Wellington

‘Windy Wellington’ is a breath of fresh air:

Wellington is not just the Capital of New Zealand, but also the coolest Capital of the world. This cosmopolitan city with an energetic personality, offers a great mix of art, culture, history, nature, great food, craft beers, and a lot more. It’s official tagline ‘Positively Wellington’ is not just for aesthetics, it reflects in everything from the people, to the food, to the very vibe of the city. This is a city that is creative by nature rather than trying hard to be something else.

See for yourself what makes Wellington the coolest (not so little) capital of the world.

Country New Zealand
National Language English and Māori
Dial Code 04
Population 418,500
Currency New Zealand Dollar
Time Zone

UTC+12 (NZDT) Summer (DST)UTC+13(NZDT)

Area 119.8 sq.km 


This tiny capital of Wellington is big on Art, Theatre and Culture:

Wellington serves up a cultural cocktail that’s not quite like anything else you’ll find in the world. It has a heady blend of Māori, European, and Pacific cultures into one delicious mix you can’t get enough of. On any given night, there’s always something happening, whether it's a poetry reading, a new art showcase, book launch, gig or a neo-classical theatre piece. Here are the best things to do in Wellington.

History & Landmarks of Wellington:

According to Māori tradition, Whatonga, a chief of the Kurahaupo waka was the first person to settle the lands at the tip of the North Island. He named it "Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui" or "the Head of Maui's fish". The Māori settlements in Wellington go far back to 950 AD, when a Polynesian explorer named Kupe discovered it. The city has a rich history and the Wellington Harbour went by the name "Whanganui-a-Tara" or "the great harbour of Tara", after Polynesian explorer Whatonga’s son Tara. In the 1840s, Europeans arrived in a ship named Aurora and colonized the city. Wellington was declared a city in 1881, and was chosen to be the capital city of New Zealand in 1865, in place of Auckland. 

Wellingtonians love their history and it shows in the beautifully preserved buildings, houses, sites and gardens that have survived from the early days of its settlement by Europeans. Visit the oldest building in the city, The Colonial Cottage Museum – a pioneer cottage built in 1858. Old St Paul’s is a treasured historic building built in 1866; constructed entirely from native woods, and bejewelled with stunning stained glass windows. 

Museums and Art Galleries of Wellington:

The capital city is peppered with galleries and museums including Te Papa Tongarewa (Container of Treasures in Māori) which is the national museum of New Zealand. With innovative and interactive displays that showcase Māori culture and history, wildlife, flora and fauna, art and more. The museum has the world's largest specimen of the rare colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), weighing 495 kilograms (1,091 lb) and is 4.2 metres (14 ft) long. Other famous spots each have their own treasure trove of secrets hidden within. Like City Gallery for the best of art, and the Museum of City and Sea showcases the city’s social and cultural history. 

The Wellington Writers Walk along the harbour side showcases sculptural quotations from some of New Zealand's best known writers and is one of the top places to visit in Wellington. 

Film and Theatre Trails of Wellington:

Weta Caves

Often referred to as ‘Wellywood’, it’s the home of film director Sir Peter Jackson, who made the city his muse for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies and King Kong. At Weta Cave, you can enjoy exclusive a behind-the-scenes look at the special effects he uses, as well as interviews with the co-founders. And of course, get a close look at his film’s iconic props and memorabilia. 

The theatre district spans the length of the city centre, from comedies to dramas to musicals and everything in between, you’ll find a play to watch here every day. Catch your favourites at the iconic St. James Theatre, The Opera House, Circa Theatre or take your little ones to Capital E: National Theatre for Children. The BATS Theatre is home to hip, underground performances.

Music & Cultural Events:

Wellington’s long list of huge international festivals include the World of Wearable Art awards and the International Arts Festival. Searching for some sonic gold? You'll be rewarded in one of the many underground gig venues in the city. Home turf of a whole heap of great local bands like Fazerdaze, Mermaidens and upcoming talent.  Grab a superbly crafted local brew and enjoy a musical treat. On the contrary, it’s also home to major music institutions like the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Wellington, where you’ll find something for all music lovers. 


Interesting Facts about Wellington:

  • Wellington was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet.
  • Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname "Windy Wellington."
  • Legend has it that Wellington's Parliament building, the Beehive, was actually sketched as a joke by the architect. While some say the initial sketch was done on a paper napkin, the others claim it was a cigarette packet. 
  • William McLean a local Wellingtonian – Imported the first car into New Zealand in 1898. 
  • Many locals have personal cable cars to reach their hilltop homes.
  • New Zealand’s oldest suburb Thorndon, also has the country’s oldest hotel and the oldest public bar, The Thistle Inn, where it’s believed that Māori chief Te Rauparaha used to pull up his canoe and stop for a drink.

Nature & Wildlife of Wellington:

Wellington mount

The words, “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere” have never been truer than in Wellington. Mt. Victoria is a great place to start, from where you can enjoy stunning 360-degree views of Wellington City, the Harbour and the ocean too. It’s undoubtedly the best spot to enjoy the sunrise, sunset or a lazy picnic watching ships sail into the harbour.  There are several hiking routes to take from there to the peak, while soaking in the native flora & fauna of the region. 

Zealandia is a world-class eco sanctuary and conservation project, with an epic 500-year vision to restore its forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. They have reintroduced over 20 species of native wildlife back into the area, some of which had disappeared from mainland for over 100 years. Make friends with rare native wildlife like tuatara, kaka and takahe. 

The wellington Zoo also has popular favourites like lions, giraffes, elephants, baboons, red panda, tamarins, Tasmanian devils and many more. Take the trip to meet the fur seal colony that’s just 20 km from the city centre. We assure you it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen.


Food in Wellington: 

Famous for its speakeasy-esque hidden bars, handcrafted world-class beers, strong coffee, and fresh food made with the best of local produce- this culinary capital of New Zealand is a locavore’s paradise. Wellingtonians are gurus of casual dining, thanks to the abundance of cafes and restaurants serving food with local favourites as well as fusion spins. Of course, the night markets at the Left Bank (Friday) or Lower Cuba Street (Saturday) with numerous food trucks, is a food feast of epic proportions! 

Sample the best of international and local delicacies from Vietnamese to Māori at the Harbourside and Capital Markets, with more options than you can eat in a day. Do try the Paua, a rare type of shellfish unique to New Zealand. It’s one of the most expensive ocean delicacies in the world (going for upwards of $100 USD per piece in Asia).  Logan Brown restaurant on the lively Cuba Street Strip makes a stellar Paua Ravioli. Or you could even munch on some Paua fritters with your craft beers at while enjoying the sunset at the beach. Indulge in a classic Canterbury Lamb Sunday night roast, served with mint sauce, root vegetables, with a glass of Pinot Noir. The artisan ice cream scene here, can rival even the best Italian gelato. Try the famous Hokey Pokey (honey comb) flavour or some of the classics like orange chocolate chip, boysenberry, and jelly tip. Carnivores should not leave without trying the Kiwi Classic Burger: grass-fed beef, aged cheddar, pickles, cos, tomato, and the two defining ingredients that make it truly local: fried egg and sliced beetroot. 

We could go on and give you plenty more options to eat your way through this metropolis. But the fun is in discovering it yourself. 


Best Time to Visit Wellington:

Did you know that the Wellingtonians enjoy over 2000 hours of sunshine a year! The abundant coastline keeps the temperatures pleasantly mild. Summers from December to February, average around 19°C to 24°C – lovely to enjoy a beach day out or a barbeque. Whereas, winters from June – August go down to around 6°C to 9°C – they’re cold and wet with a good chance of rain throughout the months. The locals embrace the wind with fervour and you too should indulge in local favourite pastimes like Kite Surfing, or sailing on the harbour. 

The best time to indulge in Wellington is Autumn season, between March and May, where the temperature is between 11°C - 16°C. It’s when the weather is just right and the city isn't overcrowded. They say nothing beats a stroll through local favourite park Otari -Wilton’s Bush and  Belmont Regional Park  on a clear Autumn day. Feast your eyes on with rows and rows of trees with an almost psychedelic array of colours, and bush-clad valleys for as far as you can see. 


How to Reach Wellington:

Sadly, the route to Wellington from India is a long one. Most of the Airlines Singapore, Cathay, Air India and more, offer flights from major Indian cities like Mumbai, Dubai, Bangalore, Kochi and more with stop overs in their home country, before getting you to Wellington International Airport. Most flights will be 20+ hours, so make sure you dress comfortably and we recommend getting a seat with more leg room.  

Have you been swept away by Windy Wellington yet? If the answer is yes, then check out some of our curated experiences that offer the best of Wellington Or just call us to customize your trip to the capital of cool. 

Language Spoken

English

Currency used:

New Zealand dollar

SEP-APR .oC

Have Queries?

Fill in the form below & get the best deals.
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid Email-ID
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please enter Holiday Type
Please enter the destination
Please enter hub

I accept Privacy Policy and I authorize Thomas Cook to contact me with details.

Best Wellington Tourism Guide

There is a Windy City outside the US, and you can explore it with Wellington holidays. Wellington on New Zealand’s North Island is the country’s capital city. Yet, the city isn’t only about politics — it has, as visitors get to see during Wellington tours, centers of some magnificent art and culture.

Wellington travel packages can show you the various facets of the city: its cultural and culinary heritage, and the several modes of entertainment. The city’s harbor is a special attraction for people choosing Wellington holiday packages. The city is urbane and still rooted in New Zealand’s history.

Wellington  is popular because of the stunning natural beauty that makes the country famous is only a few miles away from the city. To have a truly memorable Wellington tour, head out to the circular harbor. The harbor’s beauty has charmed many of those who chose to travel to Wellington. The city airport is well-connected to others in the rest of the world. The airport is also used by those making a trip to Wellington to travel to other parts of the delightful countrThere are several ways to see the city. While buses, trains, boats and cable cars are popular with people opting for Wellington vacation packages, you could try visiting portions of the city on foot.

What People are Saying