Tucking in to treats in Welly
As foodies descend on Wellington for the food festival Wellington on a Plate, we check out the best tourist attractions.
A typically touristy activity, the Wellington Cable Car attracts many people who've stepped off large cruise ships to spend a day exploring Wellington. So keep that in mind if you're not into long queues.
Arrive early to get one of the first trips from Lambton Quay to Kelburn.
From the top, at Upland Road, you can easily pass an hour or more in a museum dedicated to the city's cable car history.
You can even climb aboard an old grip car for a photo, and there are plenty of souvenirs to keep the kids happy.
If you're not that fussed on cable cars though, it's still worth the ride up for the view over the harbour and CBD.
TE PAPA MUSEUM
Wow, this is one museum you can spend hours in wandering through the detailed and fascinating exhibits.
The displays trace the history of New Zealand's Maori population and look at the geology of the land.
This is a great family attraction too, as entry is free and there are plenty of interactive elements to keep kids entertained (not to mention a giant squid).
Make sure you go on a guided tour as the staff is knowledgeable and really help to make all that history digestible.
For such a small city, there is a decent addiction to fine chocolates.
You can join a chocolate tour with Wild about Wellington but they're expensive, and seeing as you're simply shown to a number of boutique stores you can easily find yourself, they don't warrant the cost.
Instead, put on your walking shoes and head into the CBD, where you'll find Bohemein Fresh Chocolates selling little morsels of lemon and thyme ganache, wasabi cream and Grand Marnier truffle.
There is also de Spa Chocolatier in the Old Bank Arcade and the chocolates and confectionary department in Kirkcaldie & Stains Ltd.
You can get more of a chocolate fix in many of the cafes lining Cuba Street.
If you visit on a Sunday be sure to wander down to the foreshore for a stroll through Harbourside Market.
These markets are dedicated to food so expect to see a lot of locals doing their weekly produce shopping. There's vegies, fruit, herbs, fish, breads, cheese and flowers.
It's great to see how the locals live but you can also grab lunch here or pocket a few chutneys and jams.
There is also City Market (on Sundays) in Chaffers Dock Function Centre.
Round out your day with a visit to Roxy Cinema. You'll have to get a taxi here as it's just out of town in the 'burbs at Miramar.
Roxy Cinema is in a 1928 art deco building and has two theatres. It's the project of Wellington's film and hospitality movers and shakers, including Weta Workshop founders Tania Rodger & Richard Taylor.
Make an afternoon of it and watch a movie before dining in the cinema's 1930s-inspired restaurant, CoCo at the Roxy. The tasting plates are delicious and they serve cocktails to a soundtrack of jazz.
IF YOU GO
STAYING THERE: Novotel Wellington is within walking distance to all of the city's major tourist attractions. For rates, call 04 918 1900.
The 2013 Wellington on a Plate is held between August 9-25. Find out event details and ticket prices at wellingtononaplate.com.
More ideas on what to do in Wellington can be found at wellingtonnz.com.
The writer travelled as a guest of Tourism NZ and Positively Wellington Tourism.