Easy access to open spaces means Wellington offers unlimited recreational and sporting activities from mountain biking to surfing, fishing and tramping in the bush. There are five regional parks covering 30,000 hectares of bush and mountain walks in the region.
Wellington is a natural gateway. The wine growing district of Martinborough is just an hour away. Snow skiing is just four hours' drive away. Wellington is also the hopping off point for the South Island. Daily ferry services provide access to the stunning Marlborough Sounds region, the fine arts district of Nelson and the many boutique wineries of Marlborough.
Nature close to the city
Wellington residents enjoy access to the town belt and over one hundred parks and playgrounds.
Less than 10 minutes' drive from downtown Wellington, there are breathtaking nature spots, including Zealandia and Wellington's rugged South Coast.
This internationally unique wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Wellington provides a haven for native animals, birds and plants, safe from possums and other imported pests. It provides visitors the opportunity to see flourishing native bird life, and has quickly claimed a place in many people’s hearts.
Regional Parks and Playgrounds
Outdoor recreation, particularly for families, is well-served by the many parks and play areas that are located throughout the region. Many are popular for their open space, picnicking opportunities, playground facilities and picturesque settings. In the Hutt Valley en route to the Wairarapa, the Belmont Regional Park, Hutt River Trail, Akatarawa Forest and East Harbour Regional Park offer a variety of landscapes. The Regional Parks range from bush-clad hills to sheltered valleys, rocky headlands and sweeping bays. Read more about the region's parks and recreation here.
Five kilometres from the mainland, this predator-free island is an internationally important reserve, and home to some of the world’s most endangered birds.
Wellingtonians and visitors alike are drawn to the Wellington waterfront night and day. It has enjoyed a period of profound rejuvenation over the past decade. From Oriental Bay north to the Meridian Building at Kumutoto (north Queen’s Wharf) the waterfront environment now includes a public promenade offering dramatic views of the harbour, important institutions such as the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, award winning parks, wharf areas and bridges, a marina, a writers walk, popular sculpture, a new beach and pier as well as numerous bars, cafes and restaurants.
There are five marinas in the Wellington region. Evans Bay, Clyde Quay Boat Harbour, Chaffers Marina and Seaview Marina are all on Wellington harbour. The Mana Marina is in Porirua harbour. There are a number of boat ramps around the region’s coastline, beaches and bays.
New Zealand is a world-class sporting nation, and Kiwis excel in numerous sports. The Wellington region’s topography, climate and sports facilities mean that it is an easy place to have fun, keep fit and play sport. An added bonus is that many of the region’s sportsgrounds are in picturesque settings.