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Blick auf Wellington und seinen Hafen, Bild: byvalet / shutterstock

Wellington – the capital of the Kiwis

Wellington is located at the lowest tip of New Zealand’s North Island and, with its approximately 200,000 inhabitants, is one of the country’s metropolitan areas. Despite the relatively high population density by New Zealand standards, the capital has a lot to offer and invites you to many different sights. A visit to the Kiwi capital is definitely worthwhile – it’s not for nothing that Wellington was named the “coolest little capital in the world” in 2011.

Wellington Cable Car

Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Cable Car, Image: Robert CHG / shutterstock

If you are looking for information about Wellington, you can’t miss the famous cable car . A ride on the cute red train is simply part of a visit. The cable car transports visitors directly from the centre to the Kelburn observation deck and the main entrance of the Botanic Gardens. During the 5-minute ride, passengers can enjoy the breathtaking view of the beautiful city as well as the picturesque harbor.

Nature in and around Wellington

Just like the rest of New Zealand, the capital has a lot of nature to offer and attracts with numerous hikes and action for nature lovers. As already mentioned, there is the botanical garden to marvel at, where the typical New Zealand ferns grow and you are enchanted by the lush green. If you like it a bit more action-packed, you can let off steam in the Rimutaka Forest Park and explore the area on mountain bikes. A hike through the beautiful beech forests is also a good idea here. Here, too, there are many different plants to marvel at and a lot to discover.

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Another hotspot for nature lovers in Wellington is the Makara Track, which runs directly along the wild west coast. The special feature of this beach hike is the spectacular view far into the distance. The start and end point of this trail are at Makara Beach, which is also the namesake for this hike. The paths are well paved and therefore this circular route is also well suited for families with children. You should plan about 4 hours for the hike and pack sturdy shoes.

The Wellington Walkways

There is also a lot to discover and experience directly in the city. The so-called Walkways are well-signposted walks in the middle of the city, which lead you through the city in an interesting and varied way.

These walking paths lead through the middle of Wellington’s local recreation areas and parks and you quickly forget that you are actually in the capital. Depending on which part of the city you are in, you can choose between the Northern, Southern and Eastern Walkways. All three routes have a different length and lead to a wide variety of destinations.

Northern Walkway, 16 km and 4 hours duration

This trail starts in Johnsonville and leads through many green parks (including the botanical garden) in the middle of downtown. The paths are relatively easy to walk, but there are some steeper sections. However, these are always worthwhile, as there are many impressive viewpoints along the way and you can get a good overview of the city.

Southern Walkway, 11 km and 5 hours duration

Beehive Wellington
Beehive, one of New Zealand’s parliament buildings, Image: JoshuaDaniel / shutterstock

This trail starts in the harbor suburb of Oriental Bay and leads all the way up to the summit of Mount Victoria. From here you have a breathtaking view over Wellington and the rugged coast. We continue through the forest, which is also known from the movie “Lord of the Rings” and offers a beautiful backdrop. Past the Wellington Zoo , the path finally leads to Island Bay and thus back to the south coast of the island.

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Eastern Walkway, 2.5 km and 2 hours duration

This slightly shorter route is great for getting a first impression of the city. In the south along the Miramar peninsula to Tarakena Bay there are some beautiful views of Wellington harbour. In addition, this route takes you to some Maori sites and can get an impression of New Zealand culture.

Away from nature – a real metropolis

Wellington, despite the charm of a small town, also has a real metropolitan feeling to offer. It is even said that Wellington has more restaurants and bars per capita than the metropolis of New York. So you can also spend some time in a wide variety of locations and enjoy delicious food and unique drinks. After all, Wellington is also the culinary capital of New Zealand.

Wellington can also keep up with other metropolises on a cultural level. Concerts and live shows take place in the city almost every day, so that visitors really have a lot to offer.

The wildlife around Wellington

Due to the location directly on the water and the rugged rocky coast, sea lions in particular feel right at home in Wellington. So if you would like to experience them in their natural environment, you can take part in one of the numerous tours and experience nature from a completely different side.

The adventurous journey can be undertaken by boat as well as by jeep.