Wellington and Wairarapa New Zealand

The Wellington region, covers the southernmost part of the North Island in New Zealand and includes Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast. Wellington city is the capital of New Zealand, the third largest city in population figures, and it is also where the ferries depart and arrive to and from the South Island.

Wellington City Harbour
Wellington New Zealand City Harbour

So if you are visiting the South Island you will have to go to, or through, Wellington City. And depending on your chosen route south, you will drive through Wairarapa, or past the Kapiti Coast.

Wellington is buzzing with cafes, arts, and nightlife, along with museums such as Te Papa, the national museum, and the Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

Wellington City Attractions, Places to Go and Things to Do - Wellington Annual Events

There are city tours, walks, cycling, and a Cable Car, along with hilltop lookout points such as from Mount Victoria. Wellington Transport

The Botanic Gardens and Zealandia, the Karori Sanctuary Experience, and Otari-Wilton’s Bush, all provide access to plants and wildlife of New Zealand. Take a short ferry trip to spend a few hours on Matiu/Somes Island in the harbour, a nature reserve that's predator free and managed by the Department of Conservation.

Within Wellington, and along the SH2 out of Wellington route, there are several points of interest in the filming of Lord of the Rings, listed below under ‘Wellington and Wairarapa Attractions’. Of course, Wellywood and Weta Workshop also provide more for New Zealand based film enthusiasts to visit, it’s not just Lord of the Rings that was filmed in New Zealand!

In the wider region outside of Wellington there are lots of attractions and plenty to do.

The i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, 18-32 Manners Street, Wellington is the best place to get comprehensive information about the Wellington region and activities.

There is an interactive region map below.

Districts in Wellington Wairarapa Region

  • Kapiti Coast
  • Porirua
  • Masterton
  • Carterton
  • South Wairarapa
  • Upper Hutt
  • Lower Hutt
  • Wellington

Places in Wellington Wairarapa



  • Akitio
  • Carterton
  • Castlepoint
  • Featherston
  • Gladstone
  • Greytown
  • Martinborough
  • Masterton
  • Cape Palliser and Ngawi
  • Tararua District

Wellington and Wairarapa Attractions

Rimutaka Forest Park - Wellington Wairarapa Region
Rimutaka Forest Park - Wellington Wairarapa Region

50 Attractions and Things to Do in and Around Wellington


  • Te Papa Museum
  • Museum of Wellington City and Sea
  • Colonial Cottage Museum
  • Fetherston Heritage Museum
  • Fell Museum
  • Wellington Tramway Line and Museum
  • Southwards Car Museum
  • Cobblestone Museum, Greytown
  • Toy Soldier Museum
  • Museum of Early Childhood, Masterton

Nature and Wildlife

  • ZEALANDIA Urban Ecosanctuary
  • Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour
  • Otari-Wilton’s Bush
  • Staglands Wildlife Park
  • Nga Manu Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Seal Colonies
  • Wellington Botanic Gardens
  • Lady Norwood Rose Gardens
  • Carter Observatory
  • Rimutaka Forest Park
  • Aorangi Forest Park
  • Tararua Forest Park
  • Kapiti Island Nature Reserve
  • Wairarapa Wine District

Film Industry Locations

Weta Workshop

Lord of the Rings Locations List

  • Escape from the Nazgul
  • Outer Shire
  • Dunharrow
  • Race to the Ferry
  • Helm’s Deep
  • Minas Tirith
  • River Anduin
  • Isengard Gardens
  • Orc Tree
  • Rohan River
  • Rivendell
  • Fords of Isen
  • Lothlorien
  • Gladden Fields
  • Pelennor Fields
  • Outer Shire
  • Dimholt Road

All Lord of the Rings Filming Locations

Wellington Region Area Map