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Wellington and Wairarapa Holidays

Wellington is New Zealand’s vibrant capital city and is renowned for its arts and culture, proximity to nature and varied culinary experiences, perfectly complemented by the world class wines of the Wairarapa vineyards.

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A fascinating and friendly city, Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and proud of it. The population is considerably smaller than that of Auckland, but it certainly matches the larger city for amenities. It is packed with cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries and museums, including Te Papa, a superlative museum that conveys the story of the ‘Aotearoa’ – its historical influences and the natural forces that shape the country – through a series of interactive experiences over five floors. A major feature of the city, Te Papa is testament to the country’s very proud heritage, both Maori and European.

The city’s cheerful wooden homes are spread over its hilly surrounds, providing some of its residents with superb views over the sheltered harbour and an easily accessible venue for a whole host of outdoor leisure activities. This is an easy city to navigate on foot from the pleasant waterfront to the country’s iconic beehive parliament building and the bohemian quarter to the charming botanic gardens, best accessed via the historic cable car. Very much part of the character of the city, the cable car is a must do attraction. There are also good views of the city and harbour from the lookout at the top of Mount Victoria

The Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience is less than 10 minutes from the city – a 225 hectare reserve which is home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered wildlife including the hihi, a beautiful bird the size of a sparrow, the little spotted kiwi, native forest parrots, the kaka as well as tuataras, lizard-like pre-historic reptiles.

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An hour’s drive north of the capital sits the Wairarapa region, producing world-class Pinot Noir in its Martinborough vineyards as well as being home to the acclaimed Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre.From its main town of Masterton, the Wairarapa region is bounded by the picturesque Rimutaka and Tararua ranges to the south and west and a spectacular Pacific Ocean coastline to the east.

Wairarapa is a mecca for visitors with varied interests – whether it be outdoor pursuits, browsing for antiques, enjoying some of the finest food and wine available anywhere in the country or simply soaking up the spectacular landscape. Its smaller settlements have unique individual charm and feature many shops selling distinctly local products. The vineyards of the South Wairarapa are world-renowned yet still offer top-range wines at affordable prices to the discerning visitor.

Centrally situated, Greytown combines the very best of the region in a delightful compact package, with Victorian wooden buildings housing art galleries and antique shops perfectly complementing the fine cafes.

Kapiti Coast

Also dubbed the Nature Coast, the Kapiti Coast is less than an hour from Wellington and is blessed with superb natural assets. Offshore, Kapiti Island provides one of the most easily accessible nature reserves in the country – a haven for rare and endangered birdlife.