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 (www.makarapeak.org). 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; www.mudcycles.co.nz) 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; www.realsurf.co.nz) 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; www.visitzealandia.com) 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; www.fergskayaks.co.nz) offer excursions.