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New Zealand

Wellington & Martinborough holidays

Things to do

WELLINGTON? NO WORRIES.

You can’t visit New Zealand without taking a trip to Wellington – the country’s capital and the windiest city on Earth. At the southern tip of the North Island, Wellington is a hub of arts and culture. With a population of just over 200,000 people, this cosy city has a town-like feel. You can spend your days strolling around the eclectic streets, which are crammed with cafés, boutiques and galleries. And, just over an hour’s drive away, there’s Martinborough – a picturesque spot famous for its world-class wine.

A holiday to Wellington and Martinborough allows you to discover two of New Zealand’s friendliest places – and that’s saying something. As welcoming as it is windy, Wellington makes a great starting point for your Kiwi adventure. You can learn all about New Zealand’s history at Te Papa Museum, and admire Maori artwork in the city’s many galleries. In the morning, walk up Mount Victoria and look out across the sprawling suburbs below, then spend the afternoon in Wellington’s laidback laneways, hopping between the endless cafés and bars. Between the artisan bakeries, craft breweries and vibrant food markets, you’ll never go hungry on a holiday to Wellington.

While New Zealand’s capital boasts a brilliant dining scene, Martinborough is all about wine. A popular stop on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, this town is home to more than 20 vineyards. You’ll spot bottles of chardonnay, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc, but Martinborough is best-known for its cherry-coloured pinot noir. Take a tour of one of the family-run wineries to learn about the vine-to-wine process, as you’re led from the vineyard through the cellar door to the barrel rooms. Afterwards, why not relax on the sun-soaked terrace, trying different vintages?

Whether you’re looking for art and culture or fantastic food and drink, a holiday to Wellington and Martinborough delivers. And you’ll be well-placed for seeing more of New Zealand, as there are regular flights and ferries from Wellington to the South Island. Tempted? Speak to our Travel Specialists to start planning your tailor-made getaway. 

Things to do

Dining delights

Vineyards

Best time to go

Things to do in Wellington

New Zealand’s artsy capital city has plenty going on. You’ll find lots of galleries and museums in the downtown area but, if you only have time to visit one, make sure it’s Te Papa. New Zealand’s national museum, this place is packed with interactive exhibitions and fascinating displays, which give a great insight into the country’s history and Maori culture.

If it’s views you’re after, pack a picnic and walk to the top of Mount Victoria. Rising nearly 200 metres above Wellington, the summit has lovely panoramas of the city and harbour. Alternatively, hop on the Wellington Cable Car and enjoy scenic vistas as you rumble from Lambton Quay up into the hills of Kelburn.

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Travelling with kids? There are lots of things to do in Wellington for families. If your children are fans of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit movies, make sure you visit Weta Workshop, where you can take a studio tour to see props and models from the films. Animal-lovers should spend a day exploring ZEALANDIA eco-sanctuary, spotting native birds and animals. Or head to Wellington Zoo – the world's first carboNZero-certified zoo – to see kiwi birds, penguins, wallabies, Tasmanian devils and more.

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Wellington’s dining scene

Once you’ve immersed yourself in Wellington’s impressive cultural scene, it’s time to discover this city’s other love – food. New Zealand’s capital is filled with quirky cafés, craft brew-bars and a range of restaurants, offering everything from budget-friendly bites to fine dining. 

Hannahs Laneway is a must-visit on your Wellington holiday. Ambitiously called “the world’s tastiest laneway”, this hidden gem is lined with a variety of artisan eateries. Visit the bakery for fresh pastries and famously-good cookies, grab a tasty treat at the peanut butter shop, or pick up a slice of authentic margherita from the pizzeria. There are a few watering holes here, too, including a craft brewery and a unique cocktail bar, where the drinks hang from the ceiling.

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Make sure you also spend some time on Cuba Street – a rainbow-coloured road boasting a whole line-up of cafés. Whether you’re craving an enormous sandwich from an Italian deli, a tasty brunch of eggs and salmon, or a chocolate-topped waffle, Cuba Street has got you covered. Or, if you fancy a special meal, book a table at Logan Brown. Something of a Wellington institution, this gourmet restaurant focuses on sustainable ingredients and contemporary Kiwi fare.

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Martinborough vineyards

The main draw of a trip to Martinborough is the wine. This place has nearly two dozen wineries and they’re all conveniently within four kilometres of the town – so you can cycle or walk to most of them. You could book a tasting tour to learn all about the process of making Martinborough pinot noir. Alternatively, why not hire bikes and cycle between the wineries at your leisure?

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Some vineyards – like family-owned Margrain, Moy Hall and Tiwaiwaka – have their own café or terrace, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch and a glass of their best vintage. Or, if you want to try a variety of wines with a small bite to eat, Escarpment Vineyard offers tasting flights and carefully-paired canapés.

In the town itself, you’ll also find Martinborough Wine Centre. There are tastings here most weekends – of both wine and local olive oils – so there’s always something delicious to try.

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Show Less

Best time to go

Like the UK, New Zealand has four seasons – they’re just at opposite times to here. Summer runs from December to February so, if you’re looking for sunshine, this is the best time to go on holiday to Wellington and Martinborough. February is the hottest month, with temperatures averaging 19°C. You’ll also be able to catch some of Wellington’s best festivals at this time of year, including NZ Fringe and Summer City.

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As you’d expect, though, the summer season is the busiest. Martinborough’s vineyards, in particular, see scores of visitors at the weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, the shoulder months of November, March and April make great alternatives, when temperatures still hover around 17°C. If you’re planning to visit Martinborough in November, make sure you’re there on the third Sunday of the month. This is when the Martinborough Toast takes place – an unmissable one-day festival celebrating local wines and produce.

New Zealand’s winter lasts from June to August, and it’s usually pretty chilly – especially in “Windy Wellington” – so it’s not a good time for visiting al fresco cafés or vineyards. May, September and October are also best avoided, as these are the wettest months.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Wellington

New Zealand’s artsy capital city has plenty going on. You’ll find lots of galleries and museums in the downtown area but, if you only have time to visit one, make sure it’s Te Papa. New Zealand’s national museum, this place is packed with interactive exhibitions and fascinating displays, which give a great insight into the country’s history and Maori culture.

If it’s views you’re after, pack a picnic and walk to the top of Mount Victoria. Rising nearly 200 metres above Wellington, the summit has lovely panoramas of the city and harbour. Alternatively, hop on the Wellington Cable Car and enjoy scenic vistas as you rumble from Lambton Quay up into the hills of Kelburn.

Show More
Show Less

Travelling with kids? There are lots of things to do in Wellington for families. If your children are fans of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit movies, make sure you visit Weta Workshop, where you can take a studio tour to see props and models from the films. Animal-lovers should spend a day exploring ZEALANDIA eco-sanctuary, spotting native birds and animals. Or head to Wellington Zoo – the world's first carboNZero-certified zoo – to see kiwi birds, penguins, wallabies, Tasmanian devils and more.

Show More
Show Less

Dining delights

Wellington’s dining scene

Once you’ve immersed yourself in Wellington’s impressive cultural scene, it’s time to discover this city’s other love – food. New Zealand’s capital is filled with quirky cafés, craft brew-bars and a range of restaurants, offering everything from budget-friendly bites to fine dining. 

Hannahs Laneway is a must-visit on your Wellington holiday. Ambitiously called “the world’s tastiest laneway”, this hidden gem is lined with a variety of artisan eateries. Visit the bakery for fresh pastries and famously-good cookies, grab a tasty treat at the peanut butter shop, or pick up a slice of authentic margherita from the pizzeria. There are a few watering holes here, too, including a craft brewery and a unique cocktail bar, where the drinks hang from the ceiling.

Show More
Show Less

Make sure you also spend some time on Cuba Street – a rainbow-coloured road boasting a whole line-up of cafés. Whether you’re craving an enormous sandwich from an Italian deli, a tasty brunch of eggs and salmon, or a chocolate-topped waffle, Cuba Street has got you covered. Or, if you fancy a special meal, book a table at Logan Brown. Something of a Wellington institution, this gourmet restaurant focuses on sustainable ingredients and contemporary Kiwi fare.

Show More
Show Less

Vineyards

Martinborough vineyards

The main draw of a trip to Martinborough is the wine. This place has nearly two dozen wineries and they’re all conveniently within four kilometres of the town – so you can cycle or walk to most of them. You could book a tasting tour to learn all about the process of making Martinborough pinot noir. Alternatively, why not hire bikes and cycle between the wineries at your leisure?

Show More
Show Less

Some vineyards – like family-owned Margrain, Moy Hall and Tiwaiwaka – have their own café or terrace, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch and a glass of their best vintage. Or, if you want to try a variety of wines with a small bite to eat, Escarpment Vineyard offers tasting flights and carefully-paired canapés.

In the town itself, you’ll also find Martinborough Wine Centre. There are tastings here most weekends – of both wine and local olive oils – so there’s always something delicious to try.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go

Like the UK, New Zealand has four seasons – they’re just at opposite times to here. Summer runs from December to February so, if you’re looking for sunshine, this is the best time to go on holiday to Wellington and Martinborough. February is the hottest month, with temperatures averaging 19°C. You’ll also be able to catch some of Wellington’s best festivals at this time of year, including NZ Fringe and Summer City.

Show More
Show Less

As you’d expect, though, the summer season is the busiest. Martinborough’s vineyards, in particular, see scores of visitors at the weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, the shoulder months of November, March and April make great alternatives, when temperatures still hover around 17°C. If you’re planning to visit Martinborough in November, make sure you’re there on the third Sunday of the month. This is when the Martinborough Toast takes place – an unmissable one-day festival celebrating local wines and produce.

New Zealand’s winter lasts from June to August, and it’s usually pretty chilly – especially in “Windy Wellington” – so it’s not a good time for visiting al fresco cafés or vineyards. May, September and October are also best avoided, as these are the wettest months.

Show More
Show Less

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How to do Wellington & Martinborough

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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