New Zealand’s compact capital has more restaurants, cafes and bars per capita than New York, and a thriving arts and culture scene to boot. Pair this with a gleaming waterfront, Victorian and art-deco architecture and sandy bays, and you may be tempted to stay. Set up base at one of our favourite Wellington, New Zealand vacation rentals – and book your place with Culture Trip.
This period house, southeast of Wellington Central, has one double, one twin and one single bedroom, with ample living space, making it ideal for families and groups. Breaker Bay Beach is a short walk away, but you’ll want your own wheels to explore the best of Miramar Peninsula and beyond. Fans of The Lord of the Rings will love the nearby Weta Cave Workshop tour, where you can see blockbuster props, costumes and characters up close.
Close to Sky Stadium, just north of the capital, Quest on Thorndon features studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with memory foam beds and rainfall showers. Many of the city’s top sights are within walking distance; wander southwest to reach Wellington Botanic Garden in less than 20 minutes, taking in a 19th-century cathedral and striking parliament buildings – including the aptly named Beehive – along the way.
Want to be in the heart of the action? This spacious, loft-like two-bedroom apartment sleeps up to four guests – but with Cuba Street’s clubs, bars and live music venues on your doorstep, you may not make it to bed until the wee hours. Shake off last night’s antics with a jerk chicken burger at local institution, Laundry, or blow away the cobwebs with a 20-minute hike up to Mount Victoria Lookout – the harbour views are outstanding on a clear day.
This cluster of peak-roofed apartments within a little low-rise shopping precinct are super central, and come with up to three bedrooms (with a maximum of two guests per room), featuring bold colour-block walls. The unmissable Te Papa Museum is a 10-minute walk away; swot up on Māori culture and New Zealand’s natural wonders before taking a walk along the pedestrian-friendly waterfront. Don’t miss sundowners of kiwi Sauvignon Blanc or pale ale at The Arborist rooftop bar, just around the corner from your digs.
The airport, beach and centre of Wellington are all just a few minutes’ drive away from U Suites Kilbirnie, a selection of modern, open-plan two-bedroom apartments – with capacity for five guests – overlooking a quiet high street. From here you can walk to Lyall Bay, Wellington’s most popular surf spot, and rent a board to catch a wave – or grab a coffee and a window seat to watch the pros from Maranui Cafe.
Just around the corner from the high street and designer stores of Lambton Quay, these compact monochrome-themed studios and apartments, which sleep up to four guests, are especially handy if you’re looking for a spot of retail therapy. However, if you catch windy Wellington on an unusually calm day, you might prefer to ditch the shopping in favour of a kayak tour of the harbour with Fergs Kayaks.
Travelling with friends or family? These light-filled four-bedroom suites in Central Wellington sleep up to eight guests and feature generous corner sofas, deep-soaking baths and balconies overlooking the city. Te Papa and the waterfront are moments away, while a 20-minute walk will take you to Freyberg Beach – a fine spot for a picnic, swim or game of beach soccer.
These simple but stylish studios and apartments, which sleep up to five, are convenient if you’re planning to explore further afield – the train station and ferry terminal are both 10 minutes away on foot (the latter is the gateway to the South Island). Staying put? Don’t miss the chance to ride the nearby Wellington Cable Car; the picturesque journey will land you in the Botanic Garden, where you’ll find a planetarium, play parks and swathes of indigenous plants and native forest.
Just a 15-minute drive from the city centre, this coastal house is right on the water of Karaka Bay and feels more like a remote beach getaway than a city break. There’s a tranquil terrace, and it sleeps up to eight in three bedrooms, making it the perfect base for a family or group of friends. The property also comes with two kayaks, which can be launched into the bay across the road, so you can see the city from a unique vantage point while getting your daily dose of exercise.
For a memorable experience that’s a little different from the rest, opt for a stay in this lighthouse. Set on the rocks just above Island Bay, it offers up incredible views thanks to the room that once allowed the harbour man to see any boats in distress. The scenery is delightful at any time of the day, whether you’re watching the sun go down with a glass of wine or admiring the early-morning rays bouncing off the water over your morning coffee. Sleeping just two people, this magical seaside bolthole makes for a romantic getaway.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.