Things To See in Wellington, New Zealand

Renowned for its compact size which means that you can walk the Downtown area in little over half an hour, anyone who has visited Wellington would recommend that you explore it on foot. All the major attractions are within easy walking distance of each other and by doing it in your own time and picking your own routes you will ensure that you see many of the things that you may well miss if you were to make your way round by bus or rail.

Some of the more popular organized walks include the Harbourfront Walk which begins at Queen’s Wharf, heading to Frank Kitts Park and into Civic Square - home to the City Library, the City Gallery and the Town Hall Complex. Following this you walk back over the bridge to Te Papa, past the Marina and onto the much loved Oriental Parade.

The Thorndon Heritage walk begins at Cable Car lane on Lambton Quay which takes you out of the inner city and up to the Wellington Botanic Gardens where you exit at Thorndon. From here you head down Tinakori Road where you will find a host of art galleries as well as some of the city’s most exclusive shops. From here you head to the birthplace of Katherine Mansfield and back up past the Baslica and St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Parliament Buildings.

Other popular walks include the Central City Stroll which will lead you through the main shopping districts as well as the most colourful streets in the city, Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. The Southern and Northern Walkways are for the more energetic among you and usually last between four and five hours. The former will give you some amazing views of the harbour and the city while the latter leads right the summit of Mount Kau Kau.

Attractions in Wellington

  • Katherine Mansfield Birthplace

    25 Tinakori Road, Throndon, Wellington, New Zealand

    Museum dedicated to this famous New Zealand writer who was born in this Victorian townhouse in 1888. Includes a video telling you all about her early life as well as a host of photographs and excerpts of her writing. A stroll through the gardens is also highly recommended if the weather is suitable.

  • Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)

    Cable Street, Wellington, New Zealand

    Home to some of New Zealand’s most precious treasures, this museum celebrates the country’s vast and varied history through art and multimedia. Other more modern additions include a virtual bungee jump and a walk through a reconstructed example of New Zealand countryside. Entry is free too which should encourage you even more.

  • Cable Car

    Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand

    This is probably the most highly recommended attraction in the city and takes place aboard a fully restored bright red cable car. In operation since 1902, the current car dates from 1979 and offers breathtaking views of the city as well as access to the Botanic Gardens.

  • Botanic Gardens

    Glemore Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand

    Covering over twenty five hectares of hillside between Kelburn and the city centre, these gardens were established in 1868 and are well worth visiting at any time of the year. Highlights of a visit include the rose gardens, the sculptures, the peace flame garden and the soundshell where outdoor concerts take place on Sundays during summer.

  • Wellington Zoo

    Manchester Street, Newton Park, Wellington, New Zealand

    Home to the a host of native New Zealand animals including the kiwi, the giant weta, the black stilt and the tuatura as well as a number of more exotic species from around the world, the zoo also includes a Tropical River Trail, the country’s largest natural habitat. Located about 4km from the city in the southern suburbs, it is easily reached by Bus No.10.

  • Old Shoreline Walk

    Oriental Bay to Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand

    Lasting a mere ninety minutes this tour will take you on a historical tour through the city streets. Following the original shoreline you will see a host of popular buildings including the St. James Theatre, and the St. Mary of the Angels Church making it a really nice way to see the city.

  • Colonial Cottage Museum

    68 Nairn Street, Wellington, New Zealand

    Built in 1858 by William Wallis, this cottage relates the story of what family life was like in colonial times in the capital. It is now central Wellington’s oldest building and is situated within easy walking distance from the city centre. The cottage also serves as the starting point of the Aro Valley Heritage Trail.

  • Wellington Maritime Museum

    Queen's Wharf, Wellington, New Zealand

    Refurbished in 1999, this museum pays homage to the city’s strong connection with the sea. Displays include the Wahine Disaster exhibition as well as numerous paintings, models and videos. While the museum primarily concentrated on maritime objects it now also focuses on the history of the city and its port as well as material of genealogical and shipping interest.

  • National Library Gallery

    Corner Molesworth & Aitken Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand

    Housing a fascinating collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, drawings, prints and newspaper articles on the country’s history, the gallery is also home to the largest collection of printed Maori material in New Zealand. While it may not appeal to everyone, it is a really interesting place to while away a couple of hours.

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