The best spots to watch sunrise and sunset in Wellington

If you love a good sunrise or sunset, Wellington has some spectacular vantage points to watch them from, some of which are located close to the CBD with the option to drive straight to the top.

Castlepoint Lighthouse

Jetty Road, Castlepoint, Wairarapa

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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.

Mount Victoria Lookout

Lookout Road, Hataitai, Wellington

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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 and is part of the Southern Walkway track. 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.

Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout

Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout, Northland, Wellington

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Get amazing views across Wellington Harbour to Pencarrow, over the city and down to the South Coast from the Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout. Located in the Town Belt greenery above Thorndon, the Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout is an incredibly peaceful spot and viewing a sunrise here is a very special experience. You can either walk to up to the Lookout or drive to the carpark on the ridgeline and watch the sunrise from there. From here you can also wind your way to the Northern Walkway trail and enjoy spectacular views of the city, harbour, hills and the sea.

Wellington Cable Car Lookout

280 Lambton Quay, Te Aro, Wellington

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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.

The top of the Cable Car at Upland Road, Kelburn is also the starting point for the Northern Walkway

Massey Memorial

Massey Road, Miramar, Wellington

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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

Mount Kaukau, Khandallah, Wellington

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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.


Eastern Walkway

72 Sidlaw St, Strathmore Park, Wellington

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Overlooking the entrance to Wellington Harbour, the Eastern Walkway is a scenic coastal walk that feels removed from the bustle of city life, while only being a short drive from the centre of town. This fascinating walk along a segment of Wellington's coastline offering diverse local history and spectacular scenery. The walkway takes in the historic Ataturk Memorial and the memorial to the 1968 Wahine maritime disaster. The 2.5km walk takes around an hour and a half, with gorgeous dawn views most of the way around.

Te Whiti Riser

Waterloo, Lower Hutt

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One of the most accessible walks in the region, Te Whiti Riser is a great place to take the whole family. Toilets, water, and a picnic area are available at Te Whiti park. You can also rest at a bench near the summit of the walk.

The view from the Te Whiti Riser ridge line is stunning any time of day, but for a really special experience get up there in time to watch the sunset over Wellington Harbour. BYO torch for the walk down!


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