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Things to do in Wellington

Things to do in  Wellington

Welcome to Wellington

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
Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

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Located on Wellington’s waterfront, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (better known simply as Te Papa) holds massive collections of New Zealand art and artifacts. Hear stories from local communities, see some of the best contemporary Aotearoa art, and entertain your kids while teaching them about the world at the museum’s Discovery Centres.More
#2
Zealandia Ecosanctuary

Zealandia Ecosanctuary

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Zealandia Ecosanctuary is a unique wildlife conservation park in Karori, just minutes from central Wellington. A premier eco-attraction, the fully fenced urban project has restored much of the flora and fauna that once surrounded the city. Forest and wetlands provide habitat for more than 40 native bird species, amphibians, and reptiles.More
#3
New Zealand Parliament (Beehive)

New Zealand Parliament (Beehive)

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New Zealand’s architectural symbol is the domed 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 above ground including cabinet rooms and prime ministerial offices.More
#4
Mt. Victoria Lookout

Mt. Victoria Lookout

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Looming out of the land at the end of Courtenay Place, Mt. Victoria is deeply embedded in the life of Wellington’s central city. Standing at more than 640 feet (195 meters) at its highest point, the Mt. Victoria Lookout offers 360-degree views of Wellington stretching out past the scenic harbor.More
#5
Weta Workshop

Weta Workshop

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From fantastical costumes and prosthetics to large-scale props and weaponry, 3D models, and animatronics, New Zealand’s Weta Workshop is a one-stop-shop for movie special effects. Most famous for their Academy Award-winning work on theLord of the Rings films, the studio has also worked on films includingGodzilla,Avatar, andSpiderman.More
#6
Wellington Cable Car

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
#7
Old St. Paul's

Old St. Paul's

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Old St. Paul’sOld St. Paul’s Cathedral might look out of place nestled in the Wellington suburb of Thorndon, surrounded by multistory offices and modern apartment buildings—but this heritage-listed edifice was there long before any of them. Built in 1866, the beautiful and impeccably preserved Gothic church was constructed from native timber.The BasicsThough it no longer holds Sunday services, Old St. Paul’s remains Wellington’s oldest Anglican church. After a long battle to prevent its demolition in the 1960s, the building is now managed by Heritage New Zealand, who open the church to visitors almost every day of the year. Its impressive interior houses an interactive exhibition, “Read This Building,” that details the building’s construction.Old St. Paul’s is a popular stop for Wellington sightseeing tours, including shore excursions. Guided tours of the cathedral are available for a small fee.Things to Know Before You GoEntry to the church is by donation.The Old St. Paul’s gift shop sells locally made souvenirs; all proceeds go toward preservation work on the cathedral.Brochures about the church’s history and architecture are available in a number of languages.Old St. Paul’s is wheelchair accessible, though some aisles may be too narrow for motorized chairs.How to Get ThereThe cathedral is centrally located in Wellington, a block from the New Zealand Parliament Buildings and a roughly 5-minute walk from Lambton Quay. If you’re traveling by bus or train, get off at the interchange/railway station and head north up Mulgrave Street.When to Get ThereOld St. Paul’s is open during normal business hours except on most public holidays and when there is a private function. Visit on a sunny day—you can take a picnic and relax on the cathedral’s leafy grounds before or after your tour.Old St. Paul’s Unique ArchitectureOld St. Paul’s Cathedral is a classic Gothic Revival church and is known in particular for its grand interior design. The cathedral is built from rich brown native timber; in the building’s nave, the timber has been curved into huge arches, like the hull of an old wooden ship. The church is lined with stained glass windows and features a bold stained glass triptych behind the altar.More
#8
Red Rocks Reserve (Pariwhero)

Red Rocks Reserve (Pariwhero)

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Fur seals aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New Zealand’s capital, but here at coastal Red Rocks Reserve (Pariwhero) just minutes outside of the city, colonies of large, bachelor seals can be found from May-October. Having lost the battle to become breeding males at the fur seal colonies on the South Island, these males swim up across the Cook Strait to winter on Wellington’s coast.Even in summer when seals aren’t around, the rugged trail leading out to the reserve offers sweeping views of the shoreline, where on the clearest of days you can see snowcapped peaks that rise from the neighboring South Island. The reserve gets its name from the reddish-hued rocks that dot the slippery coast, which are layers of ancient pillow lava formed over 200 million years ago. It’s the small deposits of iron ore that give the rocks their coloring, but ancient Maori believe the navigator, Kupe, spilled blood on the rocks when a paua, or abalone, suddenly clamped on his hand. The trail is also accessible to cyclists, joggers, and off-road drivers, and is the perfect way to connect with nature before spending a night on the town.More
#9
Wellington Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Garden

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One of New Zealand’s oldest gardens, Wellington Botanic Garden is an escape from the clamor of the city, in the city. Right behind the Wellington CBD in Thorndon, this 62-acre (25-hectare) garden is full of native and exotic plants. Stroll along one of the many calm, tranquil paths and take some relaxing time away from the urban jungle.More
#10
Staglands Wildlife Reserve

Staglands Wildlife Reserve

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Staglands Wildlife Reserve, a peaceful escape about an hour outside of Wellington’s hustle and bustle, is fun for children and big kids of all ages. Walk through a custom-designed nature park full of animals, from wild goats and guinea pigs to rainbow trout and endangered native birds, and feed and get to know these friendly critters.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

Top activities in Wellington

Recent reviews from experiences in Wellington

star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-4
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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