place and the Te Papa Museum. The Duxton is an immaculate hotel with all the trimmings you’d expect from a 5-star hotel in the national's capital.
- Intercontinental Hotel is conveniently nestled in the heart of Wellington’s vibrant city centre. It is the perfect base for any trip to the nation's capital. The hotel has two restaurants, a health club and limitless other conveniences for your stay.
- Holiday Inn is centrally located along the waterfront close to Parliament House and the Victoria University of Wellington. This new hotel offers a great range of comforts and facilities for business and holiday travel.
- Wellesley Boutique Hotel is renowned for its fine dining and wine bar. Built in 1926 and designed by Thomas Young, the restored heritage hotel is an affordable luxury.
- Rowena’s Lodge provides camping and hostel accommodation in the tranquil surroundings of Mount Victoria. Within easy walking distance of Courtenay Place and the CBD provides an ambient atmosphere for its guests.
Things to do in Wellington
Te Papa Museum. "Te Papa Tongarewa" is broadly translated to mean: the place of treasures of this land, and Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand, shares a unique insight into the country and culture and history in fitting with its name. The museum features many significant New Zealand plants and animals, historical stamps from the New Zealand Post Archive, historical clothing and information from New Zealand and the surrounding Pacific Islands, photography, and a range of information and archives of New Zealand's history.
Arts and music. Wellington is notable as the music and arts capital of New Zealand, with the city responsible for having produced many high-calibre performing artists including Fat Freddies Drop, Flight of the Conchords, and the Black Seeds. Wellington has a growing live music scene which has popularised reggae, jazz and indie rock throughout New Zealand.
Festivals. Wellington is famous for its cultural festivals, including the Cuba Street Carnival (each February),The International Arts Festival February/March), New Zealand Fringe Festival(February/March), the New Zealand Folk Festival(October), the New Zealand International Comedy Festival(April/May) and numerous others.
Cafe culture. Wellington often boasts that it has more cafes per capita than New York; it may have more bars per capita than any other city, too! Wellington is renowned for its strong cafe and bar culture so while you're here you'll want to venture out and enjoy the friendly vibe of the local cafes and bars.
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Day trips in and around Wellington
Wellington Cable Car. The cable car takes you on a scenic trip from Lambton Quay in Central Wellington to Kelburn, a hillside suburb that overlooks Wellington. The cable car gives you a beautiful view of the cityfrom 612m above sea level. It's regarded as a must-see sight, and landmark of the city.
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