New Zealand is a land of immense and diverse landscapes. You’ll experience natural wonders and unique culture here that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
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Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has named Wellington the "coolest little capital in the world". Although it’s not New Zealand's largest city, it promotes itself as the national centre of arts, coffee, craft beer, film and politics, and there's an undeniable energy pulsing through the town.
Wellington is home to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, as well as national treasures such as the original Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. The city is also a creative hub for New Zealand’s booming film industry.
Central Wellington is spread across the foreshores of a wide harbour and steep surrounding hills. Visitors don't have to venture far for nature and wildlife experiences, including Zealandia, an amazing suburban sanctuary, and Kapiti Island, an offshore reserve for endangered bird and marine species.
Wellington’s earliest name was Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui or "the head of Maui's fish", which refers to the story of how Aotearoa New Zealand was created. According to Māori legend, the Polynesian navigator Maui hooked a giant fish that, when pulled to the surface, turned into the landform now known as the North Island. Wellington was originally named Te Whanganui a Tara, meaning "great harbour of Tara".
European settlers arrived in the early 1840s, originally settling in Petone on the northern end of the harbour. Due to the swampy land beneath the settlement, the settlement was relocated across the harbour to where the city now stands. In 1865, Wellington became the capital of New Zealand and has been the centre of New Zealand government since then.
From the moment a giant Gollum greets you at Wellington International Airport, you know you have arrived at the "Middle of Middle Earth". The city, often referred to as "Wellywood", is the centre of New Zealand’s film industry and home to film director Peter Jackson and his production facility.
A filming location for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies and many other international blockbusters, Wellington was described by Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro as "Hollywood the way God intended it".
Wellington is renowned for its sophisticated food scene and claims to have more places to eat and drink per capita than New York City. Home to some of New Zealand's finest dining establishments, the city also boasts a vibrant nightlife with some acclaimed bars.
In mid-August, the city hosts the country's biggest food festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate, where producers, suppliers, eateries and diners from across the greater Wellington region come together over 17 days for hundreds of culinary events and dining offers. During the festival, more than 100 establishments also compete for the coveted title of Wellington's best burger.
Wellington is also celebrated for its craft beer scene. Boutique beer enthusiasts flock to the capital for the annual Beervana festival, where more than 200 different craft brews are poured and sampled over two days in August.
New Zealand’s arts and culture capital has many museums and art galleries, as well as a thriving theatre and film scene. Wellington hosts many large-scale international events annually, including the New Zealand Festival, HSBC Wellington Sevens Rugby tournament, and jaw-dropping World of WearableArt™ Awards Show.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa showcases New Zealand’s diverse art and visual culture in innovative and interactive displays featuring wildlife, history, Māori culture and contemporary art. A must-see at the museum is the incredible Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition. Created in partnership with the special effects company Weta Workshop, the exhibition features models almost two and a half times the size of real people who were involved in World War I, and commemorates the war in a gripping yet solemn way.
The Museum of Wellington City and Sea, housed in a significant heritage building on the waterfront, offers an insight into the city’s social and cultural history.
Wellington is known as a socially and environmentally conscious city. Declared nuclear weapon-free in 1982, it was also the first capital in the southern hemisphere to gain Fair Trade status.
In the hills of suburban Karori is Zealandia, a unique eco-attraction and haven for some of New Zealand’s rarest native animals, including New Zealand birds such as saddleback, hihi, and little spotted kiwi, and the giant weta insect and curious tuatara reptile.
Kapiti Island, 45 minutes from the city, is another example of the capital’s sustainability efforts. New Zealand’s oldest nature reserve, Kapiti Island has untouched New Zealand bush forest that is the natural habitat of many species of native wildlife.
Discover the treasures and stories of New Zealand at Te Papa, our bold and innovative national museum.
A recognised world-leader in interactive and visitor focused museum experiences, Te Papa lets you experience the nation's art, culture and science - all in one breathtaking waterfront location. Better still, general admission is free!
New Zealand's geology and natural environment, and the stories of New Zealand's indigenous people, the Maori, are celebrated in Te Papa's permanent exhibitions. An exciting range of exhibitions display New Zealand's diverse art and visual culture and top-rating international exhibitions tour regularly.
Te Papa's event programme also features free events and entertainment, performances, floortalks, lectures, and more.
Te Papa was recently named as one of Lonely Planet's top 500 places to see on the planet.
There are about 60 hotels within walking distance of the Conference location, Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa). Delegate-friendly Wellington offers a wide variety of conveniently located, quality accommodation with picturesque sceneries at highly competitive rates by world standards. Most of the hotels listed are only a couple of blocks away from the conference venue and hence are easily accessible. Four of these hotels will be designated as Conference hotels in which the best rate will be negotiated via Accor Hotels Conferences. A wide variety of accommodations are possible at different rates for varying quality of rooms.
Ideally positioned in the Central Business District and government hub, Sofitel Wellington is within
walking distance from the major tourist attractions, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. The
hotel provides great views of lush hillsides and the Botanical Gardens. All 129 Guest Rooms are
beautifully appointed in vintage gold and bronze tones and feature indulgent rain showers.
Visit Sofitel Wellington
Our 4.5 Star Novotel Wellington is located in the heart of the CBD, close to iconic attractions -
Gallipoli Exhibition at Te Papa created by Oscar winning Weta Workshop and the Sir Peter
Jackson-inspired Great War commemoration. The Cable Car, Botanical Gardens and the Waterfront are
all within walking distance. Enjoy Harbour views of the city in our modern rooms designed with
splashes of colour and comfort. Direct access to Lambton Quay will see you in the centre of
Wellington's shopping district.
Visit Novotel Wellington
Grand Mercure Wellington brings to life the history and culture of the city through anecdotes of
design, cuisine and service. Overlooking the Cuban Quarter, the hotel is a short walk to
restaurants, shopping and Te Papa Museum. Fully refurbished guest rooms provide elegant sanctuaries
and Forage Kitchen + Bar shares a unique dining experience and panoramic views. There is Wi-Fi
access throughout the hotel, ample off street car parking, indoor lap pool, fitness centre and
Visit Grand Mercure Wellington
ibis Wellington, a 3.5 star hotel with 200 contemporary guest rooms, is in the heart of the city near
the bustle of Lambton Quay and walking distance to Parliament, TSB Arena, Westpac Stadium and Te
Papa. Visit Vivant Restaurant and Bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner; situated on the ground floor.
Limited secure parking is available at the hotel and bookings are essential.
Visit ibis Wellington