Cross off your New Zealand checklist with these awesome experiences
The capital of New Zealand is a destination that’s just brimming with adventure and fun experiences. If you’re heading south in the coming months, make sure you find some space on your itinerary during your visit to Wellington.
Discover New Zealand’s stories at Te Papa
The national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, is fascinating and fun for curious minds of any age. The exhibits are innovative and interactive, telling stories of New Zealand’s unique geological, biological, cultural and social history in new and exciting ways. By the way – general admission is free.
Enjoy 360-degree views from Mount Victoria
Get a panoramic view of city and harbour, and a great photo opportunity at the Mount Victoria Lookout. Watch the ferries sailing in through the harbour and aircraft taking off from Wellington Airport. You can drive all the way up, or walk through the town belt greenery. Grab some fish and chips and sit on the grass as the sun goes down and the lights come up.
Taste your way around the city
Wellington is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York City, and with rich farmland to the north and ocean's bounty to the south, those restaurants are spectacularly good. For local seafood, make sure you try the famous paua ravioli from Logan Brown, and oysters from Whitebait.
Ride the historic Wellington Cable Car
The Cable Car is a Wellington icon and also part of the daily commute for many locals. The short ride runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn, where at the top there’s a lookout, the Cable Car Museum, and Space Place at Carter Observatory. With interactive displays, a state of the art digital planetarium and historic telescopes, it's a virtual voyage to the stars. Come back down to earth (and the city) through the beautiful Botanic Garden.
Travel back in time at the Zealandia sanctuary
Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Wellington you'll find Zealandia. Hidden in a suburban valley, this project aims to return a 225-hectare section of bush to its pre-human state. Take a walk and hear the songs of the flourishing native bird population. Volunteer guides help you make the most, and you can even book a night tour for kiwi spotting.
Experience movie-making magic
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the imagination and artistry behind some of the world's most spectacular movies at Weta Cave on their Windows into Workshop tour, right there where the special effects wizardry happens. Or put yourself in the picture with a The Lord of the Rings location tour.
Wander around the waterfront
Wellington's waterfront is a beautifully walkable public space, dotted with cafes, parks, sculpture, bars and ice cream vendors. Join hundreds of Wellingtonians walking, jogging, skating, cycling, or crocodile biking. Stop by one of three markets on the weekend, then aim for Oriental Bay beach to have a swim or just soak up the sun.
Have a ‘Close Encounter’ at Wellington Zoo
Ever wanted to hand-feed a giraffe, play with a mob of meerkats or stroke a cheetah’s fur? All this and more is possible at Wellington Zoo, the ‘best little zoo in the world’. Book a Close Encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, or just enjoy the more than 100 species of animals in the collection.
Let a local show you around
A guided tour is the best way to get quickly acquainted with Wellington. Walk the city meeting Wellington’s coffee roasters and tasting gourmet foods on a Zest Food Tour, head off-road to visit wildlife on a Seal Coast Safari, or take to the skies for a spectacular bird’s eye view in a helicopter. Make the most of being in New Zealand’s capital city and take a free guided tour inside New Zealand’s parliament buildings.
Cruise down Cuba Street
Home to hipsters, artists and lovers of vintage, Cuba Street is a bohemian haven with some of the city’s most colourful shops, bars and cafes. You can often find street entertainers flaunting their talent. Don't forget to get your photo of the one and only Bucket Fountain, one of the city’s most loved sculptures.