Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour: The perfect introduction to Wellington City! Visit all the must-see sights
and attractions, as well as venturing out for a leisurely cruise around our
rugged Southern coastline. Make the most of your time in Wellington on this
popular tour - a short, yet thorough overview.
Vacation Australia's Kangaroo Kelly will include any tour of your choice in your custom planned itinerary!
Vacation Australia provides self drive or driver guide luxury coach tours to independent groups.
geographic link between the two islands....Greater Wellington is New Zealand's second
largest urban area, the nation's capital, a major centre of the arts and port for the
southern North Island. Cook Strait, the 16 mile/ 26 km stretch of water which separates
the two main islands, creates an airflow, making Wellington possibly the most pollution
free capital in the world.
The city's unique cable car, which runs from the commercial heart of Lambton Quay and tunnels under the corporate towers of The Terrace, emerges within a few minutes in the leafy hilltop suburb of Kelburn, with its galleries, craft shops, restaurants and university. Adjacent to the Kelburn terminus is an entrance to the Botanic Gardens, where footpaths lead down through native trees to formal gardens, the interpretive centre, rose gardens and cafe.
Right in the middle of the city is the Civic Centre Complex, an island of tranquility in the bustling city, incorporating a recently refurnished, magnificent fin-de-siecle Town Hall, the modern Michael Fowler Performing Arts Centre, new city library with its unusual metal palm-tree pillars, City Art Gallery, Visitor Information Centre and a grand gateway leading to the city square and a waterfront park. The square is a great place for meeting people, watching the world go by and observing street theatre and other free entertainment.
Many of Wellington's prominent hilltops can be reached by car for panoramic views of the harbour, the city and the hills. The closest are those at the top of the cable car or Mt Victoria.
Wellington's cosmopolitan nature is reflected in the number of fine ethic restaurants, including Lebanese, Italian, Greek, Thai, Indian, Japanese, Cajun, Mexican, cantonese, Sichuan, Cambodian, Malaysian and Pakistani, as well as classic French and good old fashioned English fare including the standard take away, "fish and chips." With nearly 20 pages restaurants listed inthe Yellow Pages, you will probably have no difficulty finding one to suit your taste.
Downtown Wellington and particularly Lambton Quay with its elegant department stores and designer boutiques, is the country's most exciting shopping area. The Quay has a vibrancy not found in any other New Zealand city, mostly in the middle of the day when the office workers spill from their Terrace Towers behind the Quay and mix with shoppers and street musicans. A visit to the markets over the weekend can provide interesting alternative shopping, especially for crafts.
Wellington's Performing Arts
Wellingtonians are avid theatre and concert goers, so if you are considering a show, it pays to reserve seats well in advance. The city is also the base for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, frequently invited to perform in Europe and the United States. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the best orchestras in the southern hemisphere and the local opera company mounts several productions per year, likely to feature one of New Zealand's international stars.
Every two years, Wellington hosts the New Zealand festival of the arts, the country's premier cultural event. Featuring local and international stars, it is fast gaining an international reputation for its variety and high standard of its performances and artists.
Must do and see
The Museum of New Zealand houses the national collection of fine art, historic artifacts and natural history, including one of the finest collections in the world of Maori traditional art and culture. Other galleries and museums include the Maritime Museum on Queen's Wharf and the Cricket Museum at the Basin Reserve sports ground, the Wellington City Gallery, Civic Square, as well as many dealer galleries.
On display at the National Archives in Thornton, is a valuable collection of New Zealand founding documents, including the Treaty of Waitangi and the 1893 Women's Sufferage petition. Amongst noteworthy historic buldings, perhaps the most important is Old St Paul's Catherdral in Mulgrave Street, which, built in 1866, is a magnificent example of wooden Gothic architecture. A famous historic home, the birth place of Katherine Mansfield, probably New Zealand's most famous author, is located on Tinakori Road, Thorndon. At the northernmost end of Lambdon Quay is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world - the Italianate Government buildings erected in 1876.
The most extensive gardens are the Botanic Gardens and there's also the Otari Native Botanic Garden - devoted entirely to native species - in the suburb of Wilton about 3 miles/5 km from Downtown. The zoological gardens of Newtown have one of the largest collections of animals in the country, maintaining an active breeding program for native and introduced endangered species.
Often compared with San Francisco or Naples, Wellington's land-locked harbour is amongst the most stunning in the world. However, Wellingtonians in general tend to admire their jewel at a distance - from a walkway, the front patio or a harbourside strand or cafe. Wellington does have its yachting fraternity and there's a Dragon Boat Festival on the inner harbour in February.
From a different perpective of the city, there are harbour cruises, some combined with lunch and dinner. A regular ferry service also operates across the harbour from Queen's Wharf, downtown, to the seaside suburb of Eastbourne, where there are craft shops, galleries and cafes and a great fish and chips takaway.
If you are inspired by rocky, rugged caostal scenery, Marine Drive follows the indented coastline of small sandy beaches amd rocky headlands for 19 miles/30 km, both in the inner harbour and on the exposed southern coast. A good starting point is Oriental Bay, adjacent to downtown with its cafes and expensive apartments.
Home to the Kapiti Island nature and marine reserves and a host of activities ranging from exhilarating outdoor adventures to a superb variety of shopping. Add in New Zealand's top golf course, a world class car museum, magnificently restored trams, easily accessible nature reserves and arts and crafts that match the best in the country, the Kapiti Coast has something for everyone
Sports to see:
Sailing races and competitions
Click here to see all Wellington Golf Courses
There is a city and suburban bus network. You can rent compact motor-homes and there are coach tours emanating from Wellington. To get about New Zealand, a Travel Pass is offered that embraces Intercity coach, NZ Rail, and Cook Strait Ferries. Multi day passes are available. A rental vehicle/coach tour combination is the best way to see New Zealand's many regions. Wellington is the northern terminus for the inter-island vehicle and passenger ferry link to the South Island.
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SUGGESTED ADD-ON TOURS
Wellington's Cable Car
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