Experience the Coolest Little Capital in the World

coolest little capital in the worldIf you’re looking for fantastic riding coupled with all the spoils of the city, look no further than Wellington. New Zealand’s capital city is teeming with culture, art and dining delights, as well as an enviable array of scenic cycling routes.

Wellington’s compact nature is easily experienced on foot, and your first port of call will likely be a stroll along the sparkling waterfront. Keep an eye out for Writer’s Walk – snippets of poetry tucked among foreshore rocks or inlaid on footbridges. For more of a workout, head up Mount Victoria Lookout, for a bird’s eye view of the city and harbour.

When the wind starts blowing (and it can blow pretty hard in Wellington), pop into Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. Or, go behind-the-scenes on a Weta Studio Tour and discover the secrets behind the props and costumes of some of your favourite movies.

Shoppers will love colourful Cuba Street, home to an intriguing mix of shops, cafes and street performers, while garden lovers will appreciate the blooming beauty of the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

When you’re ready to jump on your bike, you’ve got numerous options. Wellington’s hilly, bush-clad landscape makes for exhilarating riding. There’s around 350km of mountain biking trails across the Wellington region, meaning off-road adventure is never far away. Head to Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park for purpose-built trails, Mount Victoria for 40km of tracks, or Polhil Reserve for incredible city views.

Or, sample the Rimutaka Cycle Trail. One of the easiest of New Zealand’s Great Rides, this 115km trail traverses the Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa, and was named one of the world’s hottest travel experiences for 2015 by Lonely Planet. It’s a fantastic way to experience the bush-clad valleys and wild coastline of the Wellington region, without venturing too far from the cultural and culinary highlights of the city.

Want an all-inclusive tour of this region? Our 5-Day Wellington Harbour to Greytown Cycle Tour winds its way from the head of Wellington harbour to the charming Victorian town of Greytown. You’ll pedal the Rimutaka Cycle Trail, soak up the wild beauty of the Wairarapa coastline, and cruise the picturesque vineyards of Martinborough. Smooth, gentle riding makes this route particularly suited to newbie cyclists or families, and you can start (or finish) your tour with a stay in Wellington. Head to the tour page for the full itinerary, and if you have any questions, send us an email.

Have a great week,

Image: Wellington’s waterfront. Andrea Schaffer