So, you’re coming to Wellington? Lucky you - and lucky us.
To get you started, here’s our list of what's on in Wellington and things to do here in the world’s coolest little capital:
1. Discover our stories at Te Papa
The National Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa, is fascinating and fun for curious minds of any age. The exhibits are innovative and interactive, telling stories of New Zealand’s unique geological, biological, cultural and social history in new and exciting ways. By the way – general admission is free (some touring exhibitions have an entry fee).
2. Enjoy 360-degree views from the top of Mount Victoria
Get a panoramic view of city and harbour, and a great photo opportunity at the Mt Victoria Lookout. Watch the ferries sailing in through the harbour and aircraft taking off from Wellington Airport. You can drive all the way up, or walk through the town belt greenery. Grab some fish and chips and sit on the grass as the sun goes down and the lights come up.
The Cable Car is a Wellington icon. It runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn, where at the top there’s a lookout, the Cable Car Museum, and Carter Observatory. With interactive displays, a state of the art digital planetarium and historic telescopes, it's a virtual voyage to the stars. Come back down to earth (and the city) through the beautiful Botanic Garden.
4. Let a local show you around on a Wellington tour
A guided tour is the best way to get quickly acquainted with Wellington. Walk the city meeting Wellington’s coffee roasters and tasting gourmet foods. Go mountain biking with expert guides, head offroad to visit hard-to-reach wildlife, or take to the skies for a spectacular bird’s eye view.
Wellington is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York City, and with rich farmland to the north and ocean's bounty to the south, those restaurants are spectacularly good. We're also known as the craft beer capital, and as for our coffee...it's legendary.
6. Travel back in time at the Zealandia sanctuary in Karori
Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Wellington you'll find Zealandia. Hidden in a suburban valley, this project aims to return a 225 hectare section of bush to its pre-human state. Take a walk and hear the songs of the flourishing native bird population. Volunteer guides help you make the most, and you can even book a night tour for kiwi spotting.
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the imagination and artistry behind some of the world's most spectacular movies at The Weta Cave mini-museum, right there where the special effects wizardry happens. Or put yourself in the picture with a The Lord of the Rings location tour.
8. Take a wander around the waterfront to Oriental Bay
Wellington's waterfront is a beautifully walkable public space, dotted with cafes, parks, sculpture, bars and ice cream vendors. Join hundreds of Wellingtonians walking, jogging, skating, cycling, or crocodile biking. Stop by one of three markets on the weekend, then aim for Oriental Bay beach to have a swim or just soak up the sun.
Ever wanted to hand-feed a giraffe, play with a mob of meerkats or stroke a cheetah’s fur? All this and more is possible at Wellington Zoo, the ‘best little zoo in the world’. Book a Close Encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, or just enjoy the more than 100 species of animals in the collection. Say hi to the chimps for us!
Home to hipsters, artists and lovers of vintage, Cuba Street is a bohemian haven with some of the city’s most colourful shops, bars and cafes. Street entertainers might play percussive guitar, put on a marionette show, or play with fire. Don't forget to get your photo of the one and only Bucket Fountain.