WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - Got 48 hours to explore Wellington? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short stay in the perfectly formed capital of New Zealand.
6 p.m. - The wind rattles through Wellington -- a lot, and often quite quickly, hence the city's nickname "Windy Wellington". But locals don't notice it, or talk about it, unless it's blowing more than 50 km an hour (30 miles an hour). Calculate the wind speed over a local brew at one of the city's renowned boutique breweries, Mac's Brewery, which backs out onto the harbour off Cable Street.
8.00 p.m. - Wellington is compact and most places are easily reached on foot. Walk up through the city to the Boulcott Street Bistro in the historic Plimmer House. The lamb shanks are excellent.
10.00 p.m. - Walk off your meal and head back into the center of town to Courtenay Place, the pub and club quarter, with scores of establishments you can cruise until the small hours.
9.00 a.m - Take your pick. If the weather is fine then a day trip across Cook Strait to Picton at the top of the South Island is a treat. But equally tempting is a tour of the Wairarapa wine district, around Martinborough, about 90 minutes north-east by car or train from Wellington. There are around 50 vineyards, mostly small boutique producers. The pinot noir from the district is world class.
Alternatively, if you're staying in town, head down to the famous waterfront with its eclectic mix of yachts, cafes, the world's oldest operating floating crane, the Maritime Museum, memorials and sculptures, including Len Lye's "Water Whirler" which has been known to drench the unwary.
You can also cut across the City-to-Sea bridge and through Civic Square with its giant suspended globe, art gallery, and tall copper palm fronds which support part of the library and leisurely head through town towards Parliament.
11.00 a.m. - Being a capital city, politics permeates, so take a tour of the nicely restored Parliament Building and the adjoining circular "Beehive", where the executive resides -- proof, if you need it, that it's hard to corner a politician.
12.30 p.m. - Across the road from Parliament is the Backbencher pub, a favorite watering hole and good place for lunch, along with a display of puppets, poking fun at local political and sporting notables.
2.30 p.m. - Wellington acquired itself a reputation as a film-making location of some repute after Kiwi director Peter Jackson made much of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in the rundown looking suburb of Miramar, near the airport. Newly opened is Weta Cave with a museum and information about the stunning creations of Weta Workshops used in the Rings' movies, and other recent blockbusters including the "Narnia" series, and "King Kong".
Tours of Wellington locations in Lord of the Rings are available.
5.00 p.m. - Bus back to town and have a cool restoring drink at The General Practioner, a modern interpretation of a traditional pub, on the corner of Willis and Boulcott Streets.
7.00 p.m. - A block or two away in Cuba Street in a restored old bank building is favorite restaurant Logan Brown well known for its creative use of fresh, local produce.
10.00 p.m - Cuba Street has its own selection of late night watering holes, a favorite is the Matterhorn in the Cuba Mall near the eccentric bucket fountain.
9 a.m. - Grab a bus or a taxi to the summit of tree-clad Mount Victoria for a 360 degree view of city and the adjoining Hutt Valley, and, if the weather is good, the South Island.
9.30 a.m. - Walk back to town down the slopes of Mount Victoria, used as the outer reaches of the Shire in Middle Earth for the "Lord of The Rings" trilogy.
10 a.m. - A visit to the national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, is a must. It sits on the waterfront in an ugly, bunker-style building, but on the inside is five floors of knowledge, history, art and entertainment. When it opened 10 years ago it broke the mould of what museums are supposed to be with many interactive exhibitions, including the noise and feeling of a simulated earthquake shaking a house -- scary.
12.30 p.m. - Lunch at one of Te Papa's eateries or nip a couple of blocks to SYN bar in Bond Street where Hell Pizzas will tempt you with dishes called Lust, Gluttony and Envy.
2 p.m. - To the city terminus of the century-old Cable Car for a quick trip up the 1-in-5 gradient to the suburb of Kelburn, which offers a great view over the city and a small museum. Then head to the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, an ambitious wildlife restoration project, with a world-first predator-proof fence stretching 8.6 kilometers to keep the pests on the outside and help restore the wildlife and vegetation on the inside.
6 p.m. - Wrap up your weekend with a final drink at St. Johns bar, an art deco former ambulance station near the waterfront.