Wellington, New Zealand
Set around a ravishing harbour, with wooden Victorian buildings overlooking steep verdant hills, the city effortlessly blends nature and tempting culture. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson calls it home and 'Wellywood' is firmly established as the nation’s movie industry heartland, as well as playing host to New Zealand's parliament. Compact in size, it’s easy to get around and get a feel for why Wellington punches well above its weight.
When to go
The Windy City’s exposure to the Tasman Sea’s weather systems mean that winters can be harsh; temperatures range from 10C to 14C. But during the summer months from December to March temperatures are about 19C to 24C.
PlanesWellington International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and less than an hour’s flight from anywhere else in New Zealand. Domestic carriers include Air New Zealand and Sounds Air; from Australia you can also pick up flights on Qantas.
BoatsFerries travel across the Cook Strait (between New Zealand's North and South Islands) and through the Marlborough Sounds up to nine times daily.
TrainsTranz Scenic runs the Overlander, which links Auckland and Wellington, taking in the spectacular Mount Ruapehu, river gorges and the world-famous Raurimu Spiral, a single-track railway spiral.
AutomobilesMajor State Highways 1 and 2 lead to Wellington.
TaxisWellington Combined Taxis is the city’s largest taxi company (+64 (0)4 384 4444). For something different, take a Baxi, a bike-taxi company that runs throughout the CBD (Central Business District).