For the second year in a row, Wellington has topped the Deutsch Bank Liveable City index with the best quality of life. The rankings look at purchasing power, safety, health care, cost of living, property price to income ratios, traffic commutes, pollution and climate.
Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has named Wellington the “coolest little capital in the world”. Although it’s not New Zealand’s largest city, it is known as the national centre of arts, coffee, craft beer, film and politics, and there’s an undeniable energy pulsing through the town.
Central Wellington is spread across the foreshores of a wide harbour and steep surrounding hills. Visitors don’t have to venture far for nature and wildlife experiences, including Zealandia, an amazing suburban sanctuary, and Kapiti Island, an offshorereserve for endangered bird and marine species.
Wellington’s must-do activities
- Te Papa o Tongarewa – New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa is a celebration of New Zealand’s identity – the people, culture and environment. The museum was named as one of the top 25 museums in the world by TripAdvisor.
- Zealandia – Zealandia is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human
- Weta Workshop – The home of New Zealand movie-making magic, Weta Workshop is in the Wellington seaside suburb of Miramar. Workshop tours are open to the public, giving film fans a behind-the-scenes look at the SFX techniques and gadgetry used on some of the world’s best-loved films, including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
- Cuba St – Sitting on Wellington’s Cuba Street watching the fashionable walk past the buskers and boutiques gives you a sense how cool this precinct is. Look in any direction and you’ll see a cafe, a vintage store or in the evenings a bar with live music.
- Seal Coast Safari – Just minutes from the city centre you can see New Zealand fur seals on Wellington’s original seal tour along the region’s rugged south coast.
Wellington’s eats and drinks
- Ortega Fish Shack – The menu at Ortega Fish Shack changes daily and will showcase whatever the team can get fresh at the local fishmongers.
- Flight Coffee – Wellington is New Zealand’s capital of coffee and the crew at Flight Coffee are self-declared coffee nerds. At their flagship café The Hangar, the coffee is roasted on site and the tasting board is a great way to experience different beans and styles of coffee.
- Egmont St Eatery – Slightly hidden down one of Wellington’s exciting laneways Egmont St Eatery is a modern, multi-level, light-filled eatery.
- Garage Project – The team at Garage Project are like the mad scientists of beer. The taproom is a beer enthusiast’s dream and the selection of ales will have the palate confused, invigorated and ultimately satisfied.
- Fix and Fogg – Neither a bar nor a restaurant Fix and Fogg is a small store down Hannah’s Laneway selling the best peanut butter you will ever taste. There are the classics like smooth and crunchy but don’t be afraid to try the smoke and fire or honey flavours for something different.
Tags: Tourism New Zealand