See & Do
Family of 2 parents and 2 children walking along the colourful blue orange and yellow boat sheds at Oriental Bay.

Keep the kids entertained these school holidays

2 people looking through the glass at the meerkats in Wellington Zoo.
2 children interacting with an exhibition at Te Papa.
A family walks down the rainbow steps outside the chocolatefactory in Hannahs Laneway.
A family with a young child feed a duck next to the pond at Staglands.
People enjoying a Zealandia twilight tour, surrounded by bush and led by a tour guide.
A family laughing on a boat just off the shore of Kapiti island.
The Wellington Cable Car parked at the top terminal, people walk in and out of the doors.
2 children walking through a tunnel at Space place lit up by green LED lights.
A child on a zipline amongst the trees at Adrenalin Forest.
A view of Wellington Harbour/ Port Nicholson at golden hour with Matiu/Somes Island in the centre of the image.
2 people looking through the glass at the meerkats in Wellington Zoo.

Walk on the wild side at Wellington Zoo

200 Daniell Street, Newtown, Wellington

Nestled in the hills of Newtown, discover more than 500 native and endangered exotic animals at the 13-hectare zoo. Grab a zoo map and check out snow leopard sisters Asha and Manju in their purpose-built habitat, see a lemur hanging from a tree, spot the red panda, or be entertained by the chimpanzees. Explore the walk-through New Zealand precinct, hop into the Australian area where kangaroos roam or spy native birds like kea soaring overhead. Fun for the entire family.

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2 children interacting with an exhibition at Te Papa.

Discover Te Papa

55 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington

If you’re looking for an indoor activity, the country’s largest museum on Wellington’s waterfront offers hours of entertainment. With six storeys of cutting-edge interactive exhibitions, there’s plenty to explore. Kids can get hands-on with educational exhibits, games and books at the Discovery Centre. Take your preschoolers to StoryPlace for play, games, storytelling and songs. Changing exhibitions are great for kids of all ages.

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A family walks down the rainbow steps outside the chocolatefactory in Hannahs Laneway.

Become a chocolatier at Wellington Chocolate Factory

5 Eva Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Handcrafted from bean to bar, award-winning Wellington Chocolate Factory is Wellington’s answer to Willy Wonka. To learn all about the art of chocolate-making, the factory doors are open for junior tours during school holidays only. Chocoholic kids can decorate their milk chocolate bar, create a custom wrapper, sample some deliciousness and enjoy a hot chocolate along the way.  

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A family with a young child feed a duck next to the pond at Staglands.

Meet the locals at Staglands

2362 Akatarawa Road, Upper Hutt, Hutt Valley

Get back to nature and up close and personal with friendly animals and birds at Staglands. The wildlife reserve is nestled in 10 hectares of bush, farmland and wetlands in the Akatarawa Valley. Kids can enjoy cuddles with guinea pigs and rabbits, feed the horses, trout and fish, or ride on a bush railway or tractor and trailer. Explore a cave and check out the waterfall and glow worms, venture over a swing bridge and take a look around an old bush settlement, and wander around a secret garden. With an on-site café, Staglands is a must-do for the whole family.

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People enjoying a Zealandia twilight tour, surrounded by bush and led by a tour guide.

Explore Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne

53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington

Just minutes from the central city is the world’s first fully fenced ecosanctuary, Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne. With 225 hectares of regenerating forest, more than 40 rare native wildlife species and 32km of tracks to explore, it’s a fun-filled active day out. Join a guided tour, or pick up a visitor map and venture around the reserve and spot the wildlife yourself. Keep a lookout for prehistoric reptile the tuatara, giant wētā, or kererū, and the chunky native pigeon. Exploring the sanctuary by torchlight on a night tour is a great way to spot creatures like cave wētā, ruru, and glowworms. If you’re lucky, you may get to see one of the estimated 140 rare little spotted kiwi living within the sanctuary.

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A family laughing on a boat just off the shore of Kapiti island.

Hop over to Kapiti Island

Kapiti Boating Club, Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast

New Zealand’s oldest and important nature reserve is rich in human history and home to many endangered species. A 20-minute ferry ride from Paraparaumu Beach, spend a day exploring the island on a self-guided or guided tour. You’ll learn about how the island’s guardians, the Barrett whānau, work with the Department of Conservation to keep the island free of introduced predators. Walk the tracks as you listen to native birdsong, and head to the summit for incredible views out over the ocean. Visitors can also stay overnight for an extra special experience. The night stay includes a chance to catch a glimpse of one of 1,400 little spotted kiwi who call Kapiti Island home.

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The Wellington Cable Car parked at the top terminal, people walk in and out of the doors.

Catch a ride to the top with Wellington Cable Car

280 Lambton Quay, Wellington Central, Wellington

One of the capital’s most iconic experiences is a five-minute trip that has become a must-do for tourists. Every 10 minutes the bright red Wellington Cable Car traverses the hills of Kelburn. It’s a 612m journey from its CBD location to the top. Along the way, you’ll travel through tunnels full of LED lights and over three bridges. The views of the city, harbour and hills are spectacular. There’s a free museum at the top that tells the story of the cable car through original artefacts, photographs, and interactive exhibitions. From the top, there’s also easy access to Wellington Botanic Garden, Space Place and Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne (via free shuttle).

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2 children walking through a tunnel at Space place lit up by green LED lights.

Adventure into Space Place

40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn, Wellington

Sitting on one of the high ridges in Wellington’s Botanic Gardens, Space Place at Carter Observatory is home to a digital full-dome planetarium. Sit back and recline in comfort while you go on a virtual space journey through the solar system and beyond. In the adjacent interactive exhibits and galleries, take in the sheer scale of the universe and its origins in the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. Feel the rumble of a rocket launch, find out about when humans landed on the moon, touch a moon rock, or check out the junior astronaut zone. Discover the Māori story of creation and the significance of Matariki. Visit at night to view the southern skies through the 150-year-old Thomas Cooke telescope.

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A child on a zipline amongst the trees at Adrenalin Forest.

Catch your thrills at Adrenalin Forest

Okowai Road, Aotea, Porirua

Thrill seekers will be in their element at the outdoor adventure park Adrenalin Forest. Test your limits on an aerial obstacle course high up in giant pine trees. You’ll walk across high-wires and suspended boardwalks, and take exhilarating rides on ziplines, flying foxes, and high rope swings. There are six levels to complete, with more than 100 activities in the treetops. 

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A view of Wellington Harbour/ Port Nicholson at golden hour with Matiu/Somes Island in the centre of the image.

Spend a day on Matiu/Somes Island

Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington

For a great day out, catch the East by West harbour ferry from the CBD across to Matiu/Somes Island. Sitting right in the middle of Wellington Harbour, this stunning nature reserve is steeped in local history. It’s now rodent-free, rife with birdlife, and full of native flora and fauna. Spend a few hours exploring the island, soak up views from the easy walking tracks, and look out for native tuatara reintroduced to the island.

Matiu/Somes Island