Wellington is a compact and walkable city. With a downtown area only 2 km across, most of the major attractions are within easy walking distance from the hotels, cafés, restaurants, bars and shops. A petite picturesque capital city has got a downside. The weather, it is not called Windy Wellington for nothing. Invest in a Blunt umbrella and think of the weather as invigorating, embracing as it whips your hair into a messy, frizzy mess, Wellington mode. Layers, especially a light waterproof jacket thigh length is a must. A fabulous city with enormous personality and a sense of community should be on all visitors’ must visit list. Some places are great without a Bondi on their doorstep and Wellington is one of these magical destinations.
As well as historic and cultural attractions, Wellington also offers Hollywood glamour – the majority of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was filmed in and around the city, and visitors can now follow in the footsteps of Hollywood stars. Inspired by the weather perhaps.
Wellington is picturesque, pretty painted wooden houses stacked up and down hillsides. However the weather can be horrible. Check out the weather forecast for Wellington and do not let that stop you. All those museums are indoors. And buy a Blunt umbrella, tested in Wellington, sold globally.
The historic tram is a regular link for university students and office workers. It is recommended that peak times are avoided. The free shuttle to Zealandia meets the cable city.
The sanctuary is an unexpected hidden gem, in the middle of a city. New Zealand wildlife at the end of an urban street is definitely worth a visit to see what can be achieved with a durable steel fence.
Tucked away in Miramar, a short drive from Wellington’s city centre, Weta Workshop crafts physical effects for some of the world’s most renowned films and TV shows. And, the doors are open for fans who want to see exactly how the magic is made.
Wellington is the home of the National Museum Te Papa. Wellington is a major site for the New Zealand narrative, of history, heritage and what is the kiwi identity. From quaint 19th cottages to maritime heritage stories or contemporary edgy art spaces there is a museum or gallery for all tastes. The area has a history of human occupation reaching into the origins of Polynesian discovery of Aotearoa New Zealand over 800 years ago. The stories of people, settlement and history is encapsulated in Te Papa.
As the website aptly describes “OTARI BOTANIC GARDEN is 5 hectares of botanic gardens dedicated to the collection and preservation of New Zealand’s native plants. Highlights include The Canopy Walkway and the self-guided Nature Trail. WILTON’S BUSH RESERVE: 100 hectares of ancient and regenerating native forest. Highlights include an 800-year-old rimu and some of Wellington’s oldest trees, picnic areas, several waterfalls and 11 km of walking tracks.”
It is a great place for families as there is enough space to run and jump while older members of the family group read the various plaques describing the plant’s geographical location within New Zealand.
Te Papa National Museum
55 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
National Library of New Zealand
70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Te Wharewaka o Pōneke
2 Taranaki Street, Wellington 6011
3 Jervois Quay, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Nairn Street Museum
68 Nairn Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Cable Car Museum
1A Upland Road, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
40 Salamanca Road, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
City Gallery Wellington
Te Ngākau Civic Square, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
The Dowse Art Museum
45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand
Pātaka Art + Museum
17 Parumoana Street, Porirua City Centre, Porirua 5022, New Zealand
The New Zealand Portrait Gallery
Shed 11/60 Lady Elizabeth Lane, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
New Zealand Parliament
Pipitea, Wellington 6160, New Zealand
Katherine Mansfield Birthplace
25 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
New Zealand Cricket Museum
2 Rugby Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
An urban stroll:
Otari-Wilton’s Bush Reserve
150 Wilton Road, Wilton, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
Bolton Street Cemetery
Bolton Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Wellington Botanic Garden
101 Glenmore Street, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
Truby King Park
21 Manchester Terrace, Melrose, Wellington 6023, New Zealand
Where to find a bargain to eat:
Wellington is not cheap, and while the restaurants are world class, if you are on a budget then you need to pop down Cuba Street or visit the Night Markets for cheap eats. Head to the Cuba Street Night Market for an array of delicious food stalls with cuisines from around the world. The lively markets are colourful and lively with buskers and entertainment and the smell of delicious, sizzling hot food in the air.
Go for a taste of Wellington’s famous craft beer. Ghuznee Street boasts a fantastic line-up of brew bars including Whistling Sisters, Fortune Favours and Husk. Aro Valley is home to Garage Project, one of Wellington’s best-known breweries, where you can get a taste of their boundary-pushing beer and wine at their cellar door and taproom.
Wellington has guided hop on and hop off bus. Home – Hop on Hop off | Guided Tours Wellington. Tours depart and finish from the city i-SITE Visitor Centre bus stop at 145 Wakefield St opposite the Amora Hotel, starting at 9.30am, with the last Tour leaving at 2.30pm
Guided walking tours of Wellington Walk Wellington are available. Recommended for first time visitors to Wellington for insider tips and latest pop store openings.
Wellington public bus service is excellent check Metlink – Greater Wellington’s Public Transport Network for details.
Wellington is home to a great public rail system with its heart being the historic Railway Station. Check the link for train timetables and enjoy the Railway Station grandeur. Just be careful of Wellington government commuters in the workday rush hour. They are focused on getting to work on time.
Who doesn’t like a bargain? And then there’s all that gorgeous food tempting the palate. Easy, convenient, the huddle of stalls offering everything to everyone who doesn ...