Wellington New Zealand

Wellington New Zealand is far more than the journey-inspiring backdrop to epic motion pictures. Voted the twelfth-best place in the world to live by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey in 2009, Wellington New Zealand combines stunning landscapes and vibrant culture to create what is also one of the world's most popular travel destinations.

The city of Wellington is nestled safely inside the highly-protected Wellington Harbor at the southern tip of New Zealand's North Island. Its being situated on Cook Strait between New Zealand's two major islands makes it a very convenient addition to any New Zealand itinerary. The city center is surrounded by a string of suburb towns as well as a rugged coastline of hills and mountains, formed by the many earthquakes that have shook the shifting region throughout the past centuries. The view from Mount Victoria, only an hour's walk from Courtenay Place, provides arguably the best 360-degree vista in the area. The surrounding South Coast hides many stunning bays, beaches, and tide pools, perfect for hikers and backpackers. Non-hikers can take advantage of one of the most popular Wellington attractions: the Wellington Cable Car. This funicular carries riders high above the city to the Botanic Garden, and at the top you can enjoy several other Wellington attractions, including a stunning lookout of the harbor, a walk in the gardens or a trip through the Cable Car Museum.

Named after the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Wellington is the capital and the political center of the small island nation of New Zealand. Additionally, the city is the best place to experience the art and culture of the Maori and Kiwis. Art galleries, museums and theaters abound in Wellington, including the reknowned Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand. Considered one of the most important Wellington attractions to the native New Zealanders, the Maori, the exhibits in the Te Papa teach visitors of the rich and colorful history of this beautiful land. Epicurian culture is also alive in Wellington, where it is said there are more cafes, bars and restaurants per person than New York City. Popular pedestrian areas like the waterfront, Cuba Street and Courteney Place offer a plethora of hotels, shops, cafes, and restaurants while providing an opportunity to see New Zealand's creative artistic side as well.

Wellington New Zealand has some of the most unique wildlife on the planet. Experience animal-friendly Wellington travel at the Wellington Zoo and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, where a predator-proof fence protects tuatara, weta, kiwi birds, and other indigenous flora and fauna. Finally, for those travelers that make the journey specifically to see the home of the hobbits, there are several private Wellington travel companies that coordinate guided tours of local film sets, or what locals have come to lovingly refer to as Wellywood.

Temperate weather makes Wellington travel easy, but beware of the wind. Wellington's position on the Cook Strait has earned it the nickname of Windy Wellington or The Windy City. Strong gales can have a strong effect on aircraft and boats, but the wind speed and direction can easily be monitored by the flag flying on the Beehive Parliament building in the city center.

Getting around the compact, pedestrian-friendly city center of Wellington on foot is easy. For longer journeys, Wellington's comprehensive public transportation system called Metlink. Buses, trains, trolley and trams guide you around greater Wellington, while trains will carry you to other New Zealand cities, such as Auckland and Christchurch. To make the most of your transportation cost within Wellington, consider getting a Snapper Card or one of several day passes for specified days and zones to save money. There are plenty of Wellington hotels to choose from, and the many tours and vacation packages around New Zealand are also helpful in saving money during your trip.

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