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Travel Guide
satisfied tourist happily driving his white convertible car rental in wellington

Wellington is New Zealand's capital city, at the bottom of the North Island. It's a compact city that bursts with culture, and hosts many events. It gets bad press for its strong winds, but a common saying is, 'You can't beat Wellington on a good day.' It's also the transit point for the inter-island ferry service between the North and South Island, across the Cook Strait. 

Things you should know before booking your next car hire

With so many different pickup locations to choose from, VroomVroomVroom will not only help you book a great car in Wellington, but also in over 30 locations throughout New Zealand. Flying in? You can pick up your rental car from Wellington AirportHaving your own transport will allow you to view the city from every angle, on your own schedule. Here are some other bonuses for booking with VroomVroomVroom

  • Book with the major suppliers -  Such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, and enjoy the ability to compare and book rental cars from the diverse fleets on offer. Having such a range of cars means we will be able to find the perfect car for your needs, from an economical compact for city driving, to a van for your sports team. 
  • Book in advance when you plan your trip to New Zealand, and save money by securing the cheapest rental car deal. By booking before you arrive in New Zealand, you will find the best deal available for your travel period. As they say, the early bird catches the worm.
  • No cancellation fees for a stress-free booking - You can cancel your car rental booking at anytime with no fees. We know that life can sometimes throw you a curve ball and plans may need to change. So don't stress, VroomVroomVroom will not charge you for cancelling or modifying your car hire choice.
  • Caring customer care team - Our booking system is super-simple, but if you do have any questions our highly trained customer care team can be contacted by phone, email, or via live chat.

Best time to visit Wellington 

Travellers going to Wellington should keep in mind that winters are extreme with temperatures going below 0 degree Celsius, while summers (December - February) are warm and pleasant and the temperature rarely goes above 25 degrees. Summers are usually the busiest period with tourists and visitors. Spring (September - November) and autumn (March - May) are also good months to visit Wellington. 

Driving tips in Wellington 

From Wellington, you could drive to many key areas like Mt Cook, Queenstown, Greymouth, Nelson, Napier and Taupo via rental car. Generally, when in New Zealand, a foreign visitor can drive legally from up to 12 months provided he/she has a current driver's licence from his/her home country, with an International Driving Permit (IDP) to support it. There are two major roads into the Wellington metropolitan: the State Highways 1 & 2. Note that both highways are once a motorway, but after approximately 20 km (12 mi) turn into single lane highway as they handle hard terrain. Serious and fatal crashes happen on these roads, so always remember to keep left, manage a moderate speed, and use the passing lanes when planning to overtake slower traffic. 

See New Zealand's capital city in style

Sights, beaches, culture and events: It's all easier in a rental car.

In the busy capital of a beautiful nation, there are tons of things for you to enjoy and explore in Wellington! By having a hire car, you get to experience them with complete convenience and freedom. But where should you start? Check out our travel guide to the very best Wellington activities, accommodations, and restaurants below.

Attractions | Accommodation | Restaurants & Bars


Te Papa Museum

Address: 55 Cable St, Wellington

Crowned the world leader in interactive and visitor-focused displays, this national museum takes you on a journey through history, art and science. Apart from paying for parking if you drive your rental car to Te Papa, you won't have to open your wallet for anything else, as admission is free. Until 2018, Te Papa is host to a ground breaking exhibition, 'Gallipoli - the Scale of our War.' The exhibition combines the creativity of Weta Workshop, and the research expertise of our national museum, to remember the Gallipoli landings as never before. 

Hours: 10am-6pm everyday & 10am-9pm on Thursdays

Staglands Wildlife Reserve

Staglands Wildlife Reserve Wellington Guide

Address:2362 Akatarawa Rd, Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt 5372

Visit this unique wildlife reserve where you can easily feed local animals and interact with the wildlife. Staglands Wildlife Reserve is located in Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt. This is a must-see tourist attraction, ideal for families and all types of tourists who love nature. You can also have a picnic, BBQ or dine in at their cosy cafe.

Hours: open daily 9:30am – 5:00pm (Except Christmas Day)

Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo Red Panda

Address:200 Daniell St, Newtown, Wellington 6021

A modern zoo with a range of exotic and native animals. Take the young ones to the newest attraction, He Tuku Aroha, a walk-through area that is a love story to New Zealand. They can see native animals such as the Korora/ little blue penguin, and introduced animals such as the kunekune pigs. There are barefoot and vegetable gardens to explore.  It's a great day out for young and old and with ample parking for your hire car available, you'll have plenty of time to spare for exactly what you want to see! 

Hours: 9.30am–5.00pm (last entry 4.15pm) Every day except Dec. 25th

Cuba Street District

Address: Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington

Cuba Street is THE place to be if you have an adventurous palate. Having the two most recent winners of the Cuisine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year Supreme Award, it is a foodie's dream come true. It is also arguably the coolest street in New Zealand, being the creative heart of Wellington. With its boutique shops and Bohemian feel, it attracts emerging artists, creatives, and coffee addicts alike. 

The Weta Cave

Address:1 Weka St, Miramar, Wellington

After the great success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it would be a travesty for Lord of the Rings fans to visit Wellington and not see where all of the magic happened. With a trove of different film paraphernalia related to the vast collection of movies that Weta workshops have worked on, don't miss out on this piece of cinematic gold. The Weta Cave is free to visit, and is the hub for Weta Workshop's guided studio tours.

Hours: 9am-5.30pm 7 days

City Gallery

Address:101 Wakefield St, Wellington

Located in Civic Square, this is a must see for those art lovers visiting the city of Wellington. There's ever changing exhibitions in a range of media, workshops, and special late night events.

Tranzit Gourmet Wine Tour

Wine tour in WellingtonAddress: Martinborough, New Zealand 

Visit the award-winning Martinborough wineries, taste fine local wines and have an exquisite gourmet meal. Tranzit Tours offers this incredible gourmet wine tour with a small group departing from Wellington every day. This is an all inclusive tour that includes visits to four boutique vineyards, lunch in the picturesque Martinborough village, sweets, a cheese platter, local coffee and your transportation. You can choose to depart from Wellington by train, with scenic views of Wellington harbour and the Wairarapa valley, or you can depart from any Wairarapa town.

Annual events to experience while in Wellington

Wellington Phoenix. Catch football action when the Wellington Phoenix plays home games in the Hyundai A-League. Games at the Westpac Stadium are full of atmosphere, as the Phoenix supporters, 'Yellow Fever' are a lively bunch! Season runs from October to April. 

Summer City Festival 1 December 2016-31 March 2017. A series of events that runs through the whole summer, including 90 free events, at various locations throughout the city. Highlights include the Wellington Pasifika Festival on 28 January, and the Meridian Gardens Magic at the Botanic Gardens Soundshell from 10 -29 January. 

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CQ Wellington

Address:223 Cuba Street, Wellington

CQ Wellington is a an award-winning and charming hotel located in the heart of the bustling Cuba Street District. It is close to Wellington main attractions such as the Wellington waterfront and Te Papa, restaurants, bars and shops. The hotel offers double and twin accommodation, exclusive suites, executive apartments, along with conference facilities, swimming pool, restaurant, cafe and bar. It is an ideal place for leisure or business travellers, and all can expect to experience a relaxed atmosphere. 

Museum Art Hotel

Address: 90 Cable Street, Wellington

Recipient of Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence in 2014 and featured in Freckle magazine, this accommodation offers a hotel experience unlike any other. From its somber black exterior with street-side brass sculpture to its invigorating interior, you will be taken on a journey through the mind of amazing NZ artists. 

The Dwellington

Address: 8 Halswell St. Thorndon, Wellington

Want somewhere to stay that's classy and won't break the bank? Then Wellington's finest hostel is for you. With modern kitchen and bathroom facilities, spacious, clean rooms and friendly staff; you'll feel right at home. Check out a range of Wellington accommodation on Wotif.co.nz to compare and book all outstanding hotels in Wellington.

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Restaurants & Bars

Pizza Pomodoro

Address:24/13 Leeds St, Te Aro, Wellington

Pizza Pomodoro was the first place to open on Leeds Street in September 2000. They pride themselves on offering the best classic Italian pizzas with unique and original creations, using local and international ingredients. All pizzas are baked in a wood-fired pizza oven, which gives them a unique and delectable flavour. The venue is usually open for takeaways, so order your Pizza Pomodoro and continue on to  explore this bustling area.

Hours: Wednesday to Friday: 12am to 2pm | Monday to Thursday: 5pm to 9pm | Friday and Saturday: 4:30pm to 9:30pm

Ortega Fish Shack

Address: 16 Majoribanks St, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Ranked #1 of 636 Restaurants in Wellington, recipient of Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence 2014 and Awarded One Hat - NZ Good Food Awards 2014 "Cuisine Magazine", this fresh New Zealand seafood cuisine experience is a once in a life time opportunity that won't disappoint. 

Hours: 5:30pm til late, Tue-Sat
For reservations call: 04 382 9559

The White House Restaurant

Address: 232 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington

Consistently one of the top ranking restaurants in the city, and in smooth operation for over 20 years. This fine dining restaurant is set in the most expensive real estate area  in wellington.  Located on Oriental Bay waterfront, The Whitehouse Restaurant offers not only the finest view over the harbour, but also a menu rich in fresh local ingredients and elegance.

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Where is your favourite Wellington destination? Share your travel experience below.

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Top depots in Wellington
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  • Budget Wellington Car RentalBudget Wellington - 81A Ghuznee Street, Wellington, NI. 6001
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  • Avis Wellington Downtown Car RentalAvis Wellington Downtown - 25 Dixon Street, Wellington, NI. 6011
  • Europcar Wellington Ferry Terminal Car RentalEuropcar Wellington Ferry Terminal - Interislander Ferry Terminal, 290 Aotea Quay, Wellington, NI. 6035
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