Wellington, sandwiched between some of New Zealand's finest wine regions on the southern tip of the North Island is positioned on the stunning Wellington Harbor. Affectionately known as the coolest city in New Zealand, there is an abundance of great Wellington accommodation, cafés and restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Wellington. Here's a list of the top 10 things to do in Wellington.
Wellington Cable Car
One of the most iconic attractions in Wellington, the Cable Car runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn. Catch one of the planetarium shows at the Carter Observatory, visit the historic Cable Car Museum and see Wellington spread out beneath you from the lookout. A visit to Wellington without riding the Cable Car just is not complete.
Wellington Botanic Garden
The ride back down on the Cable Car takes you through the beautiful Botanic Gardens with over 26 hectares of manicured gardens, floral displays, exotic forests and native bush. Open from sunrise to sunset, the Botanic Gardens includes a children's play area, visitor information center and duck pond.
Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience
Aiming to restore the valley it is nestled in to the way it was before the arrival of humans, Zealandia is a sanctuary for some of New Zealand's most rare and endangered species of wild life. The animals are living in the wild in this world- first protected valley and can be spotted on one of the many walking trails or tours. The night tour is of particular interest and was described by Lonely Planet as a life changing experience.
Touted as the best little zoo in the world, the Wellington Zoo was the first zoo in New Zealand and is a relative treasure trove of native and exotic animals. If you happen to be there in summer, make sure you visit at twilight for live music and an opportunity to see special animal talks.
The Weta Cave
Check out the Weta Cave mini museum and get a behind the scenes look at the making of hand-crafted characters from some of the world's most spectacular movies. Entry is free or you can take a guided tour into the workshops of some of the artists and see the creative process in action.
A little bit of Bohemia in the heart of Wellington, Cuba Street is swelling with colorful shops, galleries, cafés and restaurants and is a popular hangout for local artists, vintage lovers and coffee addicts. Cuba Street is by far the coolest street in Wellington and a must see on any Wellington visit.
Wellington City Tour
A guided tour by a city native is a great way to get your bearings and learn about the city. There are numerous guides to choose from including cycling tours, coffee and gourmet food tours, movie location tours and tours of the city by foot. Every taste and interest is catered for and the friendly locales will make sure it's an experience to remember.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The fascinating Te Papa museum has been recognized as a world leader in interactive and visitor focused museum experiences. It is free to enter the museum although there may be charges for individual exhibitions and activities. The museum tells the story of New Zealand's indigenous people in a fun and interactive way and includes free events and entertainment, performances, floor talks, lectures, and more.
Visit the Waterfront
The waterfront precinct in Wellington is a veritable playground with cafés, bars, restaurants, live music, galleries and museums. Walk the waterfront pathway, ride a bike, have a picnic or just read a book in the sun. The waterfront is a great place to relax for the day and soak up the atmosphere, or stay into the evening when the precinct comes alive with lights, music and a party mood.
Mount Victoria Lookout
Scenic Mount Victoria Lookout is a must visit and provides a 360 ° bird's eye view of the city and surroundings.
If you're looking for accommodation in Wellington there is plenty to choose from. Wellington accommodation includes options such as camping, lodges, backpackers, motels, hotels and resorts. Families, couples and singles are all well catered for at a range of prices and budgets. A holiday in Wellington has something for everyone and this cool little city will be one you'll want to come back to.