COOLEST LITTLE CAPITAL IN THE WORLD
Dubbed the ‘coolest little capital in the world', Wellington buzzes. It's home to the offices of the country's political decision makers, but its fervent inhabitants have also selfappointed their city the country's culture, coffee and craft beer capital.
We discover what a ‘buzzing' place Wellington is to visit.
Set on a stage of
bushy hillsides and sublime coastlines, it's easy to see why you can't beat Wellington on a good day. Get your bearings with a drive up Mount Victoria, a Wellington must-do. Rising 196 metres above the city, there's stunning panoramic views from the summit's lookout. Pack a picnic – if you've rolled into town on a Sunday grab supplies from the Harbourside Market, which has set up shop on Wellington's waterfront promenade for more than a decade.
With a name that loosely translates to treasure box, Te Papa Tongarewa, the country's national museum, is aptly named. Get up close to the world's only intact colossal squid specimen, with eyes as big as soccer balls. Feel the earth move and learn how to prepare for the big one in the Awesome Forces Earthquake House. You must not miss the museum's current star attraction - Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, which charts New Zealand's involvement in World War One's Gallipoli campaign. Mega-sized models produced by Weta Workshop and cutting-edge technology bring to life the war experiences of eight ordinary Kiwis who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
Explore Zealandia, a 10-minute drive from downtown Wellington but a world away. Tucked in a suburban valley, this fullyfenced ecosanctuary aims to restore a 225-hectare section of bush to its pre-human state. The ground-breaking project has returned 18 species
There's an ever-growing appetite for creative brews in the capital and you're never more than a short walk away from a bar or brewery ready to pour a pint.
of native wildlife back into the area, six of which had previously been absent from mainland New Zealand for more than 100 years. Visit after dark and join a guided torchlight tour for your best chance of coming eye-to-eye with a Little Spotted Kiwi.
Jump in the car and prepare to have the cobwebs blown away on a stroll around the craggy shorelines of Wellington's southern coast. Park up at Owhiro Bay, where it's a half-hour walk to Red Rocks. They're something special, geologically speaking – ancient pillow lava formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions, tinged red by iron oxide. Continue along the coastal track to Sinclair Head, which for half the year plays bachelor pad to a large group of New Zealand fur seals, unlucky with the ladies in the colonies of the South Island.
Pack an appetite as well as your golf clubs, Wellington is said to have more cafes, bars and restaurants per capita than New York City. Jump on a Zest walking tour and let a passionate Wellington foodie introduce you to some of the city's mouth-watering best. Peek behind the scenes at the headquarters of Mojo coffee roasters, in a historic shed on the quay, before sampling your way through Gelissimo, legendary creators of a glow-
in-the-dark gelato. Trawl the culinary hub that's Hannahs Laneway, meeting the makers at Fix and Fogg peanut butter, Wellington Chocolate Factory, and Leeds Street Bakery, famed for their salted caramel cookies. Yum.
Leave the car behind and finish your day exploring the city with a Craft Beer Capital trail map in hand. There's an ever-growing appetite for creative brews in the capital and you're never more than a short walk away from a bar or brewery ready to pour a pint. Include on your itinerary: Inner city brewpub Fork & Brewer, which boasts an impressive 40 taps of beer crafted onsite; the innovative Garage Project, famed for experimenting with unorthodox beer ingredients including cornflakes, seawater and super-heated volcanic rocks; and Husk, a brew bar, café and eatery showcasing popular Wellington locals Choice Bros beer and Karamu Coffee.
So, grab yourself a strong coffee and get started.
And if you’re visiting from out of town, pick-up an Avis rental car from any of the following convenient locations, and earn Fly Buys and Airpoints rewards with every booking. Plus, join Avis Preferred today and eliminate the paperwork and save time when picking up and dropping off your vehicle. • Avis Wellington Airport, Terminal Building, 04 802 1088 • Avis Wellington Downtown, 25 Dixon St, Te Aro, 04 801 8108 • Avis Wellington Ferry Terminal, Interislander Ferry Terminal, 04 801 8108
People overlooking Wellington.
Nick Clark from Flight Coffee.
Dawn breaks spectacularly over the city of Wellington.