Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and a cultural hub stationed on a port on the windy southwest tip of the North Island. Known Pacific Islander and Maori cultural roots, the city has become the center of food, nightlife, comedy, and music for much of the island nation. (Most famously, the band Flight of the Conchords originated form here.)
Café culture reigns supreme, with a thriving local economy supported by individually-owned businesses. New Zealand food is very specific, and many restaurants cater to this fare. It mainly features dark meat, seafood, kumara, kiwi, tamarillo, and pavlova. International cuisine is abundant, however, and your options won’t be limited.
Wellington has a lot of locations that are excellent for families. Zealandia Sanctuary focuses on the conservation of species native to New Zealand and is open to the public for exploration. Hike the trail around the lake and check out the lower dame that extends into the center of it. If this doesn’t sate your animal craving, try strolling through the Wellington Zoo.
There are several museums that and excellent for families, the most intriguing of which include the Cable Car Museum, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and the New Zealand Cricket Museum.
Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings film franchise, turned the Miramar suburb into film hub akin to Hollywood known as ‘Wellywood,’ and it hosts lots of film locations for movies filming in New Zealand that movie buffs can scope out.
Popular restaurants to tickle your gastronomic fantasy include Ortega Fish Shack and Bar, Fidel’s, Maranui Café, Midnight Espresso, Gipsy Kitchen, Memphis Belle, Viva Mexico Taco Shop, Tatsushi, Hawthorn Lounge, and Havana Bar.
For a long day or even a weekend trip, the movie set for Hobbiton in the movie The Lord of the Rings still stands for visitors to inspect about five or six hours north of Wellington in Matamata. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are also around six hours anyway (and hour west of Hobbiton) and a worthwhile stop the catch the iridescent night worms.
Wellington has several nice hotels available in the area, including Ohtel, Gourmet Stay, YHA Wellington City, and the Museum Art Hotel. Hostels for backpackers and pretty easy to locate, and the most frequented are Wild Zebra Backpackers, Trek Global, and Hotel Waterloo and Backpackers. Of course, finding a home to rent on Tripping.com is always a tasteful and affordable option!
About four miles southeast of the city is Wellington International Airport. It only flies local, small planes due to its short runway (that is, New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia), but transfers are available at other larger airports. Once you land, you’ll probably need to rely on driving but it can be challenging as there are a lot of one-way roads. Trains, ferries, and diesel and trolley buses all operate regularly and are completely serviceable for transport.
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