New Zealand: Wellington: Cultural Center
Wellington is New Zealand’s third largest city, and since 1865 has been its capital. Nestled between rolling hills and a stunning harbor, it has a vibrant and compact downtown area.
Upon arrival in Wellington you will be transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation, adjacent to the waterfront, and within close walking distance to the city’s cultural, political and historical center. This afternoon is at your leisure to settle into your new surroundings.
For dinner this evening we recommend a favorite restaurant and bar in the city center. Set in a beautifully restored 1920s banking chamber, this is a fine dining restaurant with warm and friendly service.
This morning enjoy a guided half-day sightseeing tour of Wellington City. The Wellington region is an area of immense diversity and character. Victorian architecture graces the steep hills surrounding one of the finest harbors and most beautiful coastlines in New Zealand. Wellington is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, sophisticated city, as well as the seat of Parliament and center for government and many financial institutions.
Visit the Te Papa for an in-depth look at New Zealand’s leading contemporary museum. Enjoy a stroll around the capital where you’ll encounter fascinating architecture, galleries, and museums housing national treasures. You will also see the distinctive “Beehive,” and old Parliament Buildings – the center of Government since 1865. Admire Wellington’s spectacular harbor setting from the top of Mt. Victoria, where there is a windswept lookout 200m above the city.
At the conclusion of the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel
This evening we recommend you dine at a fabulous waterfront location overlooking Clyde Quay Marina, which offers panoramic views of Wellington and the harbor. Centered on some very simple and pure beliefs, the restaurant serves exquisite dishes utilizing seasonal produce – local and fresh. They also believe food should please the eye as well as the palate. A dining experience not to be missed.
Today is at your leisure. We recommend you enjoy one of the following optional activities:
Visit the Karori Sanctuary Trust: In a forested valley just minutes from downtown Wellington, some of New Zealand’s rarest native animals are thriving and living free in a unique, safe environment. The vision of the Trust is to restore a corner of mainland New Zealand as closely as possible to the way it was ‘the day before humans arrived’. The sanctuary comprises 225 hectares of regenerating lowland forest and wetlands. It is the most accessible of New Zealand’s celebrated mainland conservation islands and is a safe haven for some of the country’s most iconic and endangered native animals, including tuatara, little spotted kiwi, saddleback, hihi and giant weta.
Zest Food Tour: The best way to discover a new place is through its food, this privately guided tour takes you to the places where locals eat and shop. Your guide shares some favorite places, including the stylish home of a local food-lover for a quintessential New Zealand afternoon tea. Enjoy a fresh light cafe style lunch, and sample local culinary highlights as you see the city and meet some of its people. To see Wellington up close, you will walk the flat city streets at a leisurely pace. Your guide is a friendly, knowledgeable local who helps you discover why Wellington is known for its food flair.
Lord of the Rings Tour: During the filming of the movies, the cast members all lived in Wellington for long periods of time. They were often seen enjoying coffee at the Chocolate Fish, surfing the Pacific waves at Lyall Bay and shopping in designer stores. Your tour begins with a drive past, or visit to, the cast’s favorite café’s, restaurants, shops and hang-outs. You will then visit the Embassy Theatre – the location of the Australasian premiers of the Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and the world premier of The Return of the King. Next you will visit some of the film locations, such as The Outer Shire & The Race to the Ferry, The Township of Bree, Helms Deep and much more!
This evening we recommend dining at a popular local restaurant where the menu is based on classic Italian style but is strongly seasonal and designed to take advantage of local produce. You’ll find a warm, vibrant atmosphere and views that reveal the bustle and energy of downtown Wellington.
This morning you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to Wellington Airport in time for your departing flight, or continue onto your next Willing Foot destination.
This is just the beginning.
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