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How to Spend 3 Days in Wellington

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How to Spend 3 Days in Wellington
With three days in New Zealand’s capital, you can take advantage of almost everything on offer. Fly over the city in a helicopter, shop till you drop, sample plenty of local beer or wine, and of course, get out into nature. Here’s how to make the most of your time in Wellington. 

Day 1: City sightseeing
Spend your first day getting a feel for the city. Options abound: take to the air on a helicopter flight and marvel at Wellington’s legendary landscape; catch the cable car up to Wellington Botanic Garden; or head to the Mt. Victoria Lookout for panoramic views of the city and harbor. Then, make your way down to the waterfront, and learn about the country’s indigenous Maori culture and history at the innovative Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. If you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings, join a tour of local filming locations, or sign up for a Weta workshop. A hop-on hop-off bus pass makes it easy to get around town and explore at your own pace.

Day 2: Shopping and eating
Wellington is a fashion hub—all that wool from New Zealand sheep combined with a creative streak results in labels valued worldwide. Begin by strolling the area around Lambton Quay, College Street, and Cuba Street. Then, wander Wellington Underground Market, a maze of food stalls that also showcases local artisans. Stop for lunch there or at one of several Wellington restaurants that have won the national Best Restaurant Award—or go all out with a foodie tour, sampling some craft beer afterward. If you prefer wine, take a guided trip to the top boutique wineries in nearby Wairarapa, renowned for its pinot noir—or explore the vineyards by bike.

Day 3: Coastal treasures
To atone for all that spending and swilling, head for the great outdoors and experience the dramatic coastline by mountain bike, on horseback, or on foot. See the colony of fur seals near the lighthouse at Cape Palliser, or look for seals as you hike the trails of Red Rocks Reserve. Bird lovers won’t want to miss Kapiti Island, a predator-free bird sanctuary reached by boat from the Kapiti Coast. And if you’re moving on to the South Island later, hop aboard the Interislander for one of the world’s most scenic ferry journeys.
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Wellington Tours & Activities (12)
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Wellington's Full Day Lord of the Rings Locations Tour including LunchDay Trips

Wellington's Full Day Lord of the Rings Locations Tour including Lunch

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at nine ‘The Lord of the Rings’ locations around Wellington and learn about the filming of movies based on the popular books. On a tour of the New Zealand countryside, see re-created scenes of Middle-earth including the Hutt Valley and the Greenbelt, take a forest walk through Tolkien’s Rivendell, and step into Weta Studios for a movie production tour of digital special effects. Your guide shares insider gossip on how the movies were made and takes you to a themed lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$154.58 
From  
US$154.58 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus TourBus Tours

Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour

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See the top attractions of Wellington on a hop-on hop-off minibus tour that follows a route throughout the capital city and its outskirts. You can hop off at any of the stops to explore points of interest such as Mt. Victoria Lookout, Wellington Zoo, Wellington Botanic Garden, or the Te Papa Museum on your own. Your guide points out sights such as Parliament and the cable car on this group tour that can accommodate up to 20 people.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$30.92 
From  
US$30.92 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

InterIslander Ferry - Wellington to PictonFerry Services

InterIslander Ferry - Wellington to Picton

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Board the InterIslander ferry for a 3-hour cruise across Cook Strait, which links New Zealand’s capital city in the North Island to a charming enclave in the South Island. The Wellington-to-Picton ferry offers daily service one way, with jaw-dropping views along one of the world’s most scenic waterways.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$45.21 
From  
US$45.21 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tasting Tour Including Lunch from WellingtonDay Trips

Martinborough Gourmet Wine Tasting Tour Including Lunch from Wellington

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Treat your taste buds to award-winning wines on a day trip to the renowned Martinborough wine region. Departing by train from Wellington, meet an expert driver-guide for the coach trip to boutique Martinborough vineyards. Enjoy wine tasting and meet the passionate winemakers, indulge in a gourmet antipasto lunch in the charming wine village, and finish with a cheese platter and coffee.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$157.84 
From  
US$157.84 
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Small-Group Seal Colony and Wellington City TourNature and Wildlife

Small-Group Seal Colony and Wellington City Tour

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Explore Wellington’s natural and cultural history on a full-day tour that includes the rugged south coast. See exhibits on maritime history at the renowned Museum of Wellington City & Sea, then travel by 4WD to Red Rocks Reserve near Owhiro Bay. Marvel at a New Zealand fur seal colony and sweeping views of Cook Strait and the Tasman Sea while an informative guide shares Maori myths and local birdlife. Enjoy a bistro lunch alongside Wellington Harbour on this small-group tour with a maximum of six people.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$264.51 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$264.51 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Palliser Bay and Coastal Delights Tour from WellingtonDay Trips

Palliser Bay and Coastal Delights Tour from Wellington

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Let a knowledgeable guide lead you off the beaten track during this day trip from Wellington to Cape Palliser Bay. Set out from the New Zealand capital to visit Lake Ferry and the fishing village of Ngawi, with stunning views of the rugged coastline. See the North Island’s largest colony of fur seals near Cape Palliser Lighthouse, and stop at a winery in Martinborough for wine tasting. You’ll even discover Middle-earth at a filming site from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Includes lunch and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$170.81 
From  
US$170.81 
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Full-Day Wellington Self-Guided Electric Bike TourMountain Bike Tours

Full-Day Wellington Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour

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Make easy work of Wellington’s hills and devise your own itinerary on this self-guided electric bike tour. Opt for a 1 or 2-day bike rental and zip between sights like the Weta Workshop, Te Papa Museum, or Zealandia Sanctuary; glide along the Wellington Waterfront; or escape the city to cycle the Rimutaka Rail Trail or take in the views from Mt Victoria.
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  • 3 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$51.53 
From  
US$51.53 
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  • 3 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Wellington City Sightseeing Small-Group TourFull-day Tours

Wellington City Sightseeing Small-Group Tour

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Get introduced to the cosmopolitan city of Wellington on a small-group sightseeing tour by luxury mini-coach. You’ll travel along the south coast and into the heart the capital, including the suburb of Thorndon, site of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings and Beehive. Travel by cable car to the summit of Mt Victoria and visit the national Te Papa museum. Choose a half-day itinerary or upgrade for a full day that includes a beach picnic or cafe lunch. Numbers are limited to six people for an intimate experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$120.23 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$120.23 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Wellington South Coast Discovery Helicopter FlightCity Packages

Wellington South Coast Discovery Helicopter Flight

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Explore the outskirts of Wellington and the landscape beyond on this helicopter flight tour. While listening to commentary from your pilot/guide, fly over the rugged shores and seal colonies of the South Coast, the Cook Strait, the Karori Rock Lighthouse, and the Makara Wind Farm.
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  • 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$231.10 
From  
US$231.10 
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  • 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided TourAttraction Tickets

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided Tour

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Get a personal introduction to Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s premier museum based in Wellington. This 1-hour guided tour provides an overview of the museum’s interactive exhibits, artifacts, fine art and natural history displays so that you can better explore the collection on your own. You’ll get a deeper look at Maori cultural heritage and colonial history with an expert guide who share insights and offers suggestions for galleries that might suit your interests.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$13.75 
From  
US$13.75 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Wellington Craft Beer Half Day TourHalf-day Tours

Private Wellington Craft Beer Half Day Tour

With innovative brewers, New Zealand’s biggest craft beer festival and a craft beer bar around every corner, Wellington is the Southern Hemisphere’s craft beer capital. With new breweries popping up around the city, however, it can be hard for hop heads to know where to go. On this private tour, check out some of the city’s most successful craft breweries and brewpubs.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$107.18 
From  
US$107.18 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Full Day Wellington Food TourFull-day Tours

Full Day Wellington Food Tour

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Wellington is the epicenter of New Zealand’s culinary scene, but for the inside scoop on where to eat and drink, a local guide is a must. This full-day, small-group tour offers an authentic Wellington foodie experience, with activities that may include a craft beer tasting, a coffee-making demonstration, and a cheese tasting.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$266.57 
From  
US$266.57 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation


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