New Zealand’s capital city, charming towns, boutique vineyards and a spectacular coastline are just three good reasons to pause in the lower North Island before heading north or across the Cook Strait.
New Zealand’s cool capital, New Zealand’s picturesque political centre is packed with cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries, retail boutiques, public art and innovative museums, earning the city its reputation as the country’s cultural hub.
The home of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is easily navigated by foot, guided tour, or courtesy of a convenient public transport network. Tours of The Lord of the Rings movie locations and the Weta Cave are a popular activity in the city fondly known as ‘Wellywood’, which is also the production centre for The Hobbit films.
Less than an hour north of the Wellington CBD, Kāpiti is an easy one hour drive or jump on the Wellington rail network. The quaint village atmosphere and rolling coastal landscape is sheltered by Kāpiti Island.
Regardless of the season, Greenmantle Estate on the coast offers visitors a place to escape from their busy lives with a leisurely stroll or a picnic, a glass of wine by the beach at sunset or a round of golf at a world renowned golf course.
Heading East, only an hour by car or train from Wellington is the Wairarapa, one of New Zealand’s top food and wine destinations. The region is at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail and made up of the five towns of Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton.
Sample premium wines from the regions’ vineyards, and taste everything from country cooking to haute cuisine in the many cafes and restaurants.
The wine village of Martinborough features over 20 wineries, most within walking distance of the quaint village square, and is the place for those with a palate for fine wine, food, exploring and relaxing! A day visit or an overnight stay is the perfect complement to your visit to Wellington.
The road to Cape Palliser is one of the region’s highlights. The shoreline was settled by Maori about 800 years ago and traces of their occupation can still be seen. About 20 minutes drive along the road to Cape Palliser, you can walk up to weird and wonderful Putangirua Pinnacles, formed by 120,000 years of erosion. Nearby is reknown Wharekauhau Lodge.