Things To Do In Wellington

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1. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

1 km
from city center
1 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Located on the Cable Street waterfront in Wellington, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the massive National Museum of New Zealand. Inaugurated in 1998, the museum is an amalgamated space of the 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.

2. Zealandia in Wellington

Zealandia in Wellington

2 km
from city center
2 out of 40
things to do 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 most extraordinary wildlife in the world. Originally called the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, the place was built solely to conserve the depleting forest reserves and natural wildlife.

3. Wellington Cable Car

Wellington Cable Car

1 km
from city center
3 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

One of the town's top attractions, 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 a steep hill of the height of 120 m, the trip is a beautiful transition from the chaos in the heart of the city to the beautifully terraced steps on the mountain of the Botanic Gardens.

4. Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo

0 km
from city center
4 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Set up by the late former Prime Minister Richard Seddon after being 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 become an important tourist attraction over the years because of the varied wildlife it offers and several customized packages for the tourists.

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5. Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens

9,179 km
from city center
5 out of 40
things to do 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.

6. Weta Cave

Weta Cave

5 km
from city center
6 out of 40
things to do 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, Warcraft and District 9 etc., to life. Based on the same premise, Weta Cave is the hub of famous props and studio tours, a major tourist attraction located 8 kms east of the city centre in Miramar.

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7. City Gallery Wellington

City Gallery Wellington

0 km
from city center
7 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Located in 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 from across the world. There is no permanent display of items as the place practices changing mounts and varying exhibitions of the paintings.

8. Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum

1 km
from city center
8 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Recently listed in The Times, London, among the 50 most voted museums worldwide, Wellington museum has become 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 in the Wellington harbor. It is a mere two-minute walk from Lambton Quay, which is centrally located on the map of Wellington, and the route can easily be availed by cable car.

9. The Beehive

The Beehive

1 km
from city center
9 out of 40
things to do 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’.

10. Cuba Street

Cuba Street

1 km
from city center
10 out of 40
things to do 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 dining and casual, and dotted with big brand apparel stores, op shops, art galleries, boutiques and music shops etc.

11. Space Place at Carter Observatory

Space Place at Carter Observatory

1 km
from city center
11 out of 40
things to do 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.

12. Mount Kaukau

Mount Kaukau

6 km
from city center
12 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Mount Kaukau is located at the height of 445 meters above sea level. It is the highest point in the Wellington landscape, and hence, Wellington’s central television transmitter tower, which is 122 meters in height, was built on its summit in 1965. Rimutaka, the city, and Tararua Ranges are visible from this mountain.

13. Matiu Somes Island

Matiu Somes Island

8 km
from city center
13 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

The Matiu-Somes island is the perfect place for a nature lover to spend some time away from the city amid 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 are sporty, 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 about 2 to 3 hours should be more than enough to explore the island.

14. Old St. Paul's Cathedral

Old St. Paul's Cathedral

3 km
from city center
14 out of 40
things to do 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, panels, and gleaming wooden interior, you should not miss out on this church if you are in the capital city of Wellington! It serves as an essential landmark of the city, especially in the Thordon area, where it is located.

15. Otari-Wilton's Bush

Otari-Wilton's Bush

3 km
from city center
15 out of 40
things to do 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, including 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.

16. Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria

1 km
from city center
16 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Mount Victoria (also known as Tangi-te keo locally) is a prominent attraction of the city to the east of central Wellington in New Zealand. 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.

17. Wellington Waterfront

Wellington Waterfront

0 km
from city center
17 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Known to be a bustling harbour and busy port once upon a time, Wellington Waterfront is now the charming and gorgeous promenade extending from Frank Kitts Park to Taranaki Street in Wellington, New Zealand. Boasting stunning skyline views 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.

18. Wellington Harbour

Wellington Harbour

5 km
from city center
18 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

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

19. Parliament Building Tours

Parliament Building Tours

3 km
from city center
19 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

The Parliament Building is one of the most visited and exciting attractions for tourists, especially those who take an interest in watching live debates and learning more about the world's political systems. Visitors are taken on guided tours seven days a week of the Parliament Building in New Zealand, an essential legislative structure located on Lambton Quay in Wellington.

20. Red Rocks Reserve

Red Rocks Reserve

9 km
from city center
20 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

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

21. Scorching Bay

Scorching Bay

5 km
from city center
21 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Scorching Bay is a famous crescent-shaped sandy roadside beach. The bathing beach is 120 meters in length. Known for its large grassed area, the Scorching Bay makes it a place of leisure.

22. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

1 km
from city center
22 out of 40
things to do 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.

23. Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens

1 km
from city center
23 out of 40
things to do 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 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 mountains greatly benefit the residents of Wellington as the picturesque meandering paths are used for jogging, cycling and walking around.

24. National Library of New Zealand

National Library of New Zealand

1 km
from city center
24 out of 40
things to do 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.

25. Princess Bay

Princess Bay

7 km
from city center
25 out of 40
things to do 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. This sandy beach offers a great view of Taputeranga Island and the peak of Kaikoura Range on a clear sunny day. Being a part of Taputeranga Marine Reserve, it strongly believes in protecting marine creatures and increasing the number of fish on the beach.

26. Courtenay Place

Courtenay Place

1 km
from city center
26 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

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 area has several pubs, bars and restaurants, which are open until early morning. You could try a wide range of drinks here, especially their famous craft beer! In case you’re not a party person, many cute cafes are also located here. The area also hosts many art festivals, including the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

27. Island Bay

Island Bay

6 km
from city center
27 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

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

28. Southwards Car Museum

Southwards Car Museum

1 km
from city center
28 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

The Southwards Car Museum in Paraparaumu is the perfect place for a day trip from the kiwi capital of Wellington. It boasts 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,” owned by gangster Mickey Cohen.

29. Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay

2 km
from city center
29 out of 40
things to do 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.

30. Embassy Theatre

Embassy Theatre

1 km
from city center
30 out of 40
things to do 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 tourists would not like to miss out on for its space, architecture, and representation of the country's rich cultural heritage.

31. The Kelbrun Lookout

The Kelbrun Lookout

1 km
from city center
31 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

By hopping onto the Wellington Cable Car, one can get spectacular views of the central city of Wellington, Kelbrun. The cable car is a short railway that travels 120 meters high. The cable car is 612 meters long and offers an excellent 5-minute ride (one way) which takes you to the top of the cable car, Kelburn Terminal, from Lambton Quay.

32. Interislander

Interislander

3 km
from city center
32 out of 40
things to do 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).

33. Beaches in Wellington

Beaches in Wellington

1 km
from city center
33 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

34. National War Museum

National War Museum

1 km
from city center
34 out of 40
things to do 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 committed 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 of these buildings, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (2004). In addition, 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

0 km
from city center
35 out of 40
things to do 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. It was 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.

36. Parliament Building Tours

Parliament Building Tours

9,179 km
from city center
36 out of 40
things to do 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.

37. The Dowse Art Museum

The Dowse Art Museum

13,235 km
from city center
37 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

The Dowse Art Museum is a free public gallery in Wellington, New Zealand and offers visitors a spectacular showing of contemporary art and culture. It is a place of national significant a about a 15-minute drive from downtown Wellington. There are works displayed by local, national and international artists and each exhibition is accompanied by a talk from the artist. There are many children’s workshops and learning opportunities that take place here along with a monthly Late Lounge music session featuring various solo artists and bands.

38. Pataka Art and Museum

Pataka Art and Museum

13,235 km
from city center
38 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Pataka Art and Museum is a dedicated space for showcasing history and heritage. They celebrate Maori, Pacific Island, New Zealand and international art and culture. It is also the cultural heart and soul of Porirua City which is about a 15-minute’s drive from Wellington, New Zealand. Pataka in Te Reo translates to ‘a storage place for precious things.’ The museum also supports their community with Bottle Creek Gallery which celebrates local artists. The first sculpture you will notice is Michel Tuffery’s Bull Sculpture which is iconic as it is made of recycled corned-beef cans. The statement this piece makes is to undermine this high-fat imported item that undermined cultivation, fishing and cooking skills in the Pacific.

39. Cable Car Museum

Cable Car Museum

0 km
from city center
39 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

Cable Car Museum is located in the original winding house of the cable car system. It is housed on two floors and still has the original winding mechanism from 1902-1978. You can also see two of the original grip cars that operated on the same line. Visiting this museum is like stepping back in time to see how Wellington’s iconic transport system developed. In the 1980s, Wellington was one of the fastest developing cities of New Zealand and the cable car provided favourable transport for the area’s workforce.

40. Remutaka Forest Park

Remutaka Forest Park

25 km
from city center
40 out of 40
things to do in Wellington

The Remutaka Forest Park is popular with trampers and hunters and covers 220sq kms and is a protected area in Wellington, New Zealand. The two popular access points are the Hutt Valley and South Wainuiomata which are a 45-minute drive from Wellington city. The park features several walking and tramping tracks and six different huts. This conserved area is a great place for outdoor experiences like camping and challenging hikes. Catchpool Valley is a popular recreational area here and is suitable for all fitness levels and ages. There is a campground and motorhome site here for people who want to stay overnight in the wilderness.

FAQs on 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 .

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.

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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