Top 10 Things to do in Wellington, New Zealand

August 11, 2017 Cedrick Jardin

Wellington boasts a compact downtown area that’s easy to explore on foot and a wealth of architectural styles, from 19th-century wooden cottages to Art Deco masterpieces. Discover the city’s Maori roots at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea and the Museum of New Zealand. Sip coffee and people-watch in lively Courtney Place, or survey the city from scenic Mount Victoria. When the sun goes down on Windy Wellington, take a nocturnal tour of Karori Wildlife Sanctuary to meet some colorful inhabitants.
Restaurants in Wellington

1. Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)

55 Cable St, Wellington 6011, New Zealand +64 4-381 7000
Excellent
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4.5 based on 11 reviews

Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)

Experience the whole of New Zealand in one building! Te Papa is New Zealand's bold, innovative and interactive national museum. Explore the great treasures and stories of this country, its unique natural environment, Maori culture and taonga (treasures), dynamic art heritage, and its fascinating history. Te Papa is located on Wellington's spectacular waterfront. Open 10am to 6pm every day except Christmas Day. General admission is free.

Reviewed By Ron H - Panama City, Florida

This is a good museum overall - several interactive/learning exhibits. What was most impressive may well no longer be available by the time you get there. The Gallipoli Campaign exhibit, in partnership with Weta Studios (from the Lord of the Rings movies, etc.) was absolutely incredible!

2. The Great War Exhibition

15 Buckle Street | Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Wellington 6011, New Zealand +64 4-978 2500
Excellent
87%
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5 based on 1 reviews

The Great War Exhibition

The Great War Exhibition, created by Sir Peter Jackson, commemorates the role played by New Zealand in the First World War. Journey through the War, year by year, meeting the challenges faced by brave young soldiers. Experience the gritty hardship and the horror of the Battlefields as seen by those caught in the conflict. Entry into The Great War Exhibition is $15 for adults. Children 16 and under are free. The Exhibition also offers you guided tours for a small fee. These depart every twenty minutes and are a great way to make the Exhibition come alive. So we always remember.

Reviewed By Deb J - Brisbane, Australia

Sophie was an amazing guide, so much knowledge and really made the tour enjoyable. Couldn't imagine doing this without a guide. Absolutely recommend the exhibition/museum and tour. There's a 5pm remembrance ceremony (under 10 mins) at the museum for the unknown warrior which I'm glad I bumped into - it runs until November 2018.

3. Mount Victoria

Alexandra Lookout Rd, Wellington 6001, New Zealand +64 4-802 4860
Excellent
63%
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4.5 based on 2 reviews

Mount Victoria

High lookout point along Wellington's Southern Walkway gives visitors a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings.

Reviewed By house_of_taine - Wellington, New Zealand

If you are bringing visitors in from the airport for their first look at Wellington, take them straight to the Mt Victoria lookout. it is a great view for them to appreciate the coolest little capital in the world. And some nice walking tracks and a great bowling club further down the slopes!

4. Staglands Wildlife Reserve

2362 Akatarawa Road | Upper Hutt, Wellington 5372, New Zealand +64 4-526 7529
Excellent
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4.5 based on 560 reviews

Staglands Wildlife Reserve

Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Cafe is less than an hour from Wellington and a 'must see' attraction for anyone either living in or visiting Wellington. Staglands offers a unique experience for people of all ages to feed and freely interact with a wide range of native and exotic birds and animals in an environment that has been created with nature's materials. Open daily 9:30am-5pm. Adults $22, Children $11 (3 and under no charge)

Reviewed By Kiwimum54 - Wellington, New Zealand

first time to Staglands today, with 3 adults and a baby and active toddler. We all loved it. the baby stayed awake the whole time, in awe of the peacocks and animals. The toddler was so confident with the animals which are so friendly, and there are a huge variety. The baby animals were a treat, ducklings, very tiny chicks in a heated space for warmth, small goats, lambs, Guinea pigs, lots of pigs, trout, birds, such an assortment of birds! we didn't picnic but it would be great to take a picnic on a dry day, there are lots lovely lawns etc driving from Waikanae more a challenge as its a long hilly windy road, but beautiful bush drive too. Going from Staglands to Upper Hutt which is way we drove on way home is easy drive. Lots of fun for all us, highly recommend it. Be a good place to take family or visitors while hanging out with young children, neat introduction to animals for children.

5. Old St Paul's

34 Mulgrave St | Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand +64 4-473 6722
Excellent
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Old St Paul's

Be embraced by the beauty of this gorgeous wooden Cathedral - still sacred, welcoming to all, in the heart of Wellington's heritage precinct. Breathtakingly beautiful - Wellington's famous Old St Paul's, constructed entirely of native timbers, is one of New Zealand's greatest heritage places. Experience the wonderful and sometimes quirky stories of this former Cathedral church, its historic location and its people. Gaze at Old St Paul's unique colonial architecture, admire its exquisite embroidered furnishings and be awed by the colours of its beautiful stained glass windows. It is a magnificent example of timber Gothic Revival architecture. Visit the Gift and all-year-around Christmas Shop at Old St Paul's, which features exquisite gifts, NZ keepsakes and beautiful Christmas decorations, advent calendars and nativity scenes.There is something to suit every taste. The site where Old St Paul's stands was formerly part of Pipitea Pa. For almost 100 years, Old St Paul's served as the parish church of Thorndon and the Anglican Cathedral of Wellington. It remains a place of spiritual significance to many and also has become a popular venue for a wide variety of cultural events.

Reviewed By james628 - Brandon, Florida

What a beautiful old Cathedral made of wood. Stained glass, vaulted ceilings, just stunning. Of special significance was the 48 star U.S. Flag and the U.S. Marine Corp banner in a place of honor commemorating the hundreds of U.S. Marines stationed in Wellington during WW2. Take a moment to visit this special place.

6. Mount Kaukau

Simla Crescent | Khandallah, Wellington 6004, New Zealand +64 4-802 4860
Excellent
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4.5 based on 196 reviews

Mount Kaukau

Reviewed By Vil T

Mt. Kaukau is located north from Wellington CBD, and can be accessed by foot from Khandallah. Easiest way to get there is by catching the train to Simla Crescent on the Johnsonville line, and walking up the hill. Alternatively you may do the Skyline Track, and end up on the summit of Mt. Kaukau. In any case, the view is just stunning, as you can see the whole city, and the north of South Island given that it's a clear day. Take some water & maybe some snacks depending on your plans, and take a relatively easy walk up the hill! However, note that the hill is quite steep.
I would highly recommend visiting this hill if in Wellington as the view is just something out of this world!

7. Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden

160 Wilton Road, Wellington 6012, New Zealand +64 4-499 1400
Excellent
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4.5 based on 214 reviews

Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden

Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. The Garden is a unique plant sanctuary and forest reserve and includes 100ha of native forest and 5ha of plant collections. Some of Wellington's oldest trees are here, including an 800-year-old rimu. It is classified as a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture. Just a 10-minute drive from the CBD or take the no. 14 bus bound for Wilton and get off at the Warwick St/Wilton Rd stop. Tell the bus driver and they will be sure to stop.

Reviewed By Christy_Luv2 - Gorey, Ireland

We were lucky enough to be there during the mating season and the Tui birds were going wild! A great experience trekking through the reserve and viewing the wonderful plants. It's wonderful to see the protection given to the trees and plants (almost all have been raised from cuttings or seed collected from the wild.) ENJOY the nature!

8. ZEALANDIA Sanctuary

53 Waiapu Road, Wellington 6012, New Zealand +64 4-920 9200
Excellent
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4.5 based on 2 reviews

ZEALANDIA Sanctuary

ZEALANDIA is a heaven of tropical bliss right on the doorstep of Wellington City. Affectionately referred to as a hidden gem ZEALANDIA received international acclaim for the groundbreaking predator free 8.6km fence. Since the completion of the fence in 1999 ZEALANDIA has brought a number of native birds, reptiles and wildlife back from the brink of extinction where they now roam freely through the 225 hectare valley. A visit to ZEALANDIA is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and a must for anyone visiting Wellington. There are a number treks to saunter, suitable for any fitness level. Alternatively step back in time with our interactive exhibition center or take a load off at the atmospheric Rata Café.

Reviewed By Susan C - Pembroke, United Kingdom

This is a nature reserve with several rare species. The walkways are very accessible and they have alternative routes for wheelchairs and buggies. The route is easy to follow and the air is filled with birdsong (some of the birds are easier to spot than others in the dense vegetation - others you can get really close to with relative ease). There are several routes one can take, and I imagine it would be easy to spend a full day there should you have the time. We visited mid afternoon, but even so managed the main circuit in under two hours, even allowing for stopping to admire and photograph the inhabitants.

9. National War Memorial

7 Buckle Street | Mount Cook, Wellington 2004, New Zealand +64 4-385 2496
Excellent
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4.5 based on 264 reviews

National War Memorial

Reviewed By KerriYarsley - Gold Coast, Australia

I always find War Memorials have a kind of magnetic attraction for me. Maybe it's because my grandfather, father, and son have all been to wars in WW1, WW2, and Afghanistan, respectively.
They are poignant and deserve absolute respect and quite reflection.
The National War memorial in Wellington is another of these great tributes to the bravery, courage, and loyalty of the ANZACs. And the stupidity of the political leaders and ignorance of the Generals of the day. May their arrogance and ignorance never be repeated. Our boys are not fodder for the war mongers and mills to grind into dust.
Lest We Forget.

10. Wellington Museum

3 Jervois Quay, Wellington 6011, New Zealand +64 4-472 8904
Excellent
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum is housed in the Bond Store, an 1892 heritage building designed by leading architect Frederick de Jersey Clere. Set over four floors, the Exhibitions tell the myriad stories of our city and region. Wellington Museum's newest permanent exhibition, The Attic, opened in late 2015. Set in the newly open to the public fourth floor, The Attic features some of the curious and quirky tales from our past. From lions to artwork, steam engines to UFO sighting flies, Vampires and a time machine (Nga Hau), the Museum shares our fascinating stories.

Reviewed By Jo G - Guildford, United Kingdom

We popped I for a couple of hours on a wet, windy day. It was well worthwhile. The exhibit on the Wahine disaster was especially interesting when we had crossed the Cook Strait in a cyclone the day before!

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