Interested in Wellington?
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My friends asked me for info on Wellington as we often do business in the city.. so I wrote this GoList - I hope this helps a little !
It costs approx NZ$30- $40.00 for a cab ride from the Airport into the city. If you have time ask to go the scenic route around the bays instead of the tunnel.
The Airport bus connects with flights it costs NZ&8.50 Airport Flyer departs the southern end of the airport terminal on level 0 near the Baggage Claim doors. The service now runs every 15 minutes, every day between the Airport and Lower Hutt.
Shuttle ranks can be found directly outside the baggage claim area.
Catch the citySights Hop on Hop Off bus around Wellington's 12 attractions a 60min loop which includes stopping off at Te Papa, the Cable Car, Wellington Zoo and Parliament. Tickets are valid for 24 hrs departing every hour on the hour from 9.30am at the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Centre until 4.30pm
Costs - $30 for adults and $15 for children For additional info - www.citysights.co.nz
A snapper card is also available offering discounts on Wellington Buses. Tag on at the start of your trip, and tag off at the end. One can buy a Sapper card online
The Museum is located on the waterfront. The building is large & striking which cannot be missed.
Entry is free however one can join any of the tours operating from the museum.
Introducing Te Papa Tour - 60 mins. - Tours depart at 10.15am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm Cost - $12.00
Taste of Treasures Tour - 60 mins -Available 11am daily from 1 November to 31 March - cost $24.00
The Museum is opened :
Monday to Sunday 10am - 6pm
Late night Thursday til 9pm
To see what's on regarding exhibitions - visit www.tepapa.govt.nz.
The Museum is excellent for understanding the history of the Maori's & houses a large collection & meeting house ( marae).
The Cable Car is Wellington's best attraction. One can hop onto the cable car in Lambton Quay or at the top of the entrance into the Botancial Gardens. I highly recommend you take the car up & get off and walk down to the CBD through the Botanical Gardens & Wellington's historical Bolten Street Cemetery.
After the walk you can have coffee & cake at the Bolten Hotel Cafe which is located basically at the end of the walk.
Cars run every 10 minutes, Monday to Friday, 7am – 10pm. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, 9am – 10pm.
Costs - one way -$3.00 Return - $6.00
(2 Adults & up to 4 Children) - $15.00
There is a Tales & Rails Tour avaiable - escorted tour of Wellington's Cable Car and Museums which costs Ticket Price $29. Includes return trip on the Cable Car, guided tours and refreshments. Book at the Museum of Wellington
The best way to experience Wellington is by foot with a local guide. The walking tour takes approx 2hrs Walks run daily at 10am, and at 5:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in summer. Wellington Walks leave from the i-SITE Visitor Centre in Civic Square
Costs - $NZ 20 adults / $10 children 5 - 16 years
http://www.walk wellington. org.nz/
There are a few ways to get to the Botanical Gardens which are located above Lambton Quay. The most popular way is by catching the Cable Car up to the main entrance the car leaves every 10 minutes to the top of the Botanic Garden.
Or one can catch the bus No 3 Karori Bus or No 13 Mairangi - catch the bus at Lambton Quay and get off at the Centennial and Founders' entrances on Glenmore Street.
Walking up from Bolten Street is another way to view the gardens however you will be walking up the hill which is rather steep.
The Botanical Gardens is 25 hectares large & is located on the side of the hill between Thorndon and Kelburn, the Gardens was first created in 1868 and now houses Lady Norwood Rose Garden , Begonia House & Treehouse Visitor Centre.
Cuba Street is very interesting even learning about it's past is captivating. Cuba Street is now a Pedestrian Mall which houses many restaurants, quirky shops, art galleries, boutique dress shops & a few bars.
It's known as the bohemian area of Wellington so it's always lively & entertaining to stroll down the street.
Cuba Street was once used as a tram route in the early days & now also houses some historical builings. Cuba Street was named after a settler's ship called The Cuba in the early 1800's. .
Mount Victoria's original Maori name is Tangi Te Keo & is located at the southern end of the Wellington CBD. The views are absolutely gorgeous from the top of Mount Victoria & its the perfect place for taking pictures of Wellington. The hill is 196mts high, and you get fabulous views of the city, the harbour, the docks, and all wat to the Hutt Valley.
Mount Victoria were also used as a shooting location for Lord of The Rings so its rather a popular tourist attraction. There are many short walks on can do too which makes the drive up worth while. The best way to get to Mt Victoria is by driving however there are plenty of tours which can be easily found at the Tourist information Centre. You can also take Bus20 from Wellington Station & lambton Quay but it only operates on the weekdays.
Getting to the zoo is easy if you are driving its just 10mins out of the city - fllow the brown Zoo signs.
Buses also go there - No. 10 departs from the Railway Station and runs via Cuba Street. & No. 23 from Mairangi via Kelburn and Lambton Quay.
The Mojo cafe serves breakfast & lunch or one can have a good coffee at the Tuck Shop located in the centre of the Zoo.
The Zoo is open every day except Christmas Day.
Child: 3-14 years of age: $10.00
Under 3: free
Oriental Bay is located close to the CBD on Wellington harbour & is one of Wellington's most expensive suburbs to live. There are an array of restaurants & cafés & in summer months this is the place to hang out if wanting some action. There is a swimming pool , gymnasium & a playground too. Its very Popular with walkers runners, cyclists, rollerbladers & families.
Movie tours takes in location shots of where Lord of the Rings was filmed and a visit to New Zealand's movie-making centre other current projects. Included in the tour is a 1hour visit to the Weta Cave. Tour 2:30pm - 6:30pm Duration 4 hours
Valley Movie Tour - Tour 10am - 2:30pm Duration 4.5 hours
Includes visiting location shots like Helms Deep / Minas Tirith / Gardens of Isengard
Hinged Trees of Isengard.
http://www. adventuresafari. co.nz
The beehive is attached to the Parliament buildings & basically looks like a beehive.
The Beehive building is approx 72m high and has four floors below ground level. The entrance is decorated with elaborate marble floors, stainless steel mesh wall panels, and glass ceilings. The top floor houses the Parliamnet cabinet offices. The Prime Minister’s offices occupies the 9th floor, and further down are the offices of the cabinet ministers.
This attraction is certainly for the boys ! However; I also found it to be very interesting as there are so many wonderul vintage cars in one collection. The Southward Car Museum,is located on the Kapiti Coast, an hour's drive north of Wellington.
The collection includes many famous makes and models of classic and vintage cars. Among the most popular are Marlene Dietrich's 1934 Cadillac Town Cabriolet. The collection was evidently created by Sir Len Southward and his wife Lady Vera. They started collecting cars in 1956. The first of which was a Model T Ford for which Sir Len evidently paid £40. .
The Bolton Hotel is extremely close to the heart of the CBD shopping precinct but a little out of the way for dining in Cuba Street or Courtenay Place . We had to catch taxi's most of the time due to us wanting to dine out in Cuba Street.
Arrival - We arrived at midnight so naturally our room was ready & waiting for us. The staff were always efficient & friendly.
Room - Our room 1105 was a one bedroom apartment with views over the Botanical Gardens. The apartment consisted of a separate lounge/ dining with an open plan kitchenette which was stylishly designed with microwave, stove, dishwasher, coffee & tea were also generously supplied.
The separate bedroom was spacious with a extremely large bathroom connected with a walk-in shower & bath. Plenty of fluffy towels were supplied. I really enjoyed the toiletries especially the Mud Pack.
Facilities - A fab lap heated swimming pool with spa , sauna & a good size gym located on level three. There is a small bar/ caf�n the lobby area with couches to relax. Morning newspapers & magazines were also supplied which gave a nice touch.
Parking - Bolton Hotel tower park (car stacker) is pretty neat too.
Taxis were easily obtained usually only waiting for a few Min's.
Breakfast - We opted to have brekky in the room however one can dine in the breakfast room located on level one or order in room service.
Overall: - We enjoyed our stay at the Bolton the apartment was extremely comfortable with all the modern facilities one requires. We thought the free wifi was excellent too.
However; we felt the Bolton to be more like a good quality 4 star hotel than a 5*. It just lack that little touch of luxury.
Room Tip: Ask for Botanical Garden View room.
Check-in- The reception was closed due to our arrival time however we were kindly given instructions on where to park our car & provided a pin number for the security box to obtain our townhouse keys.
Finding our townhouse was another fiasco of wheeling luggage through lifts & endless corridors. We were totally exhausted by the time we finally arrived into the apartment.
The Boulcott Suites consists of the front part of the building housing suites/ units & at the back of the building are all the townhouses which look a little like the layout of a Housing Commission complex.
Townhouse 7 – We booked a 2 bedroom townhouse which consisted of a combined lounge, dining & kitchen downstairs with a small balcony & two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs.
We appreciated the 2 bathrooms as hubby claimed one & I had the other while we used the 2nd bedroom for our change room.
The townhouse was comfortable but did have its faults. Mostly it was dark & we constantly had to put the lights on to read. We also found downstairs to be hot & stuffy, we eventually hunted down the air conditioning & turned it off. (Hidden way in a closet upstairs).
Location: We were hosting a conference in Willis Street & the Boulcott Suites were basically across the road from the building. The location is also brilliant for getting around by foot to almost all parts of Wellington.
Cuba Street, Blair Street & Courtney Place are all easily walkable. (Main hubs for restaurants, entertainment and nightlife) plus its just minutes to Lamberton Quay for shopping.
Overall: We originally thought the Boulcott Suites to be ordinary but after staying for five days we understood the location was hard to beat & appreciated the closeness of the Boulcott Suites to the supermarket, shops, cafes & restaurants.
Intercontinental Hotel - fab location - heart of the CBD
James Cook Grand Chancellor - the Terrace - excellent location CBD
Copthorne Hotel - waterfront location
Museum Hotel - across the street to the harbour or Te Papa.
At Home Wellington - apartment style - waterfront location.
For backpackers -
YHA Wellington City
Listed below are some restaurants we found to be excellent.
The restaurant is housed in an old historical timber building which was originally built for Dr Henry Pollen in the early 1900’s. Downstairs is a lively busy pub style with high stools & wooden tables. Upstairs on the first level has a bar & small casual cafe tables.
We wanted a large table for 15 people & the menu reasonably priced. The staff recommended us a private function room on the 3rd level which was warmly decorated with themed medical pictures.
Our group ordered individual entrees & mains. All the meals looked superb & my chicken dish was delicious however everyone did complain about the small portions.
Overall the restaurant was cosy with a charming atmosphere & the meals equally well presented at very reasonable price. This restaurant would suit those looking for a casual but quality restaurant with atmosphere.
Luckily, I spotted this restaurant whilst walking back to our hotel. We were hosting a conference in Wellington & were staying in the Boulcott Suites which was just around the corner.
When we arrived without a booking we were quickly shown to a table close to the window. The restaurant decore immediately reminded us of the Steakhouses in Chicago & hubby stated he liked this restaurant already. !
We ordered 2 steaks with plenty of sides as we were both really hungry.
Wow ! The steak was cooked to perfection & the side dishes were absolutely delicious.
The staff were lovely,friendly & efficient. We ended up talking to the owner as he overheard us talking about how we thought the restaurant reminded us of Chicago Steakhouses. (We are Australians, so very very fussy when it comes to steaks ! )
Overall: We really enjoyed our meal & would highly recommend this restaurant as a must try when visiting Wellington.
We arrived in Wellington and basically had no idea where to dine. We had researched a little to know that Cuba Street was evidently the happening place to find a suitable restaurant.
Hubby was hanging out for some Italian food & we spotted Scopa Caffe which looked absolutely packed, however managed to score a table close to the window.
The menu was very limited in our opinion & we eventually decided to share a pizza for entrée & meatball spaghetti & veal for our main. The wine list was excellent as we love NZ wine so the list was perfect.
Overall: The restaurant was crowded which made it very noisy. The pizza was just okay as we didn't like the base. ( Try Fratelli’s if your after a fab pizza). We found the mains to be tasty & up to standard.
The staff were fast, friendly & efficient a real credit to this establishment
This is Wellington's best fine dining restaurant which overlooks the Harbour in Oriental Bay. Chef Paul Hoafer has been operating the White House since 1992 & still manages to win countless awards. If looking for a fine dining restaurant with class, good food & excellent service this restaurant ticks all the boxes. I highly recommend you order degustation menu as it's fabulous !! I won't spoil your fun just go & try it !!
The Dockside Restaurant is located in a stunning location on Queens Wharf overlooking the waters edge. We happened to be walking past & thought why not try it for lunch. We were lucky as we manage to score a table closest to the waters edge. The restaurant quickly filled up whilst we ordered our lunch & in a few mins it was totally booked out.
The restaurant has a lovely casual maritime theme with large wooden tables & a couch with a open fire place for relaxing after dinner.
The menu offers mainly seafood which is excellent for lunch. We opted for a cucumber Gazpacho for entrée which was absolutely delicious & for main I had the Dockside Fish & Chips crumbed market fish fillets & hubby the Prime Angus 100 Day Grain Fed Rib Eye with crushed new potatoes, savoy cabbage and café de paris butter.
Overall – The restaurant is a fab place to dine for brunch, lunch or dinner set in a prime location on the waterfront. We will definitely return again when in Wellington.
We were taken to this restaurant by a local as our business client said it was one of his favourite restaurants in Wellington.
The only negative we found was evidently one cannot book so we had to dine early as we didn’t want to be disappointed in finding out the restaurant was full.
The decor is really comfortable with a lovely atmosphere. We enjoyed sharing a pizza for our entrée & later we all had different main dishes. I opted for Fish en Papillote market fish baked in parchment with Florence fennel & herbed butterfresh fish wrapped in a parcel whilst the others had pasta.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meals in a lovely restaurant full with charm & character. We thought our capricciosa pizza with artichokes, ham, olives, shaved mushroom & egg to be fab .
I'm surprised this restaurant is not on the top 5 on TA for Wellington Restaurants.
If you like Italian food then don't miss dining at Fratelli's. Fratelli is situated in the heart of Courtenay Quarter, walking distance from the city CBD.
Very Tuesday night is the Fratelli Feast which is fab - 3 course meal for $35.00 - booking is required.
Try the Slightly seared Beef Carpaccio with chargrilled Eggplant finished with an Anchovy dressing & the Tagliatelle with Pork & Beef Meatballs in a thick Napolitana sauce - its yummy !
Logan Brown restaurant is located in Cuba Street. The style of our food is contemporary using NZ's finest produce. Every Saturday night they offer a Degustation Menu at 8pm either a 6 or 9 course meal. The 9 course offers everything NZ from Whitbait / Oysters / Paua Ravioli with Coriander / Rangitikei Lamb Rack / Venison Tenderloin / Cardamom & Orange Panna Cotta / - yum !!
A bistro & a La Carte menu are also available.
.Whenever we are in Wellington on business we try & make it here for dinner. The food & service is always excellent. The restaurant is located at 290 Wakefield St
(Next to Wellington New World on Chaffers).
My hubby absolutely loves the Pan fried lamb livers with tossed greens and pancetta served with blackcurrant sauce & I equally love the lamb.
Most of Wellington's shopping can be found in Lamberton Quay CBD. There are two department stores Farmers & Kirkcaldie the later being the best. Numerous top label Shops can also be found in Lamberton Quay.
Mall - Westfield Queensgate has over 140 stores in Lower Hutt - From Wellington or Upper Hutt disembark at the Waterloo Interchange. The station is a 500 mts walk from Westfield Queensgate, or take any bus marked Queensgate.
Cuba Street also houses many funky & boutique shops