Thu, July 26th, 2012 - By

Spotlight on Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand’s capital Wellington occupies a strategic position at the extreme southwest of the North Island. Translated from Māori, Wellington may be called by any of three names, “the great harbour of Tara”, “Port Nicholson”, or “the Head of the Fish (demi-god) Māui”. Wellington is actually the world’s southernmost capital. The city lies between the iconic Rimutaka Range and the Cook Strait and it includes Wairarapa and the Kapiti Coast.

There are direct flights to the city from Australia and some Pacific Islands. Buses in conjunction with trolley-buses and electric suburban trains are recommended, as between them they connect the whole metropolitan area. Seatoun, Petone and Eastbourne are accessible from the city centre by local ferry and the Cook Strait ferries sail to to Picton in the South Island.

Great reasons to visit Wellington include the vibrant arts and culture scene, the interesting museums like Te Papa (the Museum of New Zealand), the local music and film festivals and the thriving café culture. The Wellington City Art Gallery, the National Library of New Zealand, the Cricket Museum and the the Cable Car Museum can also to be found here.

For festivals galore, choose to visit in time for the Arts Festival for Children or the Children’s Artsplash, the Cuba Street Carnival, the Wellington Folk Festival, or the biennial Jazz and International Arts Festivals. Various film festivals are held throughout the year and Wellington’s independent cinemas are well frequented, pretty characterful and unique. As is the local music scene, which includes popular contemporary bands, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the men’s A Cappella (barbershop music) chorus.

Theatre, the dramatic arts, dance and comedy are also well represented, with the National Maori Theatre company Taki Rua, Bats Theatre and Downstage Theatre, the Wellington Improvisation Troupe, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the comedy group Breaking the 5th Wall amongst them.

Image credits: Philip Capper, Takver, Bruce Tuten, John McGerr

Karen Bryan

As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save

Posted : Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 10:00
Category : Spotlight
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