Located on the southern region of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington is one of those cities that you won’t forget when you leave – and many agree – making it Lonely Planet’s ‘coolest little capital in the world.’ This darling city has so much to see and experience, from the massive art scene and marketplaces to the shopping, nature and wildlife experiences you can enjoy during any stay.

During any stay in Wellington, a trip to the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum is highly recommended by locals. As the national museum, there are countless collections and exhibits dedicated to the country and culture presented in an interactive experience. The waterfront location of the museum makes it an excellent stop when you’re in the area. Aside from the beach vibes and casual ambiance, Wellington also has a lot to offer visitors from its assortment of attractions and points of interest. Nightly theatre shows, museum collections, and numerous art galleries with local and international artists. Gorgeous views from all around Wellington are easy to see, but some of the best views in the area are from Kelburn, which is located on the top of a hill and can be accessed by the Wellington Cable Car. Another option is to take the city bus to Mount Victoria for astounding panoramic views of the city and entire landscape.

Are you a fan of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit? Director Peter Jackson has used the area in many notable films and you can see the locations on one of the variety of movie tours. Wellington is also known for its vast number of restaurants and bars, which means you’ll never go far without some great food or beverage options. Explore the area around Cuba Street and Courtenay Place for exceptional fine dining, coffee, artisan cocktails and dining cafes!

Wellington’s waterfront alone is worth exploring during any stay in the city – check out the Queens Wharf for unique sights and sounds. When you’re ready to go inland, you’ll have plenty to see including botanic gardens, wildlife sanctuaries and even short day cruises to nearby Kapiti Island, home to some of the world’s endangered birds.