Wellington has expanded itself over the past few years to become one of the most entertaining and interesting destinations in New Zealand. The city boasts of a picturesque location and is brimming with things to see and do.
Those who love to eat and drink will particularly fall in love with the city as it boasts of more cafes and restaurants per capita than NYC and also has a huge reputation as one of the gourmet giants of the world. With plenty of wildlife adventures, a boutique charm, award-winning cuisines and creative arts to choose from, you really have more than enough options for your itineraries. Bookmundi presents a list of the top attractions in Wellington.
Oriental Bay (above image)
Wellington’s waterfront is one of most beautiful areas in the city. Dotted with sculptures, cafes, parks and ice cream vendors, the place invites you to join the locals for a round of crocodile biking, cycling, skating, jogging or walking. You can also stop by one of the three weekend markets if you happen to visit the area in the weekend and head over to the Oriental Bay beach for a swim or some sunbathing.
Wellington Cable Car
The Cable Car is one of the most popular icons of Wellington and a must-do for any tourist visiting the city. It runs from Lambton Quay all the way up to Kelburn, home to the Wellington Botanic Gardens, Carter Observatory and the Cable Car Museum. You can take the cable car back down the hill or make your way through the gardens after exploring the gardens, the observatory and the museum.
Te Papa, the national museum, is a fun and fascinating experience for people of all ages. The museum presents six floors of interactive and innovative experiences which showcase the story of the country’s biological, social, cultural and geological history in unique ways. Te Papa presents a magnificent collection of Maori treasures, environment exhibitions and natural history through galleries, interactive exhibits and themed discovery centers. Bookmundi recommends the one-hour Introducing Te Papa tour for those wanting to cover the main highlights of the museum.
Zealandia is located at a distance of 10 minutes from Downtown Wellington. This 225-hectare bushland lets you walk amidst a flourishing bird population and explore the bush in its pre-human state. The eco-sanctuary is particularly famous for the rare takahe, kaka, saddleback, tuatara, spotted kiwi and the hiki. You can choose from 30 kms of tracks for self-guided hikes or enjoy regular guided tours including night tours. Night tours are when you come across the nocturnal creatures such as glowworms, frogs and kiwi living in the sanctuary.
Old St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Old St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in New Zealand. The cathedral dates all the way back to the year 1866 and has been one of the longest standing icons of Wellington. It might not be functioning as a parish church today, but it still remains to be a must-see for any tourist visiting the city. It feels quaint when seen from the outside and its white wooden façade feels very unassuming, but it is quite spectacular from the inside. Intricate timber woodwork and breathtaking stained glass windows are its main highlights and carved English oak can be seen throughout.
The Mount Victoria Lookout is the perfect place to enjoy panoramic views of the harbor and the city. It offers a magnificent photo opportunity and lets you watch ferries as they sail through the harbor also offers views of aircrafts taking off from the Wellington Airport. You can choose to drive your way up to the lookout or enjoy a pleasant trek through the greenery. Bookmundi recommends you to grab some fish and chips and watch the sunset from this popular lookout.
The Interislander Ferry is famous for offering one of the most picturesque and scenic journeys in the city. It runs between Wellington and the port of Picton and covers a distance of 92 kms. The ferry navigates through a series of islands that dot the blue waters of the strait and offers amazing decks that are perfect for enjoying unobstructed views of the spectacle. Each ferry also has a host of onboard facilities such as magic shows, movies, restaurants and other activities.
Wellington Botanic Gardens
The Wellington Botanic Gardens cover a 25-hectare area and can be easily accessed via a cable-car ride. The gardens are home to a native forest as well as an excellent international plants collection. The rose garden is particularly beautiful and things like playgrounds, duck ponds, cafes, fountains and sculptures into the picture, you have the perfect place for one of the grandest outings in the city.
Lord of the Rings Adventures
A trip to Wellington is never complete without your very own Lord of the Rings adventure. Considered to be one of the top things to do in Wellington, this tour introduces you to city locations that played a role in the epic Lord of the Rings series. Some of the main highlights of the tour include a trip to the Weta Studios, a Lord-of-the-Rings-themed-lunch at the Scorch-O-Rama café and the locales used for ‘Get of the road’, ‘Black Rider’ and ‘shortcut to mushrooms’ scenes.
The Carter Observatory is home to a state-of-the-art facility that enjoy telescopic stargazing. The observatory has been attracting locals and visitors for more than 70 years and offers a comprehensive space experience that includes more than viewing the solar system. The observatory makes great use of digital technology to offer a detailed documenting of the history of the galaxy and present short features of individual planets. Better yet, the observatory adds a sense of local cultural flavor to your experience by offering traditional Maori views on the role of the stars and their attitude towards creation and the universe.
If you’ve ever dreamt of feeding a giraffe or stroking a cheetah, the Wellington Zoo is where you need to be. Popularly known as the best little zoo in the world, the Wellington Zoo presents an exciting collection of more than 500 animals encompassing 100 species, including local favorites such as Kaka, Tuatara, Kea and Kiwi. If you’re in love with animals, the zoo is one of the best places to be while in Wellington.
Cuba Street is a haven for boho lovers and home to some of the most colorful cafes, bars and shops in the city. You’ll find many of the city’s hipsters, artists and vintage lovers here and also get a chance to watch beautiful street performances, play with fire or listen to live music. Bookmundi recommends you to get your photo clicked at the popular Bucket Fountain.
New Zealand’s Capital Cool has way too much on offer and you possibly cannot see and do everything in a single trip. Our list of the top things to do in Wellington introduces you to some of the main highlights of the city to help you plan your New Zealand itineraries.