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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.

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Top 10 attractions in Wellington

Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)
#1

Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

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....
Cuba Street
#2

Cuba Street

Funky, chic and full of life, Wellington’s Cuba Street District is the de facto hot spot for curbside entertainment and people-watching. This pedestrian mall boasts an artsy flare that permeates the boutiques and cafés, and it’s the best place in Wellington to find buskers and street performers sure to draw smiles. Named for a 19th-century ship that carried settlers to the capital city, Cuba Street is full of enjoyable spots, from impossibly cool coffee shops where visitors linger and watch the rain roll in to the mall where shoppers stomp their feet to impromptu performances as they stroll by enjoying the sunshine. If visiting in March or April, there’s a chance you could attend the Cuba Street Carnival, which only happens every other year. This trendy district becomes a procession of floats that pulses with live music and turns into the hottest place in the city....
Zealandia Ecosanctuary
#3

Zealandia Ecosanctuary

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....
Mt. Victoria Lookout
#4

Mt. Victoria Lookout

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....
Weta Workshop
#5

Weta Workshop

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....
Wellington Cable Car
#6

Wellington Cable Car

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....
Old St. Paul's
#7

Old St. Paul's

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....
New Zealand Parliament (Beehive)
#8

New Zealand Parliament (Beehive)

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....
Wellington Museum
#9

Wellington Museum

The Museum of Wellington City and Sea explores the maritime connection that ties Wellington so closely to the sea. Mixing historical displays with cutting-edge technology, the museum brings history alive with maritime artifacts, interactive exhibits, holographs, audio-visual displays and documentaries screened on a giant cinema screen. The museum is spread over 3 floors of the restored 1892 Bond Store warehouse. The building is a feature in its own right, with historic timber beams and virtual vermin to set the scene. Another highlight is the sailing ship conservation project known as Plimmer’s Ark....

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