Ideal duration: 7-10 Days
Best Time: March - May Read More
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Known for its vibrant creative culture intensified by the sumptuous cuisine, delicious wine, world-class craft beer and coffee, Wellington is the capital city and the most populous urban town in New Zealand. Guarded by majestic mountains and snuggled between cosy hills, the city also has a flat waterfront downtown and a hook-shaped harbour to accentuate its beauty further. Besides the pleasant climate, beaches and lively culture, the town resonates with the celebrations and festivities of several events, carnivals, festivals and fairs frequently held here.
Wellington largely gained its fame from the world-famous movie trilogy 'The Lord of the Rings' that was filmed here for the most part. In addition to that, the gorgeous dainty houses perched here and there on the bushy hillside, built in typical Victorian timber architecture, add to the charm of the beautiful town. However, the city is infamous for its frequent earthquakes and tremors and the ever-blowing howling gales, because of which it has also earned the nickname ‘Windy Wellington’. Bustling with several museums, galleries, art organizations, marketplaces, restaurants and cafes, the vivid culture of (a rather small and compact) city also encourages street artists, performers, graffiti painters, buskers, dancers etc., to adorn the streets and entertain the crowds.
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Wellington rose to fame when the Lord of the Rings Trilogy came out in the theatres. Parts of the movies were shot in Wellington and the nearby areas of Mount Victoria, especially the ones depicting Middle Earth and the Shire. A few iconic scenes from “The Hobbit” that was released are also from the same place. Also, most of the props and elements used in fantasy movies, like The Chronicles of Narnia, Ghost in the Shell etc., are made by a prop company called Weta Workshop which is also based in Wellington.
This company was also responsible for the props and merchandise of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well thus asserting the connection. So, to improve tourism in Wellington, Weta Workshop conducts tours for the volunteers where they can have a behind-the-scenes experience of the same. They also have a Weta Cave, which is a hub of LOTR merchandise, media, sculptures, stationery and a lot more. So, for all you LOTR fans out there- now you know where you do, you have to head in case you miss the movie again!
The region in and around Wellington has been filmed for the movies, so much so that the eastern suburb of Miramar has been dedicated for the same purpose and has been touted with the name "Wellywood", which is a combination of the American "Hollywood" and Wellington itself. The area has been chosen by the filmmakers such as Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor. The famous Weta Workshop and the Weta Cave are also Jackson's companies.
Some of the recent popular films shot here include Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, the Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and Avatar etc. Wellington itself has several independent cinemas, which include The Embassy, Paramount, Penthouse, the Roxy and Light House etc.
Wellington is also responsible for producing big brand music bands like The Mockers, The Warratahs, Shihad, Beastwars, Fly My Pretties, The Phoenix Foundation, Rhian Sheehan, Birchville Cat Motel, Black Boned Angel, The Black Seeds, Fur Patrol, Flight of the Conchords, Connan Mockasin, Rhombus and Module, Fat Freddy's Drop, Weta, Demoniac etc.
On the theatre arts front, Wellington is a supreme patron of performing arts and is home to theatres like BATS Theatre, Circa Theatre, Whitireia Performance Centre, National Dance & Drama School Toi Whakaari etc. There are also several dance schools, and the city has produced some of the world's best comics like Ginette McDonald ("Lyn of Tawa"), Raybon Kan, Ben Hurley, Dai Henwood, Steve Wrigley, Guy Williams etc.
Wellingtonians celebrate a horde of festivals and take part in various events. However, most of their prime festivals and fairs are biennial. Among the top festivals celebrated in town are - New Zealand International Arts Festival, Jazz Festival, Capital E National Arts Festival for Children etc., all three of which are biennial.
Other events are Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art, TEDxWellington, Cuba Street Carnival, New Zealand Fringe Festival, New Zealand International Comedy Festival, Summer City, Visa Wellington on a Plate, The Wellington Folk Festival, New Zealand Affordable Art Show, Out In The Square, the New Zealand Sevens Weekend and Parade, Vodafone Homegrown, the Couch Soup theatre festival, Camp A Low Hum in addition to several film festivals and programmes.
There is also the Artsplash Festival, celebrated annually by the students. This week-long festival majorly includes students and involves music and dance performances and the presentation of visual arts. Not to mention, there are delicacies prepared,, and the event is carried out with great pomp and show with ample food and drinks.