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wellington & lower north island regional information | back to visitor information

The Capital of New Zealand, Wellington is also the cultural centre - being home to Te Papa, the ground-breaking interactive Museum of New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and national treasures such as the original Treaty of Waitangi.

It's a pretty city with a thriving café culture, trendy bars and over 400 great restaurants. Wellington quite compact, and therefore one of the best ways to get around is on foot. The new state of the art sports and entertainment Stadium is just a short walk from downtown.

Made up of four quarters each with their own distinct mix of shopping, cafes, transport, accommodation, Wellington's intense urban experience is unrivalled in the country.

Leave the city and enter a contemporary style of country life that fully embraces the pleasures of fine wine and good food. In and around Martinborough wine village, famed for its award-winning Pinot Noir, you'll discover a host of welcoming vineyards.

For some suggested itineraries that include Wellington and Martinborough, please click here.

For a video preview of the Wellington region, please click here.

top attractions

  • Shoppers will love the boutiques lining Lambton Quay, Willis Street and Manners Mall.
  • For an evening of culture, Wellington is home to the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the National Opera.
  • Visit the Parliament Buildings (and drop into the Backbencher Pub and Café in Molesworth Street, the other hangout for politicians).
  • Visit Te Papa, one of the world's finest museums (open every day, entry is free with a charge for virtual reality and motion simulator rides).
  • Fly By Wire solo in a tethered plane up to 200km per hour at Paekakariki (Kapiti Coast).
  • Get in a round of golf.
  • Cape Palliser has the North Island's most accessible seal colony.
  • Take a harbour discovery tour
  • Wine trails and tastings are available at over 32 vineyards in the Wairarapa region - 26 of them are in the Martinborough area. Take a tour of the new wine centre in Martinborough village.
  • Enjoy garden visits and tours. Wairarapa is a garden lovers paradise with many open to the public
  • Small country museums and heritage attractions are a Wairarapa specialty. Spend an hour or two walking one of the region's eight town heritage trails
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