Wellington - New Zealand

The capital, at the southern tip of the North Island, is a cosmopolitan centre of government and commerce. It is known for its winds, its winding streets, its homes clinging to the hillsides, but above all - its harbour. The city is home to an astonishing number of art galleries, libraries, museums and schools of drama, music, dance and ballet yet with over 300 eateries has more restaurants, bars and cafes per head than New York! Wellington's compact city centre is surrounded by an amphitheatre of steep volcanic hills overlooking a spectacular harbour. Cruise ships now dock at the Aotea Cruise Terminal on the northern side of the city centre opposite the WestPac Trust Stadium. It is about 1.5 miles or 15 minutes by free shuttle bus into the city centre shops. The old cruise terminal is located at the south end of the waterfront is closer to the centre but it can only take smaller smaller ships. There are many places of interest and many buildings to visit but you could do worse than starting with a ride from the city centre on the Kelburn Cable Car up to the top of the Botanical Gardens with great views across the city. From there you can wind your way down through the gardens past the lovely Lady Norwood Rose Garden to the Parliament Buildings with its pink Gothic Revival Parliamentary Library and The Beehive and the city centre again. Walk along the waterfront to Queens Wharf where you will find the Museum of Wellington and the Sea and then on to Te Papa Tangarewa (Museum of New Zealand). This modern attraction provides an insight into the country's people, cultures, land formation, flora and fauna. Other sights include the City Square and City Gallery and St Paul's Cathedral.. Oriental Bay is an attractive inner city beach just a few minutes walk past the marinas on the south side. Wellington became the capital in 1865 when the seat of government was transferred from Auckland. Until the earthquake of 1855 most of the land now lying between Lambton Quay and the waterfront did not exist. The Port of Wellington is the North Island terminal for the Cook Strait ferry service. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.