Exploring the Greater Wellington Region

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Whether you are a first time visitor to the Wellington region of New Zealand or are a local, there is much to explore. There are many opportunities for day trips around the region. Wildlife, scenery, history and culture are all easily accessible within a short drive in the Greater Wellington region.

Top 10 places to visit in Wellington

Of course there are many more than 10 places to visit in Wellington! If you love the architecture of religious buildings or just want to visit for some quiet reflection there is St Mary of the Angels church or the Sacred Heart Cathedral that are well worth stopping by. The New Zealand National War Memorial is set in a park and is a place to visit to reflect on the sacrifices of the fallen in conflict. The memorial is close to the New Zealand Dominion Museum building.

Love walking? Princess Bay beach, south of the airport, is a lovely spot for a walk by the sea and you can watch the Cook Strait ferries go by. To experience fabulous panoramic views of Wellington City, the harbour, the Hutt Valley, the Tararua Range, Porirua and across the Cook Strait to the South Island take the one hour walk up Mount Kaukau.

The walk is steep in places, but is a well-worn track with seats for resting and enjoying the views along the route. The summit at Mount Kaukau is actually part of the Northern Walkway, a 16km walk that takes approximately four hours to complete. The Northern Walkway goes from Johnsonville to the Botanic Gardens and the top of the Cable Car in Kelburn.

A day trip on the Dominion Post Ferry operated by East by West Ferries will take you over to Matiu/Somes Island, a predator-free island. This scientific reserve is also rich in multicultural history. Four short walks will take you to the main points of interest: 10 minutes to the centre of the island through forest, 30 minutes to the gun emplacements on a hill with 360 degree views, 30 minutes along the only road to the visitor centre and finally you can walk the island loop track in just 40 minutes. All four tracks are rated easy!

The Rimutaka Forest Park includes the Rimutaka Range and is easily accessible from Wellington, giving you access to 15 different walks. These walks vary in duration from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Whilst some are suitable for day walks with families, the longer walks are for experienced trampers only. Always check the Department of Conservation website for the latest alerts and weather reports when attempting any walks in New Zealand www.doc.govt.nz.

If you are without transport to get around you should look at the Wellington bus services provided by Kapiti Coach Tours. As well as regular bus services between the Kapiti coast and Wellington they also operate coach tours Wellington-wide. Contact the team at www.kapiticoachtours.co.nz to book your next excursion around the Greater Wellington region.

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