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Things to do in Wellington

Make the most of Makara Park with two wheels

Jump into the saddle for a day's mountain biking at Makara Peak ( Designed for all abilities, Wellington's network of purpose-built trails are spread over 250 hectares of wild beauty. Mud Cycles (tel: +64 4476 4961; offer rentals for a full day's two-wheel adventure.

Ride the south coast's biggest swells

Wellington's location makes for great surf. Situated on the exposed south coast, popular spots such as Lyall Bay benefit from big swells and at the easterly end riders can be carried to the shore. Here, Real Surf (tel: +61 644 387 8798; offers lessons and rentals. 

Step back into time at Zealandia

New Zealand was once a mammal-free bird paradise. Protected by a state-of-the-art fence, Zealandia (tel: +61 492 09 213; is an eco-sanctuary where native birds such as Takahē and kākā are flourishing. Take the night tour to see the rare little spotted kiwi.

Swim with sharks and shipwrecks with a spot of scuba diving

The waters may not be as warm as Australia's reefs, but Wellington still offers plenty of diving adventures. Both Taputeranga Marine Reserve and the wreck of F69 Frigate Wellington are accessible from the shore, making dives less expensive, and you can expect to see sting rays, octopus and carpet sharks.

Wait for dusk and see the city from the sea

Enjoy the Wellington waterfront from a different perspective - jump into a kayak and savour the cityscape with a paddle in your hand. Fergs Kayaks (tel: +64 4499 8898; offer excursions.

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Featured Hotels



Inspired by New York’s high-end boutique hotel scene and modern architecture, Ohtel is a small but luxurious place to stay for the traveller who wants a unique Wellington experience. All the mid-century furnishings are from the founder’s private collection, and the hotel itself is built into the base of a steep coastal cliff space. Even the cheapest rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee. 

Cambridge Hotel

The Cambridge has been a Wellington establishment since 1883 - Queen Elizabeth herself stayed here in the 1960s. Overall, it offers great facilities at amazing prices. Located in the centre of Wellington, it is minutes from major attractions, fine dining, and great shopping. The Cambridge has rooms to suit all budgets, from backpacker dorms to en-suite doubles and all of the rooms come with SKY TV and a mini fridge. 

Victoria Court Motor Lodge

In the heart of downtown Wellington, this lodge offering studios, and one- and two-bedroom apartments, is ideally located within easy walking distance of theatres, shops, bars and museums. Most of the 25 units have spa baths/showers, cook tops, queen-size beds and Sky TV. Off-street parking is available.

InterContinental Wellington Hotel

The imposing InterContinental Hotel, the best five-star hotel in town, is one of the city's landmarks, with two restaurants, café, pool, sauna, fitness centre, large indoor heated swimming pool, conference and banquet facilities, and business centre. Many of the 231 modern and stylish rooms and suites have excellent harbour views.

Ibis Wellington

This international budget chain hotel is a good-value option for those who want to be close to the action, but don't want to stay in a backpacker's hostel. There's a restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner but limited parking.

Museum Art Hotel

Set across from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum Art Hotel offers both classic hotel and apartment style accommodation. The chic hotel is peppered with paintings and sculptures, and even comes with an art map for guests wishing to take a self-guided tour of the premises.