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24 hours in: Wellington, New Zealand

Spend 24 hours in Wellington, New Zealand and three things are clear - its reputation for cultural diversity, five-star cuisine and Lord of the Rings is entirely accurate. Oh, and the strength of its wind. So four things then.

Wellington City

Spend 24 hours in Wellington, New Zealand and three things are clear - its reputation for cultural diversity, five-star cuisine and Lord of the Rings is entirely accurate. Oh, and the strength of its wind. So four things then.

Anyway. This creative city is perfectly located as a starting point for exploring the north or the south - and is a great place to begin your holiday. Or end your holiday. Or visit in the middle. Ah, what we are trying to say is basically any time is good! 

Where

Located at the southernmost point of the North Island, Windy Wellington (as it’s locally named) is a cultural melting pot and vibrant metropolitan hub. Home to a unique mix of art, politics and fashion, Wellington is best described as Auckland’s cooler little sister - but don’t quote us on that, our big city neighbors wouldn't be happy. As well as being the capital of Kiwiland Wellington is the birthplace of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings film trilogies (which, let's face it - is way more important than the houses of parliament) so if that kind of thing ticks your boxes, a visit to effects studio, Weta Workshop, is a must.

What

Well you've already got Lord of the Rings covered - so that’s a wrap. Kidding. Although globally renowned for its role in the Tolkien films, this windy city has a lot more going for it than a giant Gollum at the Airport. Visit one of it’s many craft breweries or quirky cafes then take a peek at the aptly named ‘Beehive’ where New Zealand’s government sits. Browse the boutiques on Cuba street and see the sights from the historic Wellington cable car - the only running funicular railway in the country. Another must do while you're here is Te Papa, New Zealand's National museum. Wander the boardwalk at Oriental bay and be sure to stop for a hokey-pokey ice cream - a classic kiwi favorite. In the evenings, take some time to explore the hidden lane-ways and underground bars for a taste of the local cuisine and nightlife.

Why

Smaller than Auckland but bigger than Christchurch. Culturally diverse and gastronomically renowned. Scenic, cosmopolitan and wildly unique, Wellington is the perfect place to relax and indulge. Fly direct to its International Airport, and start your vacation in style. Catch a ferry to the top of the south or take the scenic Northern Explorer train, the other way. And with rugged coastline, lush rain forest and picturesque wine country just a stone's throw from the city centre - the question isn’t why, it’s why ever not?

Top tips

1. With its central shopping hub only one kilometre squared, Wellington is best explored on foot - so leave the car at the hotel.

2. Do a behind the scenes Lord of the Rings tour (last LOTR reference, we promise!) of the Weta Cave for a complete fantasy experience.

3. Visit the Harbourside Market on a Saturday morning for fresh local produce and bespoke arts and crafts.

Weta Workshop and Cave Tour