The capital city of New Zealand is infamous for being stunning on a fine day but extremely windy the rest of the time. That’s why summer is the best season for holidays in Wellington, when the sunny days are at their peak and any wind is warm and balmy. The city itself along with the waterfront can get a little busy however, so if you’re looking for a change of pace as well as a summer getaway, here are our top choices, all easily reached in a rental car.
Somes Island – A small island with a rich and complex history, ranging from important Maori Pa sites to animal quarantine to nature reserve. It’s currently a protected wildlife haven that is managed by the Department of Conservation and has been kept predator free so that native species of weta and tuatara can flourish. It’s accessible by ferry trip which takes around 40 minutes from the centre of Wellington, and there are many walks and old buildings to explore along with the wildlife, so a full day is recommended.
Waikanae Beach – Located near the city on one of the golden coastlines that surround Wellington, this beach is a little less busy than Oriental Bay and perfect for a day in the sun. There’s also a bundle of shops nearby including cafes and antique shops if you care to mix some culture in with your relaxing trip on the sands.
Days Bay – Accessible either by a short drive in your rental car or the regular Dominion Post Ferry, Days Bay lies across the harbour from Wellington city and combines a beautiful picturesque bay with the quaint suburb of Eastbourne. There you will find deli shops and cafes for a delicious lunch, as well as boutique stores for a round of shopping.
Wellington Botanical Gardens – If you’re not that keen on the sand, the Botanical Gardens can be reached with just a short ride on the cable car, and provide not only beautiful flowers and shady walks but a splendid view out over the city – on a clear day you can see as far as Oriental Bay.
If you’re making a trip to the NZ capital this summer, enjoy these top summer escapes at your own pace with a Wellington rental car.