Located on the southern end of the North Island, the capital city of Wellington is renowned for its vibrant arts and culture scene, dramatic harbour setting, incredible natural environments, and wildlife experiences. The city is a must-see for anyone travelling in New Zealand. If you’re wondering what to see and do in and around Wellington, consider this road-trip itinerary to get a whole lot out of the “coolest little capital in the world.”
Separated from Wellington by the harbour, and from Upper Hutt by the Taita Gorge, Lower Hutt has more cafes and coffee shops per capita than New York City. It also has the pretty seaside towns of Eastbourne Bay and Days Bay.
Driving from Wellington, head northeast on Willis Street toward Willeston Street. From there, continue onto Aotea Quay and take the Route 1 ramp to Porirua/Hutt Valley and merge onto State Highway 1. Take the first exit at the roundabout onto Waterloo Road.
Travel time from Wellington: 18 minutes
Just 20 minutes north of
From Wellington, follow State Highway 1 via Porirua/Route 1/Palmerston North, then take the first exit at the roundabout onto Hagley Street.
Travel time from Wellington: 20 minutes
The city of Upper Hutt should not be confused with the nearby Lower Hutt. Located against forested hills alongside the Hutt River, Upper Hutt offers plenty of activities for outdoor lovers. It's also famous for its parks and recreation sites.
From Wellington, take State Highway 2 along Hutt Road past Lower Hutt and proceed through the State Highway 58 intersection at Haywards/Manor Park to the Silverstream Bridge. An alternative route is via Eastern Hutt Road, located between Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt via Stokes Valley.
Travel time from Wellington: 31 minutes
Only a short drive from Wellington, the picturesque vineyards, award-winning wines, rugged coastlines, and historic charm of the Wairarapa region await you. Plan your trip ahead of time and book yourself in to experience the fun activities and attractions of Wairarapa.
From Wellington, take State Highway 2 through the Remutaka (Rimutaka), then pass through the Wairarapa plains. Just add another 15 minutes for Martinborough, or 20 minutes for Carterton and Masterton for a taste of the region.
Travel time from Wellington: 1 hour
With more than 25 boutique wineries to explore, learn why Martinborough is another popular weekend getaway destination for the residents of Wellington. Here, you’ll get to experience the wine village of Martinborough, including its lovely cafes, stores, and restaurants.
From Wellington, take State Highway 1 via Porirua/Route 1/Palmerston North, then continue on State Highway 2. Follow the signs for Route 2/Hutt Valley/Masterton, then turn right onto State Highway 53 before turning left onto Oxford Street.
Travel time from Wellington: 1 hour 12 minutes