2010-10-25 18:32


Getting there
Wellington International Airport is eight-kilometres southeast of downtown Wellington. International flights operate to and from four Australian destinations - Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne - as well as Fiji. There are also good rail and road links.

Getting around Wellington is quick and easy with its comprehensive public transport systems. The stadium is just a 15-minute walk from the city centre, and there will be shuttle buses on hand to transport visitors.

Useful Links

Rugby World Cup Stadium
Westpac Stadium

Famous sons
Murray Mexted, All Black 1975 – 1985

New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, is home to the nation's Parliament, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa, a thriving film industry and many other attractions. The earliest Maori name for Wellington is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui - which means ‘the head of Maui's fish’ - stemming from the Maori legend that polynesian navigator Maui fished up the North Island and legend recounts that Kupe discovered and explored the district in about the tenth century.

European settlement began with the arrival of an advance party of the New Zealand Company on the ship Tory, on 20 September 1839, followed by 150 settlers on the Aurora on 22 January 1840. The settlers constructed their first homes at Petone (which they called Britannia for a time) on the flat area at the mouth of the Hutt River. When that proved swampy and flood-prone they transplanted the plans, which had been drawn without regard for the hilly terrain.

As a result of settlement, Wellington showcases a variety of architectural styles from the past 150 years - nineteenth century wooden cottages, such as the Italianate Katherine Mansfield Birthplace in Thorndon, some streamlined Art Deco structures such as the old Wellington Free Ambulance headquarters, the City Gallery, and the Former Post and Telegraph Building, as well as the curves and vibrant colours of post-modern architecture in the CBD.

Wellington's compact city centre supports an arts scene, café culture and nightlife much larger than many cities of a similar size. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Museum of Wellington City & Sea and the biennial New Zealand International Arts Festival are all sited there.

There is so much to do in and around the city, that a short visit won't be enough. However, a good place to start is with the following top 10 attractions.

1.  Visit the dynamic and interactive National Museum of NZ - Te Papa on the waterfront.
2. Get your city bearings and some of Wellington’s best views at the Mount Victoria Lookout.
3. Ride the historic Wellington Cable Car to the Botanic Garden.
4. A city tour is the best way to get acquainted quickly with Wellington. Enjoy the experience with one of many local companies offering Wellington sights’ tours.
5. Four Wellington restaurants have won NZ’s Best Restaurant in the last five years. It’s safe to say you’ll be eating very well while in Wellington!
6. Hear the birdsong and spot a tuatara as you walk through ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience.
7. Get an inside peek into Wellywood at The Weta Cave in Miramar.
8. Go stargazing and check out the amazing planetarium show at Carter Observatory.
9. Seeking hidden treasures? Many of Wellington’s best night spots are tucked away for your finding, such as Motel, Library or Duke Carvell’s Swan Lane Emporium.
10. Head to Cuba Street for a slice of Bohemia, boutique shopping and some of the best coffee in town.

Wellington is the home to The Hurricanes Super 14 rugby team representing the Lower North Island.

Wellington Harbour. (Getty)


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