Wellington is a cultured, compact and energetic city on the edge of a beautiful harbour and surrounded by hills.

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Almost everything you want to visit is within walking distance – the superbTe Papa (Museum of New Zealand), the golden sand of Oriental Bay, the galleries, shops and cafes.

There are hidden gems too, like Weta Cave – a little museum and shop in the studio complex where movies like Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and Avatar were made.

There’s always something happening. Your Outgames visit coincided with the Wellington International Jazz Festival, the Documentary Edge Film Festival, and the Wellington Dragonboat Festival, as well as great theatre and opera productions.

Whatever your interest, there is something to see and do in Wellington. Good food? Try our weekend markets. History? At Archives NZ you can see the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document.

The Outgames Hub was in the Town Hall, in the heart of the city – it was a great place to drop in during the Games to check on results or meet up with friends.

If you were in the mood for exploration and discovery, you could download a free Welly Walks iPhone application to help you find your way around walkways and tracks.

The city is packed with great eating and drinking places – there are over 300 cafes and  restaurants. You could start the evening sampling a local beer, wine or cocktail in a small character bar, then choose your restaurant, then head out to a club or party.

And Wellington offers easy and interesting day trips. Catch the ferry to the South Island and enjoy a cruise through the Marlborough Sounds. There are always wine tours available to the famous Marlborough wine region that you can do on a day trip. Alternatively, head to the Wairarapa, just an hour’s drive north from Wellington. Enjoy shopping and lunching in the historic little village of Greytown, taste the wine in Martinborough, or visit seals and an old lighthouse on the ruggedly romantic south Wairarapa coast.

In March it is the tail end of summer. It’s typically dry, with daily maximum temperatures in the low 20s°C – very comfortable for getting around, and ideal for sports competition!

The city council and the mayor welcome diversity. New Zealand’s laws are very gay-friendly too. It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and our Police are safe to approach. You could even have a civil union with your partner while you are in Wellington!

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