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The capital of New Zealand, Wellington, is a city full of character, sandy beaches and loud and colourful art that fills the street with personality. Located at the southern part of the North Island, it’s known by the locals as “Windy Wellington” due to the persistent winds that wrap around the city from the Cook Strait. But, don’t let that put you off exploring this arty city as it has plenty to offer backpackers.
Hostels in Wellington come in all shapes and sizes, for those on a budget and for the flashpackers too. You’ll find bar crawls, pool tournaments and karaoke nights, so the emphasis is on socialising and meeting new friends. Free WIFI is available in many hostels and free breakfast too. Hunt carefully and you’ll find a hostel that offers free dinner every night – amazing! There’s even an on-site espresso bar in one hostel, so coffee lovers unite. You’ll find private rooms, but for the budgeters dorms are available too, and let’s face it – they’re where you meet your true travelling friends anyway.
You’ll find Wellington hostels dotted around the city centre, sometimes located close to the harbour and others a couple of streets back. Staying in a central Wellington hostel is great for accessibility to public transport and backpackers can explore the inner-city quirks via foot. Located a bit further out from the city, further down Waterloo Quay, you’ll find the area of Pipitea which is a great option for backpackers looking for a little R&R, without losing the accessibility to the city and attractions.
One thing is for sure, you won’t find yourself short on things to do during your stay in Wellington. To learn about New Zealand’s culture, explore the National Museum of New Zealand. For stunning views of the Windy City, head up to Mount Victoria Lookout or take a ride on the Wellington Cable Car where you can also explore some of New Zealand’s native plantation at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. During summer, explore Wellington’s picturesque beaches and bays. Be sure to visit Cuba Street where you’ll find a bunch of quirky cafes, talented buskers, graffitied alleyways and other hipster attractions. Wellington also is home to Zealandia, a 225-hectare urban eco-sanctuary, where you can learn about the country’s natural history and animals.
Despite its size, getting around Wellington is pretty easy thanks to its nifty public transport. Exploring downtown on foot or by bike, when your legs get a little weary, is a great way to get to know the city. Plus, with the city centre being only 2km wide, you’ll find that a lot of the attractions, cafes and restaurants are all within a close proximity to one another. To explore further out, hop on Wellington’s great public transport. The Wellington cable car departs from the city centre and makes its way up to Kelburn, where you’ll be greeted with some breath-taking views of the city.