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.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

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