It is fringed by beaches of all kinds and surrounded by hills that offer great walking and mountain biking.
Considered the nation’s arts capital there are many museums, art galleries, gigs and theatre shows to enjoy. Wellington is also the culinary capital of New Zealand, famous for its tucked-away bars, quirky cafes, award-winning restaurants and great coffee.
Sport and recreation
Local councils provide a range of recreation facilities including sportsgrounds, parks and gardens. Your local community center may also run many different activities and groups for the community to join.
Check out the website of your local council for more details.
Sports clubs and social groups
On the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) website you'll find clubs in the Wellington region that cover just about any sport you can think of. Sport New Zealand also lists many of the sports clubs available around the region.
Tracks and walks
There are many opportunities to stretch your legs, clear your lungs and get close to nature on the walkways and tracks you will find wherever you go in New Zealand. Check the Department of Conservation (DOC) website to find the great walks available in the Wellington regions. Check your local council website to find the parks and open spaces available near you.
In New Zealand you should always practise good safety skills when going on a long walk, even if it is only for a few hours. The Mountain Safety website has some good tips of how to stay safe.
Stretching along the coast of Wellington's southern suburbs is Taputeranga Marine Reserve. The reserve is for diving, snorkelling, surfing and photography. Fishing is not allowed.
Two areas of sea either side of Kapiti Island make up Kapiti Marine Reserve where all marine life, habitats, objects and structures are protected. It was created in 1992, and is divided into an eastern and western section on either side of Kapiti Island.
Hunting and fishing rules
Both fishing and hunting are a part of life for many in Wellington. Check the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Fish and Game NZ websites for full information to enjoy the region's recreational hunting and fishing opportunities.
If you like to fish or gather shellfish in the sea, you need to know that there are strict limits about the number you can take. The limits vary from region to region. To find out what the limit is, you can check the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website. There are two areas that cover the Wellington region, depending on where you want to fish.
In the five years between 2009-2013, an average of 108 people died from drowning in New Zealand waters each year. You can help keep you and your family safe by following the advice offered by Water Safety New Zealand and by swimming at patrolled beaches.
From mid October (Labour Day) until the end of March, some Wellington beaches have safety patrols and flags to mark safe areas to swim. The Find a beach website will tell you if a beach is patrolled or not.
Cat and dog regulations
New Zealand has various laws about looking after and controlling dogs, cats, and other animals. Each council has their own bylaws so check out your local council website for details.
Wellington features a large number of tracks through beautiful scenery, as well as a strong road cycling community. Check out these websites for more information about cycling in Wellington.
Art and culture
Museums and galleries
There are a number of museums and art galleries to visit in the Wellington region, including the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. You'll find details of these on the websites below.
Music and performance art
Wellington is the home of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Toi Whakaari- New Zealand Drama School, and Taki Rua- a national theatre company.
Wellington also has both a regional and chamber orchestra; a youth orchestra, choir and opera groups; live theatre groups; and a busy schedule of arts events and festivals throughout the year.
There’s good everyday shopping in all of the larger centres in the Wellington region.
Local markets are a great way to experience local produce and meet a few of the locals. There are many markets operating throughout the week in Wellington. Check out these websites for more details.