Wellington is a very popular family holiday destination in the North Island, with an amazing variety of attractions, activities, accommodation and dining experiences, catering for all family ages and stages. Wellington prides itself as being not only our political capital, but also the cultural, artistic, and culinary hub of New Zealand.  You can easily spend a day, a weekend, or a week exploring the nation’s capital city and the surrounding region.
As the political capital of New Zealand, Wellington attracts a huge amount of public service workers and the head offices of many companies lobbying central government.  Around 180,000 people live in Wellington city, whilst approximately 450,000 live within the greater Wellington region (including Kapiti Coast, Porirua, Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa).

Getting There

Wellington is centrally located for New Zealanders, an interesting scenic drive down the Kapiti Coast for most North Islanders. As a driving guide, Wellington is 640km from Auckland, 320km from Napier, 370km from Taupo, and  350km from New Plymouth, so you may wish to have an overnight stopover along your journey.

For Mainlanders remember to book the ferry well in advance. You have a potentially breathtaking ferry trip across the Cook Strait. Either the scenery will take your breath away or the lumpy seas will leave you gasping and groping for sea-sick bags. Christchurch families have a 340km scenic drive up the Kaikoura coast, whilst Dunedin families have a 695km journey to Picton.
If flying, there are daily direct flights to Wellington from most cities in both the North Island and South Island. If you fly, then you’ll need to consider hireage of either a car or campervan to get around Wellington city and region.

When should we go?

Wellington is an international and domestic tourism and event/convention “hot spot”, so we recommend that you plan and BOOK AHEAD for your preferred accommodation in order to avoid disappointment.

The Wellington climate is temperate, with daily maximum summer temperature between 19°C – 24°C, and daily maximum winter temperature between 10°C – 14°C. Remember to wrap up warm in the cooler months, particularly if a chilly Southerly wind comes blasting through from the Antarctic.  It is known as “Windy Wellington” for very good reason!

Whether you are into walks, swims, adrenalin-pumping action, sightseeing, cultural insights, a combination of many different activities, or a family day out, Wellington has so much to offer for family fun and adventure.

We’ve separated “the Wellington trip” into 3 articles:

  Places to Go — a huge variety of attractions or things to do in and around the Wellington region

  Places to Eat — restaurants, cafes, some with entertainment

  Places to Stay — accommodation for different budgets and lifestyles

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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