Welcome to Wellington and Kapiti Coast
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964. A stroll along the waterfront is a must-do, alive with rollerbladers, cafes and bars, and the famous, very child-friendly, Te Papa museum. In fact Wellington is very easy to get around, with its centre only two kilometres in diameter, making it a great place to explore on foot. The Wellington region includes the cities of Porirua - towards the Kapati Coast, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt. The Hutt cities are a few kilometres northeast of Wellington and are situated on the Hutt River, which flows into Wellington Harbour.
Wellington is lucky enough to have plenty of promenade, beaches and swimming opportunities right in the city, starting with the popular Oriental Bay, close to the city centre and safe swimming for families. Meanwhile Shelly Bay is one of the best venues for families, with its famous Chocolate Fish Cafe, while another top picnic spot is the stunning Scorching Bay.
If you want to really get out of the city you don't have to go far to get to the Rimutaka Forest Park with plenty of well-marked hikes on offer. The most popular is the easy, 4 hours return Orongorongo track. It makes for a great day out exploring and is very popular with families.
Hutt City - or Lower Hutt, borders onto the capital city, Wellington.
Upper Hutt is located just 25 minutes drive or a 40 minute scenic train ride north of Wellington, by the Hutt River, and sits amongst bushclad hills with easy access to native forest and riverside walks, fishing, tramping and mountainbiking.
Just 40 minutes drive from the centre of Wellington, the Kapiti Coast and Kapiti Island provide stunning beaches, glorious sunsets, nature reserves, outdoor adventure activities, crafts and laid back shopping. Kapiti Island itself is 10km long and about 2km wide and is NZ’s only bird sanctuary between the Hauraki Gulf in the north, and the most southern islands. You can visit Kapiti Island by launch, but first need to purchase a permit (these are limited daily) from Department of Conservation (DOC). Meanwhile the Kapiti Coast stretches 40km from Otaki in the north, to Paekakariki in the south. Other Kapiti Coast towns include Waikanae and Paraparaumu – the region’s largest town.