Wellington NZ hipster capital

Wellington NZ hipster capital

Wellington is fast developing a deputation as New Zealand's hipster capital, as well as the cultural and entertainment epicenter of the country. Its once discoloured laneways have been transformed into foodie hot spots, and the city is dotted with secluded bars. Culture lovers are also in for a treat as the city boasts many classy museums, galleries and landmarks. All of this combined bestow Wellington with a unique buzz.

Wellington's buzzing downtown boasts the bulk of landmarks, attractions, shops, eateries and bars. The waterfront area encompasses many areas of interest, including the best walking and seafood restaurants along with the top museum in the country, Te Papa Tongerawa.

With a stunning backdrop of forestry and a god scope for walking and mountain biking, Mount Victoria provides the best views in town and lies just to the south of downtown Wellington.

One of the main attractions of the city is

Wellington Botanic Garden

, arguably the most famous green space: a 25 hectare haven of exotic rockeries and winding palmed paths, serene rose gardens and a Victorian glasshouse. Take a stroll in spring when 25,000 vibrant tulips bloom or at night when glow worms illuminate the pathways.

Another attraction is the cable car, a Wellington icon with its fire-red carriages offering a memorable ride from Lambton Quay to Kelburn. During the ride, you can admire the breathtaking vista of Victorian villas overlapping the gleaming new high rises.

Visitors can check out the free Cable Car Museum – home to the original century-old cars – and the nearby Carter Observatory and Planetarium. You can then either catch the cable car back down to the quay, or walk into the center through the Wellington Botanic Garden.

If you are up for sightseeing, within walking distance of downtown, you'll find the northern suburb of Thorndon, featuring many of the city's oldest buildings as it survived a major earthquake in the 1800s. If you feel more like shopping or enjoying the nightlife, Ascot Street and Tinakori Road are the places to be.

For nature lovers, Zealandia is the place to visit. This eco-sanctuary is the world's first fully fenced nature retreat of its kind. With the preservation of hundreds of native species such as kaka parrots, kiwi birds and the Jurassic tuatara, Zealandia aims to restore the local habitat to a pre-human state. Take a stroll along 32km of trails, check out the interactive exhibition and dine at the café.

New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa is Maori for “container of treasures” and that is exactly what this museum possesses. Ranging from art to history and Maori culture, the museum displays a through exhibition of the country's vibrant past via films, pictures and games blending into one incredible interactive experience. Apart from being comprehensive and interesting, Te Papa museum is also free, making it a must-see spot in Wellington.

If you are a Middle Earth fan, here's your chance to take the magical Lord of the Rings Tour that takes you through the film locations of the famous trilogy. You'll get the chance to visit the Great River Anduin, Rivendell and Helms deep, as well as go behind the scenes and see how the films special effects were made or the secrets behind the wardrobe.