Hotels in Wellington, New Zealand
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Wellington Just Might Be Your Happy Place
It’s hard to be in a bad mood in beautiful Wellington. With over 2,000 hours of yearly sunshine, a stunning waterfront, and a serious coffee, food and craft beer culture, it’s the kind of city where smiles aren’t hard to come by. Known as the world’s ‘coolest little capital’, Wellington seems to have a quaint café on every corner, and some of the best waterfront dining in New Zealand. The city shows its cosmopolitan flair with the likes of dynamic Cuba Street, and when you add to the list a thriving arts scene, beaches and bays for days, and boutique hotels that will make you want to extend your stay, it’s not a matter of if you’ll return, but when.
Don’t Miss These City Sights
Start your visit off with a bang and hop on the Wellington Cable Car. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the city, and you’ll soon see why. Covering a large distance from downtown Wellington to the picturesque suburb of Kelburn, cable car riders are treated to spectacular views and a stop at a lookout point worthy of more than a few photos. There’s also an optional pit stop at the Wellington Botanic Garden, and even the chance to reach for the stars at the Space Place at Carter Observatory, which has a state-of-the-art interactive experience that will delight all ages.
If you want to continue soaking up the mesmerising views, Mount Victoria Lookout has you covered. You’re able to see the action in the harbour and in the air from here, and it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and admire a stunning sunset. If it’s hard to imagine Wellington’s harbour views ever getting old, booking a hotel with a great vantage point is something to consider. There are plenty near the Mount Victoria Lookout, or try to find accommodation close by so that you can take advantage of Wellington’s 363 km of biking and walking trails, many of which will lead you right to a postcard-perfect view. When you’re ready to come back down to ground level, Wellington’s waterfront is chock-full of parks, bars, cafes, and vendors with interesting wares. There are also three outdoor markets, and a fantastic, relaxed vibe that will soon be calling your name.
Learn Something New Every Day
Even though it might be tempting to spend all of your time outside, Wellington has several museums and indoor attractions that you won’t want to pass over. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is high on the list of museums you’ll be glad you visited, showcasing a comprehensive look at the country’s art, culture, and science all rolled into one. Of special interest might be the interactive exhibit that details the Maori indigenous culture, as well as the many lectures and special presentations that take place throughout the year. And the best part? General admission is free!
Attending a game of professional cricket is an education of a different kind. If you do secure tickets, the New Zealand Cricket Museum provides an interesting learning opportunity that covers a quintessential New Zealand sport. You can visit the museum before or after a cricket game, and gain a whole new appreciation for cricket of all competition levels. Nairn Street Cottage is a sort of living museum, and from the moment you step inside, you will be transported to simpler times. Built in 1858, the cottage is believed to be the oldest house in Wellington. A highlight for many visiting the city is the guided tour of each room, where the rich sense of history hangs in the air.
Down By the Sea
New Zealanders have a penchant for water sports – whether it be scuba diving, swimming, sailing, and all manner of surfing (kitesurfing and windsurfing included), they are usually up for a dip in the water at the very least. And beach culture is alive and well in Wellington, which isn’t surprising considering the amount of beaches, harbours and bays that locals can pay a visit to at any time. Just as you might want to choose a hotel with a great view perched atop a hill, it could also be worth a splurge on a hotel closer to the water. There’s nothing like the lapping of waves lulling you to sleep, or the endless view of the blue-green ocean.
One good candidate for an overnight stay is Oriental Beach. It’s a family-friendly beach with safe swimming, and it’s known to have a lot of entertaining sporting tournaments in the summer. Scorching Bay has been voted one of the best beaches in the area, and Island Bay is known for great fishing and scuba diving, with the added bonus of being accessible to Taputeranga Marine Reserve. If you’re a surfer, lifeguard patrolled Lyall Bay is the place to be, and Days Bay is a must-do trip across the harbour that will reward you with art galleries, opportunities to stretch your legs in the hills, and of course a great beach. You can’t really go wrong with a day of surf and sand in Wellington.
Price rangefrom AU$21to AU$429
- Hotel Rydges Wellingtonfrom AU$167
- Hotel The Terrace Villas Serviced Apartmentsfrom AU$8
- Hotel The Setup Dixonfrom AU$26
- Hotel Gourmet Stayfrom AU$91
- Hotel ibis Wellingtonfrom AU$111
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