The southern region of New Zealand's North Island boasts a wonderful variety of landscapes to explore. From the delightful vineyards of Martinborough to the world's most southern capital – Wellington – there is certainly a lot to discover. While Martinborough may be a small town, the variety of wine and activities available will keep you busy, while bustling (and windy) Wellington, a city built on dramatic hills,
is fast approaching international fame for the quality of films that are produced every year, giving it the nickname 'Wellywood'. Starting in the small wine district of Martinborough. What it lacks in size it certainly makes up for with the style and quality of wines crafted in the area. Its town square is in the shape of the Union Jack, and is surrounded by lush greenery and a bounty of cycling and walking paths. This picturesque town draws in visitors with its charming colonial style houses and pick of over 20 boutique style wineries. Whether you prefer pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris or all of the above, it is the quality not quantity that keeps visitors coming back. Plus, situated just an hour-and-a-half drive north-east of Wellington city, Martinborough is easily accessible for day trips or longer visits.
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Wellington may be New Zealand's capital city, but it is also the capital for culture and cuisine. Although infamously coined Windy Wellington, the locals will insist that there is nothing better than Wellington on a sunny day. And, they're completely correct.
Whether you are sitting on a beanbag at the water front having lunch, immersing yourself in Te Papa's interactive museum, catching a cable car up Mount Victoria, strolling down Courtenay Place, or trying the inhouse brewed craft-beer, Wellington proves that it deserves its title for being New Zealand's capital in all fields.
It is the array of film studios like, Weta and Park Road Productions that is helping New Zealand to become one of the new and exciting spaces to be involved within the film industry. Local resident Peter Jackson has brought to life films such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, The Avengers, and Ghost in the Shell. You can go on organised tours and get behind the scenes and experience spectacular production.
While Martinborough and Wellington are often simply the gateway to the South Island, make sure you stop off and include these magnificent places in your tour, and spend time investigating all they have to offer. It will cement an amazing end, as you depart the North Island and voyage to the South.
The craft beer scene in Wellington is amazing so after you've had your culture fix exploring Te Papa museum, head to a pub to sample some local brews alongside some fresh fish and chips.