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Where to stay in Wellington

Where to stay in Wellington

When considering where to stay in Wellington, the options roll on and on. However, there are a few major areas that remain tourist favourites for good reasons. For example, staying in Cuba Street makes sense if you want to be right in the heart of Wellington’s culture scene from daybreak to dusk. Meanwhile, Mount Cook provides a more laidback accommodation spot if you prefer peace and quiet. Of course, you can’t look past Oriental Bay if you’re hoping to hit the beach during your Wellington getaway, and Lambton Quay is a popular all-round area.

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Single cart red train on track with CBD of Wellington is in the background
  • Lambton Quay

    As the heart of Wellington's CBD, Lambton Quay is the perfect place to stay if retail therapy is a big part of your vacation itinerary. This area is a shopping paradise. Even if you're not desperate to shop, this popular suburb also offers close proximity to many attractions and hotels of every stripe, from five-star hotels to simple motel accommodation.

  • Cuba Street and Courtenay Place

    This area is not only central but also home to some of the fanciest hotels in the city. Cuba Street is one of the most desirable places to stay in Wellington due to its popularity as a social precinct and its proximity to local tourist attractions. There will be quirky shops and cafes practically on your doorstep, and you'll often pass local buskers on the way back to your hotel.

  • Mount Cook

    An inner-city suburb full of historic landmarks and old-world-style hotels and accommodation, Mount Cook is perfect if you prefer to be out of the CBD a little way but still want to remain reasonably close to the many attractions nearby. It's also a wonderful place to base yourself if you're looking to head into the hills.

  • Oriental Bay

    Beach lovers need only apply. The perfect place to stay in Wellington if you like throwing open the doors of your hotel room in the morning and heading straight down to the seaside, Oriental Bay is filled with hotels to suit any budget. It's still quite central despite being to the city's north, so staying in Oriental Bay also keeps you close to most city attractions.

Frequently asked questions

Wellington is a hilly city, so expect to do a lot of walking. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes because nothing ruins an adventure quite like ill-fitting footwear and blisters! The rest of your packing list will depend on the time of year you plan travel and your proposed itinerary.

Compact but incredibly diverse, the hardest part will be trying to narrow down your to-do list. Some of Wellington's urban highlights include Martinborough, a tiny town famous for wining and dining, and Petone, a seaside suburb with a lively atmosphere and plenty to explore. Greytown is a quaint historic town known for its Victorian architecture, while nature lovers will be drawn to the rural town of Ōtaki (for its excellent hiking) and Kāpiti Island, a nature reserve that is home to some of New Zealand's most endangered birds and marine life. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, Wellington is bursting with incredible places.

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If it’s blissful sun-drenched days and outdoor festivals you seek, summer (December to February) is prime time. The autumn months (March to May) are relatively mild, making them ripe for outdoor adventures including hiking and exploring Wellington’s stunning scenery. Winter (June to August) is traditionally cold and windy with rainfall likely, so unless you plan to spend most of your time indoors by the fire, perhaps wait until spring (September to November) when things thaw out a little and the city is blooming with cherry blossoms.

Wellington is renowned for its creative heart, so be sure to spend some time wandering around the city or riding the Wellington Cable Car taking it all in. For incredible views over the city, head to Mount Victoria Lookout, and foodies, be sure to visit Hannahs Laneway to sample some local culinary delights. In need of a pick-me-up? You’re in luck, Wellington is New Zealand’s coffee capital so there are plenty of good brews (of the caffeine kind as well as the beer kind) to be found. The Lord of the Rings fans can step into Middle-earth and on a movie tour, and for a dose of culture, head to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Wine lovers, just one hour’s drive from Wellington is where you will find Wairarapa, one of New Zealand’s most loved wine regions. Bottoms up!

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