If you’re looking for a travel destination that takes you to the far reaches of the globe without breaking your travel budget, consider Wellington, NZ. It’s a lush land packed with just the right combination of natural wonders and modern conveniences. Although tourism has gotten a boost due to New Zealand’s recent Hollywood cred, the island is still a mystery to some. ‘Wellies’ and the Lord of The Rings aside, there are many things about this other land down under that many outsiders don’t realize.
1. Wellington is also one of the best places for dining. Forget what you know about Paris, Wellington has a thriving culinary scene that any foodie would be proud to partake in. There are more restaurants, bistros and cafes packed into this space, per capita, than there are in NYC.
2. It’s also one of the best places in the world for craft beer. In fact, it bills itself as the ‘Craft Beer Capital of the World.’ The Craft Beer Trail is a self-guided tour that will take you to the best breweries in a city known for it’s great selection of beer.
3. It has a 114 year-old cable car that still runs on time. The Wellington Cable car runs every 10 minutes between Kelburn and Lambton Quay, and it takes it’s riders a breathtaking 100+ meters over the city. You’ll get a great view of the formal gardens and hills, and you can even meet the locals, as the cable car is one of the main ways to get to work.
4. Since native son, Peter Jackson, has become a household name, Wellington has been re-christened “Wellywood.” One of the must-see attractions is the Weta Workshop, a feature of the special effects company responsible for films like Peter Pan and King Kong, in addition to bringing the magic of Tolkien’s worlds to life.
5. Although the city itself is small enough to see on foot – it’s a mere 2 kilometers to cross the city center – Wellington car hire is very budget-friendly, and it’s the best way to get to nature preserves, beaches and other nearby attractions outside of the capital.
When you’re planning your travels to New Zealand, keep in mind that their seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. That means that summer in New Zealand takes place December – February. Talk to a travel agent to learn more.