Iconic ways to get around: the Wellington Cable Car
Discover the story behind one of our most popular attractions. No trip to Wellington is complete without a ride on the famous Cable Car
From the top, you'll find one of the more iconic images overlooking Wellington. If you time it right, you can have your own blue-skied panorama of the city with the red cable car sitting front and centre.
Cable Car Museum
After taking in the stunning panoramic views from the Cable Car Lookout, head into the Wellington Cable Car Museum. Housed in the original winding house for the cable car, the museum extends over two floors and tells the story of the cable car through original artefacts, photographs and interactive exhibitions.
Delve into the engineering skills, innovation and technology that allows Wellingtonians and visitors alike to travel up and down the hill with a visit the winding machine room that was operational from 1902 until 1978 shows the machinery once used to haul the cable cars up the hill to the summit in action. The winding machine was eventually replaced by a new Swiss-designed system which still remains in operation today.
For more than a century the cable car has carried millions of passengers. On the Cable Car’s opening weekend in 1902 more than 4,000 passengers jumped on board, in 1912 that number had grown to more than one million, and today passenger numbers total 1.17 million yearly.
Watch a short film about the evolution of Wellington’s iconic transport system from the 1900s to the present day is also a must-see. If you’re looking for a keepsake, slot a $2 coin in exchange for a pressed cable car coin, the perfect souvenir.
Entry to the museum is free and the shop on-site features an array of New Zealand gifts. The complex is open from 9.30am-5pm daily. The return journey on the Cable Car completes the experience, but if you are driving you can park in a paid carpark just a short walk away from the museum.