Wellington Travel Tips: Top 10 Things to Do in Wellington

Sandwiched between some of New Zealand’s best wine regions on the southern tip of the North Island, Wellington is located on beautiful Wellington Harbor. Lovingly known as New Zealand’s coolest city, there is an abundance of great Wellington accommodation, cafes and restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Wellington. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Wellington.

Wellington funicular

One of the most iconic attractions in Wellington, the cable car runs from Lambton Quay to Kelburn. Catch one of the planetaria shows at the Carter Observatory, visit the historic Cable Car Museum, and see Wellington looking out from under the vantage point. A visit to Wellington without riding the cable car is simply not complete.

Wellington Botanic Garden

The ride back down on the cable car takes you through beautiful botanical gardens with over 26 acres of manicured gardens, floral decorations, exotic forests, and native bush. The Botanical Gardens are open from sunrise to sunset and feature a playground, a visitor information center, and a duck pond.

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Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience

To restore the valley in which it was nestled as it was before humans arrived, Zealandia is a refuge for some of New Zealand’s rarest and endangered wildlife species. The animals live in the wild in this first protected valley in the world and can be seen on one of the many hiking trails or tours. The night tour is of particular interest and has been described by Lonely Planet as a life-changing experience.

Wellington Zoo

Touted as the best small zoo in the world, the Wellington Zoo was New Zealand’s first zoo and is a relative treasure trove of native and exotic animals. If you’re there in the summer, make sure to come at dusk for live music and an opportunity to see special animal chats.

The Weta Cave

Check out the Weta Cave mini-museum and get a behind-the-scenes look at handcrafted characters from some of the world’s most spectacular films. Admission is free or you can take a tour of some artists’ workshops and see the creative process in action.

Cuba Street

A little bohemian in the heart of Wellington, Cuba Street is swelling with colorful shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants and is a popular meeting place for local artists, vintage enthusiasts, and coffee addicts. Cuba Street is by far the coolest street in Wellington and a must-see on any visit to Wellington.

Wellington City Tour

A tour of a resident of the city is a great way to orient yourself and learn about the city. There are tons of guides to choose from, including bike tours, coffee and gourmet tours, film location tours, and city tours. Every taste and interest is catered for, and the friendly locals make it an experience to remember.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

The fascinating Te Papa Museum is recognized as a world leader in interactive and visitor-oriented museum experiences. The museum is free to enter, but charges may apply for individual exhibitions and activities. The museum tells the story of New Zealand’s indigenous people in a fun and interactive way and includes free events and entertainment, performances, speaking engagements, lectures, and more.

Visit the waterfront

The waterfront in Wellington is a real playground with cafes, bars, restaurants, live music, galleries, and museums. Walk the water path, bike, picnic, or read a book in the sun. The waterfront is a great place to relax during the day and soak up the atmosphere, or to stay in the evening when the neighborhood comes alive with light, music, and a party atmosphere.

Mount Victoria Lookout

The scenic Mount Victoria Lookout is a must-visit, offering 360 ° panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.