Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and the second largest city in the country. The city is centred around a spectacular harbour with suburbs extending up and over surrounded hills and stop at the southern and western coastlines of the North Island.
Being a hilly city, it has no shortage of scenic lookouts. The most popular is Mount Victoria which provides a 360 degree vista over the CBD, harbour, Hutt Valley, Rimutaka mountains, and southern coastline. At the top of the Botanic Gardens is another popular lookout behind the CBD. You can get here by cable car from Lambton Quay, the busiest shopping street in the city.
The city centre is built on a small stretch of reclaimed flat land that straddles the harbour. Because of its small size the centre is compact and built up. This makes it easy to walk around and see many attractions side by side. For a start you could visit any number of great cafes that serve up some of the world's best coffee. You are spoiled for choice with cafes and restaurants here. You could walk to Te Papa – a museum done Kiwi style and like no other in the world. Oriental Bay is a popular beach near the city centre. Besides golden sand, there are beach side cafes and restaurants, parks, and scenic walks. If you venture beyond this bay, you can see many others via a scenic walk called 'The Bays'. For night-life, there is Courtney Place, which is also a restaurant hub by day. For something really funky, you could visit Cuba Street, and older part of the city that has great restaurants and cafes, as well as some quirky shops and alternative fashion.
Attractions further afield are plenty. You could drive beyond The Bays and head to scenic Mirimar Peninsula to the famous Chocolate Fish Cafe, then head to Park Road Post Production and Weta Cave where movies like Avatar and the Hobbit are made. Further again is Seatoun a seaside suburb and Scorching Bay for perhaps the best harbour beach in the city. If you want to make it a round trip, you could then drive along the scenic south coast and admire the rugged coastline, see the seals, and admire views of the South Island before heading back to the city through Happy Valley.
Another trip you could try is travelling up the western coast to Kapiti an area with some beaches and tasty Kapiti icecream which is made locally. If you continue to head north, you could include the Tararua Ranges for a walk in a mountainous wilderness reserve.
The Wairarapa region to the north is famous for its wineries and vineyards. If you decided to visit here, you could pop into the Kaitoke Scenic Reserve on the way before heading over the mountain pass to Wairarapa. Kaitoke is the location for Rivendell which made an appearance in the movie, Lord of the Rings. This reserve has pristine rain forest with great examples of ancient endemic trees. Two rivers with crystal clear water and many natural swimming areas also flow through the reserve. Next is the Rimutaka Hill Road that offers views at the top of the Wairarapa below.