Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is – like much of New Zealand – set on a harbor, surrounded by undulating hills and home to plenty in the way of outdoor adventure. Wellington has a hefty Maori history; the original occupiers are thought to have formed the first tribe on the island back in the 12th century, with the city still home to an impressive multi-cultural element.
Although Wellington is the Capital it is New Zealand's second most populated city behind Auckland.
It is commonly referred to as the Windy City with obvious reasons if you have ever lived there.
If you’ve come to New Zealand for adventure (and most fall into that category), hot air ballooning, bungee jumping, seal tours, tree-level walkways and canoe and kayak expeditions are a great way to start. There are so many different tours on offer around the capital, though, that you can pretty much take your pick of things that interest you, from white water rafting to vineyard tours where you sup wine all day amid soaring hills.
There is the odd visitor who drops in on New Zealand for a bit of peace and quiet, though, and while Wellington might not be the ideal spot, you can surround yourself in impressive regional culture. Explore ‘Wellywood’, the ever-growing local film industry, or take the cable car to Kelburn, a hilltop spot where you can click your camera around the panoramic setting and capture some immense, entire-harbor views. Then there are the botanic gardens, the interactive Museum Of Wellington City and Sea, and the off shore trip to Matiu-Somes Island, a former prisoner of war camp that’s now a popular picnic destination.
If you’ve got the cash to spare, take a flight over the surrounding countryside for a true sense of why New Zealand’s gained such a massive reputation for natural beauty (it can cost as little as $50), or head outside the city to explore the region’s interactive selection of national parks, which encourage off-road cycling, swimming in the rivers and endless, stunning hikes. The Kaitoke Regional Park is a particularly impressive offering.
While many capitals fall into the ‘just passing through’ category of international travel, Wellington emphatically doesn’t, with more to offer than most visitors could see in a month of Sundays. Get involved as fast as possible, as most leave feeling they hadn’t seen quite enough.