There are a number of courses within 25 minutes of Wellington city. Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, 376 Kapiti Rd., Paraparaumu Beach (tel. 04/298-4561; www.paraparaumubeachgolfclub.co.nz), is an 18-hole, par-71 course rated 1 of the top 50 courses in the world by Golf Digest. Greens fees are NZ$140, club rental is NZ$45, and carts are NZ$40. Reserve well in advance. Hutt Golf Club, Military Road, Lower Hutt (tel. 04/567-4722; www.huttgolfclub.co.nz), is an 18-hole, par-70 course where you'll pay NZ$75 for a round. Karori Golf Club, South Makara Road, Wellington (tel. 04/476-7337; www.karorigolf.co.nz), is an 18-hole, par-70 course; a round costs NZ$40 during the week and NZ$50 on weekends.
This is a great way to explore Oriental Parade. Skates can be hired from Fergs Kayaks, Queens Wharf (tel. 04/499-8898; www.fergskayaks.co.nz), for NZ$8 per half-day. Daily rates available.
Fergs Kayaks is owned by New Zealand's legendary canoeist and Olympic gold medalist Ian Ferguson. You can do the self-paddle thing for NZ$15 to NZ$40 per hour, or join a guided group. Try the night harbor tour, NZ$80 to NZ105 per person for 2 1/2 hours of paddling, with soup and snacks at the end. Tamarillo Sea Kayaking, Kapiti (tel. 025/244-1616; fax 04/239-9789), offers a more remote, nature-based sea-kayak experience around Kapiti Island, one of New Zealand's most famous conservation reserves. Instruction is given to those with no previous experience. The all-day adventure includes a chartered launch trip to and from the island and costs NZ$195. Birders will love this one.
This is one group that truly celebrates Wellington's hilly terrain. You have the choice of everything from a leisurely ride around the bays to a spine-chilling route that includes a vertical cliff face. For bike information, contact Penny Farthing Cycles, 89 Courtenay Place (tel. 04/385-2279; www.pennyfarthing.co.nz). Mud Cycles, 338 Karori Rd. (tel. 04/476-4961; www.mudcycles.co.nz), which is next to Wellington's Mountain Bike Park in Karori, offers a full fleet of rental touring and mountain bikes for children and adults. They also offer guided tours and instruction for all abilities.
The Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre, 62 Kilbirnie Crescent, Kilbirnie (tel. 04/387-8029), has four heated pools: a lap pool, a learners' pool, and adjoining junior and toddler pools with an access ramp for people in wheelchairs. There are also diving facilities, Jacuzzis, saunas, a sun deck, a cafe, and a YMCA fitness center. The Freyberg Pool, 139 Oriental Parade (tel. 04/801-4530), is an easy walk from most inner city accommodations.
The Wellington Renouf Tennis Centre, 20 Brooklyn Rd., Central Park (tel. 04/384-6294; www.wellingtontennis.org.nz), has 14 outdoor courts and 4 indoor courts. It's open Monday through Friday from 6am to 11pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 11pm. A cafe and bar are on the premises.
There are endless walking opportunities in Wellington. The most obvious that spring to mind are a quiet amble through the Botanic Garden or around Oriental Parade, or a more taxing climb up any one of the many Mount Victoria tracks. The visitor center has a wide range of excellent brochures for self-guided tours including Heritage Trail tours, which give you the chance to learn and discover as you go; Explore Wellington tours (more than 10 of them), which detail various themed walks in different areas of the city; and Five Lunchtime Walks, which cover different parts of the inner city area in less than an hour.