Wellington's most Instagrammable spots
New Zealand’s capital of cool is extremely photogenic and is full of stunning scenery, street art-filled laneways, beautifully presented food and amazing architecture that's perfect for filling your Instagram feed and inspiring holiday envy among those back home.
83-117 Cuba Mall, Te Aro, Wellington
It takes a special kind of city to rock a fountain made from buckets, but Wellington isn’t your run-of-the-mill kind of city. You’ll find the Bucket Fountain on Cuba Street where the sight and sound of the brightly coloured buckets filling with water and surprise splashing people walking by is an essential Wellington experience. The Bucket Fountain was installed in 1969 and was originally called the Water Mobile, until its current and much apter name took hold.
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.
Solace in the Wind sculpture
Wellington waterfront, Te Aro, Wellington
A Wellington favourite, Max Patte's Solace in the Wind, aka naked man leaning towards Wellington Harbour, is one of Wellington's favourite sculptures. The perfect spot for a selfie, Solace in the Wind has become a focal point on the waterfront and always has a crowd of appreciators. The artist Max Patte was a sculptor at Weta Workshop when he created the sculpture, which is placed in a spot on the Wellington waterfront where he liked to sit and have a think.
Egmont Street laneway
Egmont Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Egmont Street is a charming laneway lined with industrial brick buildings (now converted into apartments) and colourful street art. Egmont Street has an interesting history to it, which some of the pieces of street art pay tribute to – Kelly Spencer’s colourful spray-painted Unicorn references a tale of a horse that died in the laneway. In the laneway you’ll also find a candle factory and award-winning restaurant Egmont Street Eatery.
Clyde Quay Boatsheds
Clyde Quay Boat Harbour, Oriental Bay, Wellington
In a city full of Instagram-worthy spots, the Oriental Bay boatsheds remain firm favourites. The historic boatsheds are located at Clyde Quay Wharf between Waitangi Park and Oriental Bay. Painted white with blue doors and yellow and red accents, the eye-catching sheds are still in-use today, so you’re bound to bump into a local working on their boat. From the boatsheds, it’s a short walk to Oriental Bay for more Instagram-worthy views.
Cape Palliser Lighthouse
Cape Palliser Lighthouse, Wairarapa
Perched high on a clifftop, the Cape Palliser Lighthouse has been standing tall and shining a little light since 1897. The lighthouse is reached via a narrow flight of stairs - 253 steps up (and down again!) It's about an hour's drive from Martinborough, along a dramatically scenic coastline with stunning views of Palliser Bay. There's plenty to stop and do along the way: say 'kia ora' to the local fur seal colony, see the fishing boats come in at adorably rugged Ngawi and stop for coffee or lunch at The Land Girl café.
Hannah Factory Laneway, Te Aro, Wellington
Wellington's original laneway, Hannahs Laneway is the home to some of Wellington's favourite artisan products. If your idea of a good Instagram feed is food shots, then take a wander down this street art speckled laneway to find Fix & Fogg, makers of the best peanut butter you've ever tired, Leeds Street Bakery, makers of the best salted caramel cookie you'll ever eat and Pizza Pomodoro, makers of pizza certified by Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana - the Michelin star of the pizza world.
Wellington Writers Walk
Between the Dominion Post Ferry Wharf & Point Jerningham, Wellington
Literally setting the words of writers and poets in stone, the Wellington Writers Walk combines quotes from some of New Zealand’s best-known writers with a scenic stroll around the Wellington waterfront. The Walk consists of quotations from 23 authors past and contemporary, including poets, novelists, and playwrights including Katherine Mansfield, Sam Hunt and Elizabeth Knox, The walk celebrates and commemorates the place of Wellington in these writers' lives, and their place in the life of Wellington.
Xoë Hall's Bowie mural
7 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Find your favourite piece of street art among Wellington’s growing collection of murals peppered throughout the city. A much-loved favourite is local artist Xoë Hall’s (Ngai Tahu) tribute to David Bowie – featuring three Ziggy Stardusts with lightning lasers beaming out of their eyes. It’s colourful, eye-catching and fun – a great viewing spot is across the road from Customs by Coffee Supreme. You’ll find Xoë’s Bowie mural on Ghuznee Street, just around the corner from the often Instagrammed Wellington mural by Toby Morris and Andrew J. Steele.
Oriental Bay, Wellington
Wellington's diverse landscape provides a wide range of outdoor swimming options for those that love to cool their heels throughout the scorching summer period. Whether you prefer soaking in the rays at Oriental Bay's golden beach or throwing on a wetsuit and hitting the surf at Lyall Bay, Wellington has you covered with a variety of swimming hot-spots.
Castlepoint Lighthouse, Castlepoint, Wairarapa
A lighthouse perched theatrically atop a rugged cliff overlooking the wild sea below, Castlepoint Lighthouse is an Instagrammer’s dream. It’s 23 metres high and the tallest lighthouse in the North Island and was brought in by boat, hauled up to the site by a team of horses and assembled on-site. From the vantage point of the lighthouse, you can take in dramatic views out to sea and spot seabirds and perhaps even a fur seal. Castlepoint is a 2.5-hour drive from Wellington city.
Towering trolls at Weta Cave
1 Weka Street, Miramar, Wellington
No trip to Wellywood is complete with a selfie with the trolls that stand guard outside the Weta Cave. Inside the cave, get up-close to some of the characters, props and displays from your favourite movies, read how they were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them. You can also take a Weta Studio Tour and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Wellington's movie-making magic. No photography allowed on the tour, but Gram away to heart’s content inside the Weta Cave.
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.
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.