Our top 10 Wellington attractions
1. Wellington Cable Car:
The crimson red cable car running from Lambton Quay to Kelburn has been one of the city’s most iconic sights for over a century. Inching its way uphill for some 600 metres, it emerges at the peak of the Wellington Botanic Gardens, allowing visitors to meander downhill at their leisure and, quite literally, stop and smell the roses along the way.
2. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa:
Te Papa Tongarewa, can be translated as "the place of treasures of this land", and is the country’s boundary-pushing national museum, celebrated for its innovative approach to cultural experiences. Visitors won’t find dusty artefacts and a static environment here, instead the museum is an interactive and inclusive space housing treasures and works of art that celebrate the unique cultural, social and natural history of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
This sanctuary has become a global success story as the world’s first fully fenced urban eco-sanctuary. Showcasing an astounding 80 million years of New Zealand’s natural history, the facility is set out in a series of walks, allowing visitors to discover unique birdlife and rare animals going about their day in an untouched, natural environment.
4. Weta Cave:
The digital effects company, Weta, has put itself on the map by raking in awards for their innovative work on Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, Avatar and many other hit films. Oozing creativity, discover where the movie magic happens at this mini-museum, which lets visitors come face to face with iconic characters, props and displays from the biggest blockbusters to come out of New Zealand.
5. Mount Victoria:
There is arguably no better view of Wellington than from the summit of ‘Mt Vic’, which offers panoramic outlooks across this picturesque city and its harbour at every turn. If time and energy permits, perhaps swap four wheels for two feet and take the Southern Walkway, which offers further splendid views along its four- to-five-hour track.
6. Wellington Zoo:
Home to more than 500 animals, ranging from the common to the rare, the so-called ‘best little zoo in the world’ also offers an amazing range of close encounters, giving visitors the opportunity to hand-feed giraffes, frolic with a family of meerkats, or even cuddle Charlie the cheetah.
7. Cuba Street:
This hip strip of eclectic cool is overflowing with a vibrant mix of vintage boutiques, quirky cafes, funky bars, graffiti-filled alleyways, art galleries and street performers. Renowned as Wellington’s creative and culinary heart, the street is also famous for its unique Bucket Fountain, a must-do fun photo opportunity.
8. Oriental Bay:
Stroll along Wellington’s vibrant waterfront and discover museums, restaurants, cafes and weekend markets before arriving at this picturesque inner-city beach. A lovely spot for a picnic or a swim, it also boasts some of the city’s best restaurants and most prized real estate.
9. Wellington Botanic Gardens:
With unsurpassed city views, colourful floral displays and some of the oldest exotic trees in the country, these gardens are a place of tranquil beauty. Home to an award-winning rose garden and stunning Victorian-style glass house, this 26-hectare green space is at its colourful best during the spring months when 25,000 tulips are in full bloom.
10. City Gallery Wellington:
Located in Civic Square, the former Wellington Public Library has been transformed into an elegant exhibition-based gallery, which aims to showcase contemporary local, national and international artists as well as Maori and Pacific art.