Places To Visit In Wellington

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1. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

9,180 km
from city center
1 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Located on the Cable Street waterfront in Wellington, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the massive National Museum of New Zealand. Inaugurated in 1998, the museum is an amalgamated space from National Art Gallery and the original National Museum sprawling over six floors. Colloquially known as Te Papa, which loosely translates to “Our Place”, the museum is thronged by more than 1.5 million people every year owing to its brilliant collection of treasures that include Maori artefacts, fossils and facts from natural history and environment etc. Spanning over five different sections - Art, History, Pacific, Māori, and Natural Environment, the museum also facilitates the availability of audio guides and tours. Other than being extremely innovative, informative and scholarly, the museum narrates the history of New Zealand in the most interactive and fun way possible, with significant help from the antiques, displays and ancient exhibits. The building stays open every single day of the year and conducts frequents exhibitions, workshops and interactive programmes.

2. Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria

1 km
from city center
2 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Located to the east of the central Wellington in New Zealand, Mount Victoria (also known as Tangi-te keo locally) is a prominent attraction of the city. With a towering height of 196 metres above sea level, the hill rose to fame when the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed here. Ever since it has become a popular tourist attraction owing to the gorgeous panoramic vistas that can be viewed from the top. You can see the valley below, the harbour, and the ocean, the criss-cross roads and the teeny tiny houses.

3. Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens

9,179 km
from city center
3 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Sprawling over 25 hectares of land area, Wellington Botanic Gardens are a green oasis in the middle of the bustling city of Wellington. Boasting of an exceptional blend of exotic floral varieties, native bushes, conifers, plant collections, non- native species and a spectacular Rose Garden, the Gardens occupy the land area on the hills between Thorndon and Kelburn.

4. Wellington Cable Car

Wellington Cable Car

1 km
from city center
4 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

One of the top attractions of town, Wellington Cable Car is a funicular railway running between the stations of Lambton Quay downtown to the famous Wellington Botanic Garden upwards. The distance covered is a thrilling upwards climb and the car uses the cable traction for movement. Covering a distance of 612 m and rising up a steep hill of height 120 m, the trip is a wonderful transition from the chaos in the heart of the city to the beautifully terraced steps on the hills of the Botanic Gardens.

5. Zealandia in Wellington

Zealandia in Wellington

9,180 km
from city center
5 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Based around a picturesque reservoir in Wellington, New Zealand, Zealandia is groundbreaking wildlife conservation ecosanctuary sprawling over a massive area of 225 hectares which is home to some of the rarest and extraordinary wildlife in the world. Originally called the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, the place was built with the sole intention of conserving the depleting forest reserves and natural wildlife. Known to be the world’s first full fenced ecosanctuary, the vision and objective is to restore the forests and the natural freshwater ecosystems to the pre-human state. The sanctuary has lately emerged to be one of the most popular tourist attractions of the town and has been successful in reintroducing over 20 species of native wildlife back into their zones here, some of which were known to have been extinct in the region for the last 100 years or more. There are a lot of recreational activities and fun things to do at the urban sanctuary for the tourists that include exploring the scenic trails, enjoying a boat ride, birdwatching and spotting exotic avifauna, volunteering for guided tours or just enjoying a quiet coffee by the lakeside etc.

6. City Gallery Wellington

City Gallery Wellington

9,180 km
from city center
6 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Located in the Civic Square in Wellington, City Gallery Wellington is a famous art gallery that was opened in 1980. Synonymous with the art culture of the capital city, the gallery showcases contemporary and modern art of New Zealand and also from across the world. There is no permanent display of items as the place practices changing mounts and varying exhibitions of the paintings. The gallery collaborates with different artists, creators, curators and collectors etc. to collect more and more quality products to exhibit in the exhibitions. In 2009, after a year of renovation, three more gallery spaces were added and space was extended. One of these gallery spaces was purely dedicated to Maori and Pacific Art besides a new auditorium was added. There is also a food cafe called Nikau to cater to your hunger pangs with its delicious finger food and beverages.

7. Weta Cave

Weta Cave

9,182 km
from city center
7 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Weta Workshop is an international Awards winning company that deals in special-effects and props. It is responsible for bringing super hit fantasy movies like the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Thor: Ragnarok, King Kong, Warcrafts and District 9 etc to life. Based on the same premise, Weta Cave is the hub of the famous props and studio tours which is a major tourist attraction located 8 kms east of the city centre in Miramar. Considered a must- visit for all the movie buffs, the place hoards all kinds of authentic Weta-designed prop replicas, books, collectibles, jewellery, art prints, apparel and movie memorabilia. The Weta Cave has been divided into two major segments- one is the Mini Museum nestled in the folds of the Cave, which is basically a gallery displaying sculptures of popular characters and miniature props from some of our favourite movies, and second is the screening of behind the scenes documentary that is held every half an hour. In addition to that, the place also conducts regular guided tours of the place.

8. Wellington Waterfront

Wellington Waterfront

9,180 km
from city center
8 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Known to be a bustling harbour and busy port once upon a time, Wellington Waterfront is now the charming and the gorgeous promenade extending from Frank Kitts Park to Taranaki Street in Wellington, New Zealand. Boasting of gorgeous views of the skyline and separating the central city from the sea, the spot is a major tourist attraction owing to the pleasant atmosphere and the availability of several activities and recreational games at the site. The entire promenade is home to historical and modern elements which add to the appeal of the place. From the statue of Kupe to the existing textures of the wharf structures and the wharf furniture, all make the Wellington waterfront an eclectic and exciting place in the city. The promenade is also a common place for activities like skating, riding a bike or walking. You can also go paddle boating or motor boating inside the waters. Besides, the amazing artwork along the waterfront only increases the aesthetics of the place. In addition to that, you can find several restaurants, cafes and bars dotted around the promenade or across the road from it, that can cater to your hunger pangs. Other than serving delicious food, these places also have amazing view alongside.

9. Cuba Street

Cuba Street

9 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Considered to be the Bohemian slice of the city, Cuba Street is a pedestrian only mall in the section between Dixon Street and Ghuznee Street in Wellington, New Zealand. Sprinkled with world class restaurants, both fine dine and casual, and dotted with big brand apparel stores, op shops, art galleries, boutiques and music shops etc., you can also find buskers playing the tunes on their instruments or a flash mob happening somewhere in the middle of the day. The hip street is always bustling with activity where people visit to eat, drink, dance, sing, basically to have some fun. Soaking up the cool culture is the uber cool town, Cuba Street has also been registered as a Historic Area under the Historic Places Act since 1995. Besides, there is an upside down bucket fountain which is a popular attraction at the spot.

10. The Beehive

The Beehive

9,179 km
from city center
10 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Considered to be a landmark building of the town, The Beehive is the Executive Wing of the iconic New Zealand Parliamentary buildings. Situated at the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay in Wellington, New Zealand, The Beehive is called so because of its shape that is in the form of a traditional beehive, also known as a ‘skep’. The building houses the office of the prime minister and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in addition to several other offices of other government officials. The 72 metres tall building has 10 floors above the ground and four floors below. Designed by the British architect- Sir Basil Spence in 1964, the Beehive also has an array of meeting rooms, bars, lounges, pubs and TV and Radio interview rooms.

11. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

1 km
from city center
11 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Located on the Cable Street waterfront in Wellington, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the massive National Museum of New Zealand. Inaugurated in 1998, the museum is an amalgamated space from National Art Gallery and the original National Museum sprawling over six floors. Colloquially known as Te Papa, which loosely translates to “Our Place”, the museum is thronged by more than 1.5 million people every year owing to its brilliant collection of treasures that include Maori artefacts, fossils and facts from natural history and environment etc.

12. Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens

1 km
from city center
12 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Sprawling over 25 hectares of land area, Wellington Botanic Gardens are a green oasis in the middle of the bustling city of Wellington. Boasting of an exceptional blend of exotic floral varieties, native bushes, conifers, plant collections, non- native species and a spectacular Rose Garden, the Gardens occupy the land area on the hills between Thorndon and Kelburn. The winding paths on the hills are of great benefit to the residents of Wellington as the picturesque meandering paths are used for jogging, cycling and walking around.

13. Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo

0 km
from city center
13 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Set up by the late, former Prime Minister, Richard Seddon, after he was gifted with a cub (more famously known as King Dick named by Bostock and Wombwell's Circus), Wellington Zoo was the first-ever zoo the country had. Located in the green belt of Wellington, New Zealand this zoo has turned into an important tourist attraction over the years, for its varied wildlife it has to offer and several customized packages for the tourists to avail.

14. National Library of New Zealand

National Library of New Zealand

346 km
from city center
14 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Originally established in 1965, the National Library of New Zealand, also known as Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, is one of the important national institutions as it is the legal deposit library of the country and is also an educationally significant institution owing to its services to schools business units with which they connect with and impart data to the various schools in New Zealand.

15. Princess Bay

Princess Bay

424 km
from city center
15 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Princess bay is one of the two suburbs of Wellington’s South Coast, New Zealand. It lies in between Houghton Bay’s headland and Te Raekaihau Point.

16. Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum

1 km
from city center
16 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Recently listed in The Times, London under the 50 most voted museums across the world, Wellington museum has come up as a focal tourist location for tourists from far and wide. It is located on Queen Wharfs, Wellington in New Zealand occupying the historic Bond Store, formerly known to keep the cargo loads by maritime ships and sailors on the Wellington harbor. It is a mere two-minute walk from the Lambton Quay which is centrally located on the map of Wellington and the route can easily be availed by a cable car.

17. Space Place at Carter Observatory

Space Place at Carter Observatory

265 km
from city center
17 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Space Place at Carter Observatory is a planetarium housed inside the historical unit of the famous astronomical, observatory located at the top of Wellington Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand. The observatory is named after Charles Carter, who left his estate that turned into what we know as the Royal Society of New Zealand. This society aimed to build a full-fledged astronomical observatory unit near Wellington Parliament which eventually led to the set up of the Space Place Carter Observatory.

18. Matiu Somes Island

Matiu Somes Island

8 km
from city center
18 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Matiu-Somes island is the perfect place for a nature lover, or for spending some time away from the city, in the midst of rich flora and fauna. Located off the coast of the city of Wellington, the island is easily accessible by ferry, boat or kayak. If you’re the sporty kind, don’t hesitate to hire a kayak from the city and kayak in the beautiful waters around the island. A ferry ride will take around 20 minutes, and around 2 to 3 hours should be more than enough to explore the island.

19. Courtenay Place

Courtenay Place

1 km
from city center
19 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Courtenay Place is the perfect place to go out for a few evening drinks with friends, or to party all weekend! Located in the district of Te Aro, the place has a selection of pubs, bars and restaurants, which are open until early morning. You could try a wide range of drinks here, especially their famous craft beer! A lot of cute cafes are also located here, in case you’re not a party person. The area also hosts a large number of art festivals throughout the year, including the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

20. Wellington Harbour

Wellington Harbour

5 km
from city center
20 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Wellington Harbour is the large natural harbour in the Kiwi capital of Wellington, New Zealand. It has a coastline spanning 76 kilometres, and has two inlets coming in from the mainland. One can spend a day here taking a ferry ride into the bay, or hiring a boat to explore the three islands present just offshore. If you’re more adventurous, you can hire a kayak and make your way around the harbour. Make sure your vessel doesn’t have rodents though, or you won’t be allowed to enter the islands!

21. Island Bay

Island Bay

6 km
from city center
21 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Island Bay is a must-visit area when you’re in Wellington, with the beautiful beach and diving schools to visit around. It is located just 5 kilometres from the city centre and is very easily accessible using both, public transport and personal means of commuting. Tapu Te Ranga island is located just offshore Island Bay, which functions as a natural breakwater and provides a sheltered anchorage for local fishing boats.

22. Old St. Paul's Cathedral

Old St. Paul's Cathedral

67 km
from city center
22 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Old St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the best buildings in Wellington with a display of Gothic and Revival Gothic architecture. With its beautiful stained glass windows and panels, and the gleaming wooden interior, you should not miss out on this church if you’re in the capital city of Wellington! It serves as an important landmark of the city, especially in the Thordon area, where it is located. Once serving three functions at a time, as the parish church for Thorndon, the Anglican cathedral for the Wellington diocese, and the unofficial national cathedral for New Zealand.

23. Red Rocks Reserve

Red Rocks Reserve

48 km
from city center
23 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Red Rocks Reserve is the perfect place to go for a Sunday stroll on a warm, sunny day. Located at just a 20 minute drive from the city of Wellington, the walkway boasts of having the most breathtaking views, with rugged volcanic ridges on one side and the calm, serene ocean on the other. One can’t miss the distinctive colour of the red rocks, which get their colour from deposits of iron oxide. The walkway is a total of around 8 kilometres each way, but at the end you’re rewarded by seeing fur seals basking in the sun!

24. Southwards Car Museum

Southwards Car Museum

1 km
from city center
24 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Southwards Car Museum in Paraparamu is the perfect place for a day-trip from the kiwi capital of Wellington. It boasts of having a 6000 meter square ft display hall, which holds over four hundred exhibits! These range from an 1895 Benz Volo, to a 1950 Cadillac “gangster special” which was owned by gangster Mickey Cohen. It also has various cars previously owned by celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich’s 1935 Cadillac! The three planes on display also give off their own charm, and stand proud.

25. Otari-Wilton's Bush

Otari-Wilton's Bush

9,178 km
from city center
25 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush reserve is also known as Otari-Wilton’s Bush. Located in Wellington, it is the only public garden in New Zealand. This 100-hectare forest consists of some of the oldest trees which also includes an 800-year-old Rimu. Otari–Wilton's Bush is now classified as a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as it aims to save and preserve New Zealand’s rarest species of flora and fauna.

26. Parliament Building Tours

Parliament Building Tours

3 km
from city center
26 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Parliament Building is one of the most visited and interesting attractions for tourists, especially those who take interest in watching live debates and learning more about the political systems of the world. Visitors are taken on guided tours on seven days of the week of the Parliament Building in New Zealand, which is an important legislative structure that is located on Lambton Quay in Wellington. The tour guides give detailed information about the workings of the Parliament and the government apparatus in New Zealand along with information on how to be an active citizen. Visitors can also see the various artworks and objects that are contained in the Parliamentary Collection.

27. Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay

9,180 km
from city center
27 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Oriental Bay is also known as Wellington's very own mini Riviera because of the number of visitors it gets and the view it offers. With a population of nearly 1500 people, Oriental Bay is a very popular beach among tourists. This beach is also known as Wellington's very own mini Riviera because of the number of visitors it gets and the view it offers. During the summer months, Oriental Bay will be packed with families and party people. This suburb is suitable for swimming, picnicking, cycling or taking a walk on the waterfront. If swimming is not your thing, you can sit back and relax on the sand whilst admiring the people around, the clear seawater and the beautiful view that Wellington’s popular beaches offer. Visitors can also take their dogs and let them enjoy the view off-leash as well.

28. Embassy Theatre

Embassy Theatre

9,181 km
from city center
28 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Embassy Theatre is a cinema theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. This historic movie theatre, built in the 1920s, could accommodate nearly 1749 people. This theatre is one of the landmarks that the tourists would not like to miss out for its space, architecture, and representation of the rich cultural heritage of the country. This theatre, over many decades, has hosted some of the country’s major programs which the citizens cherish and associate themselves as being part of the magnificent journey.

29. The Kelbrun Lookout

The Kelbrun Lookout

13,114 km
from city center
29 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Kelbrun Lookout is a stunning view to which the Wellington Cable Car takes you to.

30. Mount Kaukau

Mount Kaukau

6 km
from city center
30 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Mount Kaukau the highest point in the Wellington landscape and hence, Wellington’s main television transmitter tower was built here.

31. Scorching Bay

Scorching Bay

15,368 km
from city center
31 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Scorching Bay is a popular crescent-shaped sandy roadside beach. The Scorching Bay is known for its large grassed area which is also sheltered.

32. Interislander

Interislander

3 km
from city center
32 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

Interislander is a ferry service between the North Island and South island of Cook Strait, New Zealand. The ferry service in Cook Strait was started in August 1962 by New Zealand Railways Department (NZR). A tour taken in New Zealand is incomplete without crossing Cook Strait.

33. Beaches in Wellington

Beaches in Wellington

33 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

New Zealand has over 15,000 kilometres of coastline and its capital city, Wellington has occupied the most of it. If you’re visiting Wellington and want to make the most of it, then travel to Wellington during summer as you’ll absolutely love its scenic beaches and bays. Wellington has many beaches, each beautiful in its own way. Whether you want to surf, scuba dive, snorkel, swim or just lay on the sand.

34. National War Museum

National War Museum

9,181 km
from city center
34 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The National War Memorial is dedicated to the several soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country during the first and the second World War. It is also dedicated to the men, women and children who died during those wars and conflicts. The National War Memorial consists of two buildings from two different eras – the National War Memorial Carillon (1932) and the Hall of Memories (1964) and, in front these buildings, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (2004). Four Rolls of Honour consist of the names and ranks of 28,654 men and women of New Zealand.

35. Frank Kitts Park

Frank Kitts Park

9,180 km
from city center
35 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

In the middle of Wellington, New Zealand is the little park named Frank Kitts Park which was one of the first projects of the waterfront development here. This park has been built on reclaimed land and was officially opened in the 1970s but was completed entirely in the 1980s. It boasts of a long slide with swings, an amphitheatre style area for family picnics and events and an array of sculptures and artworks for the people here to enjoy. The park has been named after the longest-serving mayor of the city, Sir Francis Joseph Kitts and its architecture were heavily influenced by the annual street car race that ran here at that time.

36. Parliament Building Tours

Parliament Building Tours

9,179 km
from city center
36 out of 36
places to visit in Wellington

The Parliament Building is one of the most visited and interesting attractions for tourists, especially those who take interest in watching live debates and learning more about the political systems of the world. Visitors are taken on guided tours on seven days of the week of the Parliament Building in New Zealand, which is an important legislative structure that is located on Lambton Quay in Wellington. The tour guides give detailed information about the workings of the Parliament and the government apparatus in New Zealand along with information on how to be an active citizen. Visitors can also see the various artworks and objects that are contained in the Parliamentary Collection.

FAQs on Wellington

How can I commute within Wellington?

Wellington is a really pedestrian friendly city and you can easily roam around the city on foot. However, buses are the most common and convenient way of commuting here. If you are a tourist, you can check with Metlink - (Greater Wellington Regional Council - Transport) at 0800 801 700, which provides all the information about the buses and their schedules. They also have a text bus service. You can text the bus stop number to the given contact, to receive the timings of the next bus which is scheduled to arrive at the same. 
The diminutive capital city can also be best explored on foot like already said. The pathways are clean and dainty and friendly, and well suited for walking. Golden Mile is considered the backbone of the routes running from Railway Station down to Lambton Quay to the southern end at Willis Street. From here it runs further down to Manners Street, then to the Manners Mall, and then continues straight onto Courtenay Place. From the Manners Mall, there is an intersection for the Cuba Street and also to Te Aro. You can easily find a road map from several locations in town including the main visitor centre in Civic Square, the Central Library, and several convenient stores etc.
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What are the top sightseeing places in Wellington?

The top sightseeing places in Wellington are Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Mount Victoria, Wellington Botanic Gardens, Wellington Cable Car, Zealandia in Wellington, City Gallery Wellington.

What are the top activities in Wellington?

The top activities in Wellington are Wellington Cable Car, Lord of the Rings Day Tour, ZEALANDIA Protected Natural Area, Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD, Hop on Hop off Sightseeing Bus Tour in Wellington, Guided Tour: Introducing Te Papa Museum .
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