Listed below are some of the best Wellington attractions if your New Zealand holiday itinerary includes three or more nights. We have assumed you will have seen the main sightseeing highlights but want to do more in a leisurely fashion.
Ease yourself into things and orientate yourself on day 1 by taking a slow and leisurely stroll along the waterfront, right outside your top class accommodation at the Museum Hotel Whenever you need to stop and catch your breath, quench your thirst or indulge yourself with a tasty treat or two there are plenty of parks, cafés, bars and ice-cream sellers along the way which let you do just that. If you’re around at the weekend you can browse the markets here too before arriving at Oriental Bay for a cooling ocean dip or to simply enjoy the sun.
Head to Zealandia for the afternoon – just a 10 minute drive from central Wellington. This ambitious and ground-breaking conservation project has returned 220 hectares of bush, forest, stream and wetland into a valley sanctuary. Home to many rare and endangered native species of bird, insect and reptile you can simply wander here, take a guided tour or hop on board a small boat. As you’ve 3 nights in town we’d definitely recommend taking a night tour here for some never-to-be-forgotten kiwi spotting.
On day 2 you might like to head out of town a little – there are all kinds of treats right on your doorstep. Maybe a 4WD tour to discover the rugged and dramatic south coast where you will be able to view the resident seal colonies. Perhaps a trip up north from Wellington instead would be preferable where Kapiti Island offers more opportunities for getting up close and personal with New Zealand’s native wildlife in beautiful natural settings. Another conservation island right in Wellington Harbour itself is Matiu Somes Island – a real ‘must-visit’ destination for outdoor nature lovers. This island is also extraordinarily rich in history having known former guises as both a POW camp and quarantine station as well as being a site chosen for WWII gun emplacements. Hop on board the regular ‘East by West’ ferry to visit or to take in some of the lovely little seaside settlements around the harbour.
There’s plenty of time in the afternoon for enjoying a spot of golf at the Miramar Links Golf Club – where guests are welcome to play a round or even just a few holes depending on how much energy you have at the time! On your way home, enjoy the sunset on the waterfront right in front of your hotel – you’ll never tire of the wonderful views and fascinating sculpture pieces such as this one below – Solace in the Wind – dotted around along the way.
One of many Wellington icons along the water front – Solace in the Wind
For your last day in Wellington we’d suggest a wine tour around the Martinborough area – a slice of New Zealand overrun with vineyards and olive groves so you’ll have plenty of choice. There are any number of cellar doors which you can simply drive up to and sample the wares but if you prefer to sit back and let some-one else do the driving you can take a luxury tour from Wellington. Here you’ll be regaled with the fascinating history of the area while being personally escorted from door to door of each premium winery on the itinerary.
Of course in between all this fresh air, history and nature you’re going to need refuelling and great food and wine are never far away wherever you happen to be in the nation’s capital. Our suggestions would be the Courtenay Place situated Capitol – a fine dining treat which the culinary cognoscenti rave about. Also top notch is the beautiful harbour-side White Bait with its exquisite menu and location so close to your hotel getting home later will be easy, even if you’ve indulged a wine too far. Of course you’ve plenty of time to do both during your Wellington stay – even mixing and matching your lunch and/or dinner options – so tough choices between the two are completely unnecessary.
We can’t promise you won’t stumble across all kinds of other excellent dining (check our own restaurant, bar and cafe recommendations) and snacking establishments as you explore though – happy hunting and indulging…….and remember diets always start tomorrow (and certainly after the holidays)! For more information please contact the team here at What to do in Wellington.
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