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Life in New Zealand’s capital city is an experience you just won’t find anywhere else. New Zealand is a beautiful, unique country that promises a rich and vibrant experience; in and outside the kitchen.

The world's 'coolest little capital' is known for its vibrant arts scene, its world-class cafe & restaurant culture, and outdoor scenery.
Set around an attractive waterfront, you'll be hard-pressed to find a city in the world that's easier to get around. Wellington has more cafes, bars, and restaurants per capita than New York City, and its coffee and craft beer producers are internationally recognised. Wellington combines the sophistication of a creative capital city with the warmth and friendliness of a smaller town.

Discover everything there is to know about visiting, living and learning in Wellington:


The City & Surrounds

Wellington is a region of stunning natural beauty. The city is framed by a natural harbour, rugged coastline, and surrounding hills. You’re never very far from the ocean when you live in New Zealand’s capital. Travel a bit further out, and you’ll find even more to explore in the city’s outer-townships. The wider Wellington, Wairarapa & Marlborough regions offer some amazing seaside villages, picturesque vineyards, and beautiful mountain walks. In Wellington, you’ll find everything a big city has to offer without that big city attitude.

Getting Around

You'll find it easy to get around Wellington. The city is very compact, so restaurants, hotels, attractions and transport are all within walking distance. Explore the region with our accessible and affordable public transport or join a tour to see the city from an insider's perspective. The central city is only two kilometres in diameter, meaning you can walk from one side to the other in under 20 minutes. Let the knowledgeable guides at Walk Wellington take you on a tour of the city or grab a Wellington downtown map (PDF 4.30MB) and explore for yourself.

Wellington has an excellent public transport system which is well used by the locals. Metlink has an easy to use journey planner to help you get anywhere within the Wellington region using buses, trains or ferries. Be sure to pick up a Snapper card from the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Centre - it's the cheaper and faster way to pay. The Wellington Cable Car departs every ten minutes from downtown Wellington to the suburb of Kelburn. At the top, you will find some of the best views of Wellington and the start of the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

There are plenty of taxi companies as well as Uber in Wellington to get you where you need to go. You'll also find that the drivers at Wellington Combined Taxis can be hired out by the hour, to show you around the city.

If you have a valid international driver’s licence or an international driving permit, you can drive in New Zealand for up to 3 months from the date you arrive. After three months, if you wish to continue to drive while you are here, you will need to apply for a New Zealand driver’s licence.

Wellington's Culinary Scene

Wellington is a city made for food lovers and eating well. Every year the city’s restaurants and bars win awards for being the best of the very best in the country. With a rich, multi-cultural approach to food you’ll find you can sample authentic food and flavours from all corners of the world. We’re also famous for our coffee, with reportedly the best brews and more cafes per capita than any other city in the world. With bustling city food markets each weekend, an annual festival ­of food – Visa Wellington on a Plate – and New Zealand’s premier celebration of wine, food and music – Toast Martinborough – the city is New Zealand’s undisputed cuisine capital.

Cheap Eats to Fine Dining | Coffee Capital | Best Bars | Craft Beer Capital | Hidden gems and local favourites

Activities & Attractions

With so much to see and do while you are here, you can’t help but enjoy yourself. Close to Le Cordon Bleu’s Wellington campus there are great cafes, restaurants, cinemas, art galleries, theatres, live music venues, and shopping. The area is always buzzing with people and it’s just a five minute walk to the city’s breathtaking harbour and waterfront area – with its own restaurants, walks, recreational activities and Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. When you are not studying, there are endless entertainment options on offer.

Explore a little bit further and you’ll find adventure is never very far away. For a real Kiwi experience, why not try a bungy jump, go white water rafting, try rock climbing or tramp one of our beautiful natural walkways. Nature lovers can enjoy whale watching, a swim with dolphins or seals, or a visit to a Kiwi sanctuary. With beaches, rivers, mountains, ski fields, hot springs and fishing all close by, you will never have to venture too far to discover your own version of paradise.