Experience Wellington

Whether you’re there for a short jaunt or a long relaxing week, Wellington is the perfect place for a family holiday, writes KINETA BOOKER.

Wellington is a favourite holiday destination of my son, Austen. He’s been there only once – more than a year ago, but he still talks about the fun he had. Paw Patrol the musical was in town and because the production wasn’t going to be coming to the South Island, a trip to the North with his Paw Patrol-loving cousin was called for.

This was Austen’s first plane ride, and with a 45-minute flight time from Christchurch, it was the perfect introduction to flying. Nice and short. Once we arrived in Wellington, the airport bus (airportflyer.co.nz) took us right to our accommodation. Austen was thrilled as he climbed the bus’s stairs – this was also his first trip on a bus. So many firsts!

Once we had checked into the hotel, and the kids had done their obligatory jump on their hotel beds, there were plenty of adventures ahead for us. Here are some ideas for you:

Little Creators
They provide the craft materials, you take your imagination! Guided by their Creativity Curators, your tamariki will get to create to their heart’s content!
capitale.org.nz

Te Papa
Create, innovate and collaborate. Explore Te Papa’s collections and exhibitions using cutting-edge technologies.
tepapa.govt.nz

Wellington Zoo
See the capybaras, caracals, pygmy marmosets, the cute red pandas, sun bears, and many more varied and interesting animals at Wellington Zoo – New Zealand’s first zoo.
wellingtonzoo.com

Take the scenic route
Why not make the most of the South Island’s beauty and enjoy the newly reopened Coastal Pacific train to Picton (greatjourneysofnz.co.nz) then cruise on an Interislander ferry (interislander.co.nz) to Wellington!

Take the cable car (wellingtoncablecar.co.nz), visit the Space Place (museumswellington.org.nz), enjoy the beautiful botanical gardens (wellington.govt.nz), go on a touring adventure at the BeeHive (parliament.nz), sample some deliciousness at Wellington Chocolate Factory (wcf.co.nz) and take in the sights from the Mt Victoria Lookout. (wellingtonnz.com).

Surprising family accommodation: YHA New Zealand

We all know an activity-packed Wellington weekend with the kids can spell one thing: a high price tag. Well-located, functional accommodation doesn’t sound cheap either, but YHA’s high quality budget accommodation means you can rest easy in central Wellington, and spend your money on more of the fun stuff.

YHA Wellington is hard to beat on location – whether it’s the five-minute stroll to Te Papa, harbour views from the upper levels, or being across the road from a supermarket, there’s something to appeal to everyone. The on-site espresso bar and breakfast bagel deals are pretty popular too!

Check into your secure family room (ensuites available if you’re feeling fancy!), relax in the comfortable shared lounges, and whip up a home-cooked meal in the fully-equipped kitchens. You’ll find laundry facilities, board games, TV, and the thing the kids can’t live without – free wifi!

Best of all, with YHA’s new digital membership, you get 10 per cent off accommodation booked at yha.co.nz, plus you’ll have access to over 2000 discounts on restaurants and activities across New Zealand and Australia. See more, do more, and pay less – stay with YHA.

yha.co.nz