Car Rental Wellington Downtown
Welcome to New Zealand’s political centre or as Lonely Planet declared, ‘the coolest little capital of the world’. Wellington is indeed a vibrant and compact city with the full package. It possesses brains and beauty, creativity and history, style and character in droves. Although there’s no doubt that it earns its reputation as the windswept Windy City, Wellington always gives visitors a warm North Island greeting, while its idyllic setting will win you over at first sight.
Embraced by green hills and curled around a stunning harbour outlook, Wellington is the ideal domain for urban indulgences and nature discoveries – from exceptional food experiences to an award-winning eco sanctuary – with top shopping, events and surprises around every corner. A browse through colourful Cuba Street, and its offbeat Bucket Fountain, will attest to that. From the ferry wharves and retail spots at Lambton Quay, to the inner-city beach and cultural scene at Oriental Bay: the waterfront is a sparkling playground with golden shores that enhance Wellington’s desirability as a premier destination.
The exciting, cosmopolitan feel that Wellington exudes ensures that, like Copenhagen, this small-scale city punches well above its weight. As with similarly adorable San Francisco, it even has its own cable car that ends with panoramic views, yet is more than a tourist attraction. Plus with reputedly more cafes, restaurants and bars per capita than the Big Apple, you’ll be divinely fed in Wellington and well-entertained with its sophisticated nightlife. The twin crowns Wellington proudly wears are as the culinary jewel and craft beer capital of the country. What’s more, it also knows its beans – CNN recently placed it in the top eight coffee destinations in the world. Just head down to Hannahs Laneway to pair your perfect espresso with baked goods, or visit the chocolate factory after a fine local drop, and get your fill of gourmet flavours in the laid-back ambience.
With the city’s best and finest easily accessible from downtown, you may want to explore Wellington’s central district by foot, and then discover other must-see attractions through the convenience of your hire car. Drive to the top of the Mount Victoria Lookout to take in the beautiful expanse of coastal views and rolling hills, or visit the scenic rural and riverside towns nearby, including Otaki, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua and Paraparaumu. As the gateway to the stunning sights of the South Island, Wellington has the advantages of both worlds to explore, entwined in one charming city.
Enjoy the buzz around downtown Wellington in your hire car
Known as New Zealand’s epicentre for arts and culture, Wellington is also the Kiwi film capital, thanks to the smashing success of the Lord of the Rings productions and the magic-making boffins at the Weta Workshop. Visit ‘Wellywood’ in Miramar, a seaside neighbourhood, where movie buffs can indulge in the fantasy through movie tours and learn behind-the-scenes secrets on location.
While fun and fascination are firmly on the agenda in Wellington, the city has a more heavyweight side to discover. Naturally this comes wrapped in a stylish package too. ‘The Beehive’ is New Zealand’s seat of government, and an iconic piece of architecture which you can discover by tour. Overlooking the marina, New Zealand’s rich cultural heritage and natural history comes alive at Te Papa Tongarewa. This outstanding world-class museum showcases significant stories and collections, Māori art and culture exhibitions, along with international shows and innovative programs. We recommend you put this national treasure at the top of your list.
Discover Wellington’s colour and natural charm in your hire car
Like any creative, outward-looking city, Wellington loves to celebrate with markets, theatre, comedy, cutting-edge events or a headlining arts festival. Visit in September for WOW (the World of Wearable Art), an awards show of fashion, design and theatrical spectacle all rolled into one. The Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts happens in late February to March, filling Wellington with an explosion of performances, writers and artists’ talks, plus a range of free events. During August, Wellington on a Plate is the ultimate culinary tour around town, a fortnight dedicated to foodie globetrotters.
You won’t want to leave Wellington without exploring its natural charms and discovering its wilder side. Spot seals in their habitat at Sinclair Head on Red Rock Reserve. To see the famed kiwi and tuatara, and many rare native species, head to Zealandia – an acclaimed eco sanctuary in the heart of Wellington. Visit from dawn to night, take a tour through the lush forests, and see an immersive wildlife exhibition. To encounter New Zealand’s most endangered birds in the wild, head 50 kilometres north to the protected nature reserve at Kapiti Island, and hike through native bushland in limited numbers.
If you simply want to unwind and take in the air, start with a City to Sea walk to get to know the beautiful waterfront. Or if you prefer your coastline more rugged, try the Makara Track, a 30-minute drive from Wellington. The 7-kilometre return loop will take you through diverse landscapes, from beach, farmlands, sweeping cliff top views, to an old Māori fortress. There’s so much more to a holiday in Wellington.