Where to find the most stunning views in Wellington
A city nestled between harbour and hills, you’re never far from a stunning view in Wellington. Here are some places to head for classic Wellington views - think harbour, hills, native bush and plenty of sky
Mount Victoria Lookout
Lookout Road, Hataitai, Wellington
The best way to get your bearings of the city is by checking out the views from the top of Mount Victoria, or Mt Vic, as the locals call it. Rising 196m above the city, the Mount Victoria Lookout has stunning panoramic views of Wellington city, harbour and hills. You can drive to the top of Mt Vic or walk there via one of the many trails in the Town Belt. Take a picnic with you, settle in on the hillside and relax while watching ferries and cruise ships sail into the harbour and planes fly in and out of the airport. Mt Vic is also one of the best spots in the city for taking in a sunrise or sunset.
Pencarrow Coast Road, Lower Hutt
Walk or bike the coastal trail along the Pencarrow Coast and take in the uninterrupted views across Wellington Harbour. Follow the beautiful (and flat!) coastal trail along the Pencarrow Coast Road to the 1906 lighthouse on the shoreline - about an hour's bike ride. If you're feeling fit, you can also venture up to New Zealand's first lighthouse, once home to the country's only woman light house keeper. Once you reach the lighthouse, you'll be rewarded with vast views over Wellington harbour and across to the South Island.
Wellington Wind Turbine
Wellington Wind Turbine Owhiro Bay Parade, Wellington
Wellington's Wind Turbine offers some of the best views across the city. You can walk up to the turbine by way of the Polhill Reserve trail or there’s the option to bike or drive along the sealed road to the top of Brooklyn Hill. Whatever way you get to the top, once there you’re in for spectacular panoramic views over Wellington city and harbour, Cook Strait and in the distance, the South Island. The 44-metre turbine was originally installed in 1993 and enabled by Wellington’s strong winds, has set international power generation records.
Massey Memorial, Mirimar, Wellington
Relax in the peaceful surrounds of this hilltop memorial site which commemorates former New Zealand Prime Minister, William Massey (1912-1925). Tucked away in native bush, this striking memorial is made of pale marble and granite from Takaka (at the top of the South Island) and has panoramic views of Wellington Harbour. The Massey Memorial is located at Point Halswell at the tip of the Miramar Peninsula and can be reached via a short walk from Shelly Bay Road.
Mount Kaukau, Khandallah, Wellington
The summit of Mount Kaukau is the most visible high point in Wellington and provides panoramic views of the city and harbour as well as the Remutaka and Tararua Ranges to the north. It can be reached via the Skyline Track, a five-hour walk that is regarded as one of Wellington’s best. The terrain can be challenging and exposed in places, with plenty of steep undulations, but you'll be rewarded with skyward views across the entire Wellington region.
Wellington Cable Car Lookout
280 Lambton Quay, Te Aro, Wellington
Take a ride on the historic Wellington Cable Car to the top of the Cable Car Lookout for panoramic views over the city and harbour. One of Wellington's most popular tourist attractions, the Wellington Cable Car departs every 10 minutes from Lambton Quay in downtown Wellington. Along with stunning views, at the top of the Cable Car you’ll also find the Wellington Botanic Garden, Cable Car Museum and Space Place.
Matiu/Somes Island, Lower Hutt, Wellington
Situated in the middle of Wellington's stunning harbour, Matiu/Somes Island is a tranquil retreat for both wildlife and visitors. Māori have occupied this island for generations and in more recent times, Matiu/Somes Island has served as a human and animal quarantine station, an internment camp, and a military defence position. It is now a predator-free scientific and historic reserve where visitors can wander amidst native plant and bird life and take in the stunning views around the harbour. The island can be reached on the East By West ferry which runs daily.