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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > New Zealand > Wellington

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Wellington tours and excursions

Wellington tours

Boat tours

East by West offers weekend-only Harbour Explorer Tours, calling in at Petone, Seatoun, Days Bay and Matiu Somes Island. The latter is steeped in local history, having been settled by the Maoris, and is full of rich birdlife. On the trip out, you'll have great views of Wellington. It's also not uncommon to see dolphins and other sea life in the harbour.

Tel: +64 4 499 1282.
Website: http://www.eastbywest.co.nz

Bus tours

Hammonds Wellington Tours has a 'City and Coastline' tour departing twice daily. Wellington is the centre of Lord of the Rings' Middle Earth; Wellington Rover Tours runs excursions for Hobbit fans.

Tel: +64 4 472 086 ; +64 4 471 0044.
Website: http://www.wellingtonsightseeingtours.com

Wellington excursions

Martinborough

In the Wairarapa region, 79km (49 miles) east of Wellington (an hour's drive from the capital), Martinborough is a unique wine village home to over 30 boutique vineyards, all within walking distance of the charming town square. The village occupies the former site of one of the country's first sheep stations and was established in 1881 by an Irish immigrant. The streets are laid out in the shape of the Union Jack and are named after places he visited during his world sojourns.

Tel: +64 6 306 5010.
Website: http://www.wairarapanz.com

Kapiti Island

A 45-minute drive north of Wellington, Kapiti Island is New Zealand's premier nature and marine reserve protecting some of the world's most endangered bird species and marine life. A permit is required to access the island, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) issues only 50 visitor permits per day. Call the DOC at least the day before departure to obtain one (tel +64 4 472 7356). Capital Personalized Tours can arrange half or full day tours of the island, and Kapiti Island Nature Tours arranges tours and accommodation.

Tel: +64 21 126 7525.
Website: http://captours.co.nz/tours/wellington/kapiti

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Featured Hotels

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Ohtel

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. 

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.

Wellesley Boutique Hotel

This charming boutique hotel located in a neo-Georgian building is conveniently located close the shopping and harbour district. Its recently refurbished restaurant offers modern cuisine in a classically elegant setting, whilst its 12 rooms are smart, inviting and warm.

Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers

Right in the centre of Wellington Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers offers a wide selection of accommodation options ranging from eight bunk dormitories to private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The hotel first opened its doors back in 1937 and underwent a number of extensive revamps after being purchased by its current owners in 1997. Facilities include a bar a café a 24 hour fully equipped kitchen and a travel desk.