Following the tracks of Queen Elizabeth
01/06/2022 · By Karen Overend
Follow in the tracks of Queen Elizabeth on a majestic journey with Great Rail Journeys. Read our blog for insights into this fascinating royal adventure.Read more
Wellington is only New Zealand's second largest city, but largely thanks to its position at the southern tip of the North Island, and thus at the centre of New Zealand as a whole, it is the country's capital. At the time it was chosen as capital in 1865 there was concern among politicians from the North Island that the more populous South Island, where New Zealand's goldfields were located, would separate from the North.
Wellington's wonderful waterfront location on the Cook Strait (the narrow waterway separating the two islands) is perhaps its most beautiful feature. The city's top tourist attraction, the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) is located here. The land rises sharply up a steep hill from the waterfront, with many expensive properties built on the slopes. The city's residential buildings, due to threat of earthquakes, are primarily constructed from wood. "Government Buildings", located close to Parliament, is the largest wooden-constructed office building in the Southern Hemisphere.
A journey on Wellington's cable car (running from Lambton Quay) takes you up above the city and allows for spectacular views over Wellington Harbour. At the summit you will find the Cable Car Museum, as well as the entrance to Wellington Botanical Gardens. A pleasant downhill walk through the gardens takes you back into the centre of Wellington (if you intend to walk the gardens, you only need to purchase a single fare on the cable car).