Things to do locally
Museums and Culture
Wellington’s iconic museum, Te Papa tells the story of New Zealand and its people. It has several floors covering the natural environment, Maori heritage and NZ culture, as well as a number of special exhibitions throughout the year.
The Wellington Museum explores the history of the city and its maritime connections. Learn more about the sinking of the Wahine, NZ’s worst ever maritime disaster, and explore some of the quirkier stories from Wellington’s history.
Katherine Mansfield is one of NZ’s most famous authors. The Katherine Mansfield House in Thorndon has been restored to its original layout, as it was when the author lived there with her parents and extended family.
Popular tourist spots & around the city
The Cable Car runs between Lambton Quay and the Botanic Gardens. The short ride offers outstanding views of the city & a museum at the top explains more about the cable car’s history.
Situated in the Carter Observatory in the Botanic Gardens, Space Place is the perfect day out for budding astronomers.
Explore the iconic Beehive or take a guided tour of the Beehive, and when government is in session, visit the public gallery of the debating chamber.
In the sunshine there is no better place to be in the central city than along the waterfront. Stroll along looking at the sculptures, hire a pair of roller skates or a bike or take a kayak out on the water.
Get spectacular views of Wellington city and the harbour from the Mount Victoria lookout. You can drive all the way up to the lookout or walk up through the Town Belt walkway.
Heading out of the city centre brings you to Wellington’s bays. Dotted with stunning beaches and tempting cafes, the coast road is a great option for a scenic drive.
Cuba Street is Wellington’s bustling bit of cool where locals and visitors gather to shop, drink or dine. Recognised for its vintage boutiques, art studios and eclectic restaurants.
Nature, zoos & wildlife
Wellington Zoo houses both native animals and a range of species from around the world. Compact enough to walk around in a few hours, the zoo is a perfect family day out.
With nearly 25 hectares of grounds ranging from native forest to colourful floral plantings, the Botanic Gardens are a haven in the heart of the city.
Zealandia is a nature sanctuary in the heart of Wellington working to restore the populations of native wildlife across the country. With more than 40 species of native birds and a range of insects and reptiles, there is plenty to see.
The Red Rocks were formed by undersea volcanic eruptions. A walkway follows the coastline and extends round to a fur seal colony where the seals can often be spotted playing on the rocks.
Matiu Somes Island is a predator free wildlife reserve. The island can be accessed by a regular ferry service and there are several walks.
Just five kilometres from the city centre, this reserve contains native plants and trees including an 800 year old Rimu. The reserve has a number of walking tracks suitable for all fitness levels.
Lord of the Rings and Weta Workshop
Lord of The Rings Tours
The Lord of the Rings films introduced New Zealand’s stunning scenery to the world, albeit often under a disguise of computer animation. Movie buffs who are keen to see the original filming locations can take a guided tour around the city and its surrounds covering several important locations.
Weta Workshop has developed into a world renowned, award-winning design and special effects company for Hollywood movies and television shows including Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Thunderbirds Are Go. Get up close and personal with some of the sculptures at the Weta Cave, or take a guided workshop tour for an in-depth look at the company.