Car Rental Wellington Airport
Say hello to Wellington, the hippest spot in New Zealand and its national seat of government. Named as the capital of cool by both Lonely Planet and Vogue, Wellington is also known as the creative capital of New Zealand arts and culture; the capital for all things culinary, of craft beer and coffee; and let’s not forget its nickname of ‘Wellywood’, the Kiwi film capital.
How can one little city live up to all the hype? Easily, if you’re as vibrant, cosmopolitan and stylish as wonderful Wellington. Perhaps it’s the village vibe in big city clothes, or enthusiastic spirit and relaxed ambience that gives the Windy City its countless charms and gushing tributes. Maybe it’s the abundance of outdoor activities, nearby nature reserves, the eco sanctuary in the heart of the city, spectacular vistas, or weekend getaways – that keeps Wellington so fresh, picturesque and lively. Not surprisingly, Wellington also tops World’s Most Liveable City lists every other year.
In terms of position, Wellington is exceptionally blessed: framed by rolling emerald hills and nestled around a gorgeous harbour. From Lambton Quay to Oriental Bay, its beautiful waterfront is home to diverse elements that reflect the best of the city: its cultural treasures, mix of world-class dining and delicious eats, pretty marinas and golden beach, its walks and wharves, and interesting shopping spots.
Whether you’re a foodie, a film enthusiast, a nature lover, or you’ve just landed at Wellington Airport to pick up your hire car - you’ll want as much time in Wellington as your itinerary allows, to discover all the delights of this pocket-sized city, or at least enjoy the highlights, and see why it deserves all the praise.
Exploring the towns around Wellington is easy in your hire car
First stop, drive to the Mount Victoria Lookout and enjoy the panorama across the coastline and hills. Another way to get a great view is via the classic Wellington Cable Car, from the terminus at Lambton Quay shopping district up to Kelburn station. Visit the Cable Car Museum, Space Place at the Observatory, and the Botanic Gardens while you’re here. A free shuttle is also available to whisk you to Zealandia – the award-winning sanctuary for native wildlife, where you can spot kiwis and tuataras and other rare creatures in lush natural surroundings, right in the middle of the city.
If you’re reasonably fit, we recommend the scenic Sea to City Walkway which will take you from central Wellington, past the Botanic Gardens and along hilly ridges and valleys to the south coast. It’s a leisurely way to find your bearings and discover Wellington’s natural beauty.
You can keep exploring further with Wellington’s abundance of coastal and inland tracks, with ecological and historic attractions. Such as the Red Rock Reserve, home to a fur seal colony; or the tranquil walk on Matiu/Somes Island, where New Zealand’s first lighthouse from 1866 still stands. Plus, there are many delightful towns and wild green spaces ideal for short trips, several under a half-hour from the city. To explore wilderness reserves, head to Upper Hutt, Kapiti Island and Waikanae. Enjoy the relaxed riverside feel and regional museums at Lower Hutt and Porirua; golf and gourmet foods at Paraparaumu; seek out beach walks and the mountain backdrop at Levin, or the rural beauty and nearby forests of Otaki.
A hire car from Wellington Airport will ensure you see all the best sights
Wellington is home to a thriving food scene. Grab a tasty bite by visiting the chocolate factory down in the Hannahs Laneway precinct or experience the world-class dining options on the waterfront around Oriental Bay. For the perfect introduction, take the Zest Food Tour to sample gourmet produce as you wander the city, and meet the passionate folk involved. On Friday and Saturday, check out the night food markets on Cuba Street for Asian fare. This funky strip is a mélange of bohemian cafes (including local landmark, Fidel’s), vintage boutiques and record stores, gifts and indie bookshops, restaurants and LGBTQI night spots.
Arts and culture also plays an important role in defining Wellington’s character. Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand’s national museum, displaying a rich storehouse of the country’s narratives and cultural treasures, particularly of Māori significance. Their world-class collections, programs and exhibitions are definitely worth a visit.
Another major Wellington attraction (of the popular-culture variety) is the film buff’s favourite, the Weta Workshop – behind numerous multimillion-dollar blockbusters from the Lord of the Rings movies, to special effects for Avatar and Thor. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to witness the magic and artistry at work and discover the secret to why the Kiwi film industry is such a booming world-wide success story. From fantasy to history, to ecological havens and culinary bliss, you’ll be thrilled that you landed in Wellington.