Witnessing a sunrise gives you a fresh perspective over life and uplifts your mood instantly. It is also the best way to start an adventure-packed day in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, as you would be among the first few in the world to see a new day dawning.
Timings of sunrise in Wellington during different seasons
The temperature in Wellington starts dropping in May and the sun rises after 7:00 AM. As the winters set in the timings of sunrise in Wellington may fluctuate between 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, this continues till August. September is the onset of spring when the sun starts rising around 6:45 AM which goes on till November. By the end of November, summer sets in and the sun rises after 6:00 AM, which continues till February. With the onset of autumn in March, the sunrise timings shift to 7:00 AM.
Tips to watch the best sunrise in Wellington
As you plan to capture a splendid sunrise in Wellington you must remember to prepare accordingly. Here are a few tips to make your attempt successful and comfortable:
- Check the time for sunrise on the Sunrise/Sunset calculator. Check the weather report too to avoid unnecessary hassle.
- Start early to reach the viewpoint at least 20 minutes before the sunrise. This helps you stay relaxed as you enjoy the view.
- Plan your other activities for the day around the same area.
- Pack enough water and light snacks for the walk.
- Dress up in comfortable lightweight clothes and proper walking/ trekking shoes.
- Best Places to Witness Sunrise in Wellington
There are several viewpoints where you can catch a spectacular sunrise in Wellington. Getting to some of these is an adventure in itself and all your effort is rewarded by the stunning panoramic views of the city. We have created a list of all the places in Wellington where nature lovers and adventure junkies can head to, for a perfect start to their day.
1. Castlepoint Lighthouse
Castlepoint is a 2.5 hours drive from Wellington and it houses North Island’s tallest lighthouse. The spot features a rocky cliff, wild sea, a lagoon, and a sandy beach. The viewpoint of the lighthouse offers the most surreal scenery of sunrise in Wellington. The beautiful backdrop of rocks and sea add to the dreaminess. Apart from watching the sunrise, you can also enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, and surfing in the area.
Location: Jetty Road, Castlepoint, Wairarapa
2. Mount Victoria Lookout
Mount Victoria is located minutes away from the city center and it offers the best possible 360-degree views of the city. It is 196 meters high and is the ideal spot for enjoying a sunrise in Wellington along with breathtaking views of the city and harbor. You can walk or drive to the top and enjoy a picnic too.
Location: Lookout Road, Hataitai, Wellington
3. Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout
Te Ahumairangi Hill offers views of Wellington that can easily beat those of Mount Victoria. It is a 45-minute walk from the center of the city which gives you insights into the local settlements and native wildlife. You can also drive up to the lookout spot on the top and enjoy a surreal sunrise in Wellington accompanied by a strikingly beautiful view of the city.
Location: Northland, Wellington
4. Wellington Cable Car Lookout
A 5 minute trip on the historic Wellington Cable Car takes you to the Kelburn lookout. You can enjoy the dramatic view of the cityscape as you ascend to the spot from the city center. The spot is ideal to catch a splendid sunrise from above the city. There are several other interesting places on the top like the Wellington Botanic Garden, Zealandia, Cable Car Museum and Space Place. So, it is the ideal place to enjoy the most action-packed sunrise in Wellington.
Location: 280 Lambton Quay, Te Aro, Wellington
5. Massey Memorial
Massey Memorial is built atop a hill at Point Halswell and is a beautifully built marble structure. Apart from the structure, it offers great views of the ocean at the Miramar Peninsula. You can drive to Shelly Bay Road and walk up the hill through native trees and bushes to reach the memorial. The spot is secluded and peaceful offering one of the best views of the sunrise in Wellington.
Location: Massey Road, Miramar, Wellington
6. Mount Kaukau
Located in the northern suburbs of Wellington, Mount Kaukau the highest visible point in the city. The viewpoint on the summit provides breathtaking views of the city, the harbor, Hutt Valley, Remutaka & Tararua Ranges, Porirua, and the South Island. The walk uphill is rewarding but there are several other challenges on the way due to the jagged terrain. You can pick one of the walking trails and reach the top to watch the most fabulous sunrise in Wellington from one of the highest points in the city.
Location: Khandallah, Wellington
7. Eastern Walkway
Eastern Walkway is a coastal walk away from the bustle of the city. A walk along the coastline watching the sunrise in Wellington against the gorgeous view of the ocean is the best way to start your day. You can walk along the 2.5 kilometers stretch enjoying the amazing scenery and also visit the historic Ataturk Memorial and the 1968 Wahine Maritime Disaster Memorial.
Location: 72 Sidlaw St, Strathmore Park, Wellington
8. Paekakariki Hill Road Lookout
Paekakariki Hill Road Lookout is one of the most scenic spots in the city. The road is among the most beautiful coastal drives in the world. The panoramic views as you drive up the winding road are astonishing while the lookout offers magnificent views of the bright blue ocean. You can enjoy an astounding sunrise in Wellington from the lookout during summers.
Location: Paekakariki, Pauatahanui, Wellington