Trips to Wellington

Wellington offers mountain scenery and culture

Nestled between lush hills and a sparkling harbour, Wellington is a charmingly compact capital city at the southern end of the North Island. It’s worth a visit for its street art-lined alleyways, or a stroll along the beach or harbour, where you can see interesting statues and sculptures.

On your trip to Wellington, you can also explore world-class museums and galleries and get a cultural insight at the immersive National Museum of Te Papa. For breathtaking views of the city, take a ride on the iconic Wellington cable car and enjoy a hokey pokey ice cream cone at the top. 

Experience nature at its best by cycling, walking, canoeing or taking a ferry trip. Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden sandy beach, is the perfect place to relax before heading out on the Southern Walkway, where you’ll encounter the city’s rugged southern coastline. If you head north, you can explore the Remutaka Cycle Route, one of New Zealand’s most scenic routes, or the Escarpment Track, which offers spectacular views of the Kāpiti coast as you ride along steep steps, ridges and swing bridges. 

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Wellington attractions offer scenery and culture

The Wellington Cable Car lets you start your journey from the heart of the city, reaching the Kelburn suburb and the top of the hill in just a few minutes.

Enjoy the spectacular views from the top, while taking a tour of the cable car museum and strolling through the beautiful botanical gardens. While you’re there, enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee or a light snack at a local café. You can return to town via the Wellington Cable Car or walk down to admire the beautiful gardens. 

Cable Car, Wellington, New Zealand
Te Papa, Wellington, New Zealand

Te Papa National Museum

A visit to the Te Papa National Museum is an essential part of any trip to Wellington. The museum is free to enter and offers an insight into New Zealand’s natural environment, Maori culture, art, heritage and fascinating history through innovative exhibitions. If you don’t want to spend a whole day at the museum, you can join a one-hour tour to get a quick overview of what the museum has to offer. If you have more time, you can easily spend several hours exploring the museum’s offerings.

Zealandia and Wētā Workshop

Just a few minutes from the city is the beautiful Zealandia nature reserve. This sanctuary is home to many of New Zealand’s native bird species, and it’s worth booking a guided tour in advance to get the best chance of learning about the amazing wildlife. Free shuttles are available to Zealandia from the town and from the top of the cable car. Check timetables in advance to ensure availability. 

On your trip to Wellington, you should also take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Oscar-winning Wētā Workshop and witness incredible art, inspiring Kiwi innovation and learn secrets from a few different fields. This is an absolute must for fans of the Lord of the Rings films and Tolkien.

Zealandia, Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Day trips from Wellington

Did you know that Wairarapa, one of New Zealand’s best wine regions, is only an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington? You can explore the region by hiring a bike from Martinborough, which also gives you the chance to enjoy leisurely rides through delightful boutique vineyards. Another option is to join a Martinborough Wine Tour day trip from Wellington. There are also a variety of food tours from the city to nearby wine regions.

If you also want to visit New Zealand’s South Island, there is a ferry service from Wellington, and you can take your own vehicle if you wish. The ferry trip takes about three and a half hours and is considered one of the most spectacular ferry trips in the world, making it an experience in itself. 

You can choose a ferry trip from Bluebridge or Interislander, both of which offer daily ferry services between the North and South Islands. For a more luxurious experience, the Bluebridge offers an overnight service, while the Interislander has a cosy Premium Lounge. 

During the ferry journey, passengers can enjoy spectacular views of the Cook Strait Islands and the stunning Marlborough Sounds before arriving in the charming town of Picton, located at the tip of the South Island. The journey also takes you from Picton to Wellington.

Picton, Wellington, New Zealand

Public transport in Wellington

While walking around Wellington is easy, there are also many different modes of transport available, including buses, trains, ferries and cable cars. Payment can be made in cash or by Snapper card, which is a cheaper option. 

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