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Things to do in Wellington

Finding things to do in Wellington is blissfully easy. Nestled as it is between mountains and the seaside, the city prides itself on having a little bit of everything – from hiking to sailing, from adventure to relaxation. Wellington is also the beating heart of New Zealand’s art and culture scene, meaning it’s a hive of creativity and home to some of the best attractions in the entire country.
Zealandia
One of the most ambitious conservation projects every embarked upon, Zealandia is a 225ha slab of land in Wellington that has been entirely fenced off to protect native wildlife (including little spotted kiwis, black shags, spotted skinks, and Wellington green geckos). While open to the public as an attraction, Zealandia has a 500-year plan to return this section of land to the way it was before humans existed.
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Wellington Cable Car
The Wellington Cable Car provides some of the best views of the city, embarking from Lambton Quay and heading up into the hills to the suburb of Kelburn. At the top, step onto the outdoor viewing platform to enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the city and harbour. This is an enjoyably cruisy way to get a bird's-eye view of the city.
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Weta Cave
Are you a fan of The Lord of the Rings? If so, the Weta Cave is a must-visit for you. Home to the world-famous special effects house Weta Workshop, as well as one of New Zealand's biggest film production facilities, this will be an important stop for anyone looking to learn more about how the films were made.
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Oriental Bay
If you're staying in the CBD but still want to hit the beach, Wellington's Oriental Bay is the perfect spot for a dip. Picturesque waterfront views, a wide array of cafes and restaurants along the shoreline, and plenty of space on the sand for getting some sun all make it a favourite beachside destination for locals and visitors alike.
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Space Place at Carter Observatory
Located in the Wellington Botanic Gardens, the Space Place at Carter Observatory is a must-visit attraction if you have a love (or even a mild interest) for astronomy and the cosmos. The centre runs multiple exhibits and programs, providing one of the most mind-expanding ways to spend an afternoon in the beautiful Botanic Gardens.
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Old St Paul's Cathedral
One of Wellington's oldest buildings, Old St Paul's Cathedral in Thorndon is an important stop if you're interested in local history – especially if you find architecture fascinating. Steeped in heritage, Old St Paul's is a Wellington institution that provides a beautiful window into life and design at the turn of the 20th century.
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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand's national museum and art gallery, home to many hundreds of artefacts and artworks painted and sculpted by homegrown Kiwi artists. Known by the locals simply as Te Papa, its full name translates loosely as ‘the place of treasures of this land'.
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City Gallery Wellington
The City Gallery Wellington is recognised for being a significant contributor to Wellington's perception as the arts and culture capital of New Zealand, with hundreds of artworks by local artists adorning its many halls. Regular rotating exhibits spotlight specific artists and give them a platform to communicate with an audience.
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Wellington Museum
Located on Queens Wharf at Jervois Quay, the Wellington Museum provides a first-hand history of the founding and growth of Wellington as a city. If you have an interest in local history, you won't want to miss getting to visit this iconic Wellington institution, which still stands in a heritage building designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere back in 1892.
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