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Wellington’s waterfront is crammed with cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and generally has lots going on. It’s a great place to stroll along and get a flavour of the city.

Don’t miss Te Papa, the country’s flagship museum (free entry) with fascinating insights into its cultural, geological, social and natural history. The parliament buildings including the Beehive are fascinating, maybe followed by a spot of shopping along Lambton Quay, with an evening meal on the waterside.

Be sure to take a ride on the jaunty red cable car up to the Botanic Gardens for sweeping views of the city and harbour.

Out of town, you’ll find boutique wine country around Martinborough, noted for its soft and mellow pinot noir. Or head down to Cape Palliser where the fur seals bask and loll on the rugged shoreline beneath the Victorian lighthouse (253 steps, if you’re asking!).