Top Five Spots to Visit in Wellington

The top five destinations you must visit on your next stop in Wellington, New Zealand.

WHERE TO STAY: CQ HOTEL WELLINGTON

Nestled in the heart of Cuba Street, encompassing the essence of Wellington, CQ Hotel exudes character, charm and cool. A key highlight of CQ Wellington is that it is fully accessible for both the visually and hearing impaired. With trained staff and being fully wheelchair accessible the hotel is a pleasurable experience for all.

We had an informative and pleasant dining experience at the CQ restaurant which encouraged us to order in sign language. Our deaf waitress, Tanya enjoyed teaching us how to say our own names and order our meals - it was a unique experience that left us more informed and excited about the diverse society we live in. Both the Comfort Inn at 3.5 stars and Quality Hotel at 4.5 stars are located beside each other, sharing reception. This means no matter what your budget, everyone can afford to stay at the CQ Hotel. Our room at the Quality Hotel was spacious and chic. The modern furniture sat well with the open plan and we had a full kitchen that allowed us to cook. However, having Wellington's best restaurants around us meant we didn't need to. With friendly staff, an array of choices for room service and a plethora of activities to choose from we were spoilt for choice. We suggest taking a dip in the pool, grab a cocktail from the bar, hire an electric bike from reception or hit the gym. Whatever you're in Wellington for Cuba Street's, CQ Hotel is your choice of stay. To book your ultimate Wellington accommodation, click here

1. WELLINGTON CABLE CAR

Voted by 2011's Lonely Planet Guide as one of the top places to visit in Wellington, the ‘Wellington Cable Car’ is a must-do while in town. Departing every 5 to 10 minutes, your short journey starts on Lambton Quay in the CBD and finishes up at the stunning Botanical Gardens in Kelburn. We were fortunate enough to experience the tunnel and lights display allowing us to capture the unique experience when on board. Once you reach the top, the view is one not to miss. Overlooking Mount Victoria, Wellington City, and as far as the Hutt Valley, this is a tourist stop that'll fill up your Instagram feed. 

2. THE LITTLE WAFFLE SHOP

If you have a sweet tooth or are in need of a little something decadent, The Little Waffle Shop is your Wellington desserterie destination. Nestled in the wall of Courtenay place, a plethora of waffle flavours and gastronomic pleasure awaits. Order from their extensive list of waffles from Snickers to Berrylicious and prepare to indulge. We took ours down to the waterfront and admired the city by night. It makes for the perfect cheap but delicious date night - take note men. One must try flavour: Caramel Cookie Crumble - you will not regret it.

3. WELLINGTON WATER FRONT 

Whether it's art, design, market shopping or a great coffee coffee - Wellington's waterfront is where you want to be. Only moments away from the ‘Golden Mile’, one of the coolest shopping blocks in New Zealand, we both found something that pleased.  With local markets along the waters edge, it was the ultimate way to enjoy and be among the Wellingtonian culture. Nestled in the waterfront is Wellington's Te Papa Museum. Te Papa offers a wonderful insight into the rich social and cultural history of New Zealand. Exciting and interactive exhibitions from DreamWorks Animations and it's most popular, Visiting Gallipoli make Te Papa a must see. 

4. MATTERHORN

If you want to eat and eat well, then Cuba Street's Matterhorn is your restaurant of choice. Besides the stunning interior, the vibe is cool, dark and unique. It's an 'assembly for Wellington’s creative cognoscenti', originally opening it's doors as a Swiss coffee house in 1963. Open for brunch and dinner - we suggest grabbing a drink from it's extensive beverage list prior to digging into it's four course degustation. We opted for a smaller meal, so we had room for dessert and cocktails later on. Line caught snapper and confit duck leg with sides of green bean and jersey potatoes left us full and satisfied, although we were certainly tempted by the array of choices from their raw to start and entree menu. Visit Matterhorn for a plethora of dishes specially designed to treat and surprise all taste buds. 

5. MOUNT VICTORIA

Looking for that one spot to capture the ultimate panoramic images of Wellington? Mount Victoria is your answer. Rising 196 meters above the capital city, let's just say it was not an easy destination to get to... well for us anyway. You can be smart, and drive up to the top of the mountain or take the most challenging option, like us. Although you will be left sweaty, tired and potentially bruised, deciding to mountain bike your way up is the most rewarding option (and creates a healthy appetite). With 3 different tracks including gravel roads and steep hills, it was a fun yet interesting experience, especially on our ride back down. Enjoy the views of Tinikori Hill, the Hutt Valley, and Eastern Harbour Bays, we suggest heading here to start kick-start your morning, or take a picnic and watch the sunset.

Happy travelling!

A special thanks to our sponsors Choice Hotels Asia Pacific and Positively Wellington Tourism for making this trip possible!

Tessa Stockdale