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Things to do in Wellington

Things to do in  Wellington

The world's coolest little capital

Fondly nicknamed Windy Welly for its blustery coastal breezes, the New Zealand capital is a hub for lovers of culture and the arts. Highlights include Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, where the country’s Maori culture and history is celebrated; Zealandia Ecosanctuary; and a thriving culinary and craft beer scene.

Top 10 attractions in Wellington

#1

Zealandia Ecosanctuary

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Just 10 minutes from central Wellington, the unique Zealandia wildlife sanctuary and conservation park is one of New Zealand’s premier eco attractions, restoring the flora and fauna that once surrounded the city. The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary’s restored forest and wetlands provide a habitat for more than 30 native bird species, as well as frogs, lizards and cute green geckos. View the exhibition tracing the development of New Zealand’s natural history, take a guided walking tour through the predator-proof, 225-hectare (550-acre) sanctuary, then refuel at the park’s cafe overlooking the lake.More
#2

New Zealand Parliament (Beehive)

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New Zealand’s architectural symbol is the beehive-shaped Parliament House in Wellington. Hosting the executive wing of parliament, ‘the Beehive’ was built between 1969 and 1981, and features murals and artworks by noted New Zealand artists. The building has 10 floors, filled with cabinet rooms, prime ministerial offices, a banqueting hall, function rooms and several restaurants. Take a free guided 1-hour tour or drop into the visitor center in the ground-floor foyer. You can sit in the public galleries of the debating chamber when the House is sitting.More
#3

CentrePort Wellington

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The capital of New Zealand, but only its third largest city, Wellington is the geographic and cultural centre of the country. Located on the southern tip of the North Island and sitting on a sparkling harbor, it is a primary departure point for ferries crossing Cook Strait to the South Island. With a vibrant arts scene and a variety of galleries, theatres and museums, Wellington has an undeniable charm and energy. If you are arriving on a large cruise ship, you will dock at Aotea Quay, located between the Interislander Ferry Terminal and the train station. From there, a walk into the city centre is about twenty minutes. You might also take a free shuttle if offered by your ship or catch a shuttle operated by the city, which costs around five New Zealand dollars. Smaller cruise ships dock at Queens Wharf, which is right in the centre of town.More
#4

Weta Workshop

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When it comes to The Lord of The Rings, New Zealand is always famously mentioned for the enchanting beauty of its scenery. From deeply-gouged canyons and ominous volcanoes to lofty, snow-covered peaks, the physical beauty of Middle-earth was arguably the films’ greatest draw. What many moviegoers don’t realize, however, is that the filming locations for The Lord of The Rings were just a fraction of the overall production. Mythical creatures such as orcs and balrogs were needed to prowl those canyons, and professional makeup and creative design were needed to round out the set. While there are numerous tours to Lord of the Rings filming locations in cities across New Zealand, there’s only one tour where you can visit the place where the magic was all tied together. At Weta Workshop in the suburbs of Wellington, this 65,000 sq. ft. facility is where much of the design, props, makeup, and weaponry were created in the making of the films.More
#5

Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

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New Zealand’s premier museum is Te Papa Tongarewa. Known as Te Papa (‘our place’), the museum takes an inspiring and interactive excursion through New Zealand’s history, art and culture. The museum’s prized collections focus on the areas of art, history, the Pacific, Maori culture and the natural environment. There’s a freshness and vibrancy to this museum’s curatorship, with a huge collection of Maori artifacts, hands-on activity centers for children, re-creations of Maori meeting houses and colonial settlements, contemporary art and high-tech displays. Take a tour of the highlights or target your favorite area of interest. Touring exhibitions are also displayed here.More
#6

Mt. Victoria Lookout

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One of the best places to get your bearings in the city of Wellington is from the Mount Victoria Lookout. The panoramic views stretch from the harbor islands all the way to planes taking off and landing at the airport south-east of the city center. Mount Victoria is 196 meters (642 feet) high. The lookout is topped by a triangular memorial to Antarctic explorer Admiral Byrd.More
#7

Wellington Cable Car

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Operating since 1902, the Wellington Cable Car is one of the city’s most famous sights. The ride, from the central business district to the city’s tranquil botanic garden, offers a stunning light show inside the tunnels as well as gorgeous vistas of Mount Victoria and Wellington Harbour as you reach the top.More
#8

Old St. Paul's

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Wellington’s first Anglican cathedral, the classic Gothic Revival Old St. Paul Cathedral’s is a picture-book wooden church built in 1845. The building was designed by the parish vicar, the Reverend Frederick Thatcher. The simple white-painted exterior leads to a dramatic interior featuring bold use of native timbers. The piers of wood form trusses that curve upwards to meet in the roof’s center, a bit like the hull of an upturned boat. Another highlight of this popular building is the lovely stained glass, particularly the windows surrounding the apse and south alcove. While the church no longer hosts regular Sunday services, it’s a popular venue for weddings and funerals.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Wellington

How to Spend 2 Days in Wellington

How to Spend 3 Days in Wellington

How to Spend 3 Days in Wellington

Recent reviews from experiences in Wellington

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Awesome tour
Sandee_L, Oct 2020
Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour
An awesome way to get to see the city and get your bearings if new to Wellington.
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Best way to visit Wellington
Honest, Mar 2020
Shore Excursion: Wellington City Sights and Coastline Tour
The tour ticks all the boxes in the "what to see in Wellington" category.
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Wellington small group tour
Maria, Mar 2020
Wellington Sightseeing Tour
Great way to see Wellington!
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Beautiful Wellington Tour
Margaret_O, Mar 2020
Wellington & Hutt Valley Half Day Tour
We saw many beautiful bays, stopped at a great place for lunch, went on a cable car ride up the hill to see awesome views of Wellington.
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Great, Quick City View
David_L, Mar 2020
Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour
We didn’t take as much advantage of hopping on/off as we could have because we wanted to see the Wellington and Te Papa museums (which were excellent).
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Wellington city electric bike tour
Robert_Moira, Mar 2020
Wellington Electric Bike Tour
Great way to see Wellington, this was our first experience on an electric bike and it certainly is the way to go, especially with all the hills in the city.
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Do this in Wellington
Will_N, Feb 2020
Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike
Great way to see Wellington and get some exercise at the same time.
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Full-Day Wellington
ChaintiC, Oct 2019
Private Wellington Full Day Sightseeing Tour
Saw the sights we wanted to see and had a great lunch.
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A great way to see the city!
Ryan S, Oct 2019
Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike
Our guide was great and took us to some fantastic spots for great views, food and main attractions.
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Weta is great
PauliH69, Sep 2019
Wellington's Half Day Lord of the Rings Tour (including Weta Tour)
Weta workshop is must for any fan, tour in shop was great, had a change to see what kind of amzing things they are doing.
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Beautiful view of Wellington surrounding
ivona_anovi, Aug 2019
Seal Coast Safari Tour by 4WD
You get to see the beautiful surroundings of Wellington and the seal colony.
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Awesome trip
OnAir04449420525, Apr 2019
Wellington City Sights and Coastline Guided Tour
Cute and nice driver guided me to the Wellington's best attractions.
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This was a great tour and a good way to...
Josta, Sep 2018
From Cave to Coast Wellington Highlights Tour
This was a great tour and a good way to see much of Wellington.
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Nice introductory tour to a city we...
Marilyn S, Jul 2017
Wellington Shore Excursion City Sightseeing Tour
Good opportunity to see the highlights, with ample stops where we could exit the bus for photos.
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Fun and good tour to see what you...
sanderburghoorn, Mar 2018
Wellington City Sights and Coastline Guided Tour
Fun and good tour to see what you need to see in Wellington.
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Wellington hop on hop off
Patrick_B, Mar 2020
Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour
Overall it was a great way to see Wellington
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Really good tour for time limited...
John A, Jul 2017
Wellington Shore Excursion City Sightseeing Tour
Knowledgeable, humorous and genuinely enjoys showing Wellingtons stand out attractions.
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This tour was an excellent way to...
Kim M, Dec 2017
Wellington Electric Bike Tour
This tour was an excellent way to see beautiful costal views of Wellington.
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I am not a fan of The Lord of the...
Randy T, Nov 2017
Wellington's Half Day Lord of the Rings Tour (including Weta Tour)
I am not a fan of The Lord of the Rings at all, but the tour was very good, as one got to see some good views of Wellington.
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Renting the electric bikes was one...
Susan S, Jan 2018
Full-Day Wellington Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour
They were very easy to ride, even up to the top of Mt Victoria, and we really got to see the beautiful Wellington area in a short time.

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