The 5 best things to do in Wellington include a drive up to Mount Victoria Lookout and a cable car journey. Other highlights are Te Papa Museum, a walk along the waterfront to Oriental Bay and Cuba street. If you love the cinema and have time, visit Peter Jackson’s Weta cave and workshop. Whatever the weather, enjoy our personal recommendations on what the most important must-do attractions and experiences are in Wellington.
Glorious 360 views of Wellington from the Mount Victoria Lookout Post
1) Mount Victoria Lookout
Typically making it onto the must-do list for those considering what to do in Wellington is the Mount Victoria Lookout. Drive or walk your way to the top of this scenic spot. At 196m high above Wellington, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of ocean, beaches, islands and city. The 360 panoramic views stretch off far into the distance. Don’t forget to bring along a picnic if it is a sunny day. Watch the Interislander ferry taking people across the Cook Straight, from Wellington to Picton on the south island. See Air New Zealand or Qantas aircraft landing or taking off from the airport. If you have the time enjoy local fish and chips and watch the sunset, it’s particularly spectacular from here.
Also in the ’lovely view’ category of Wellington highlights is the beautiful Oriental Bay. This interesting waterfront walk should be high on your Wellington things to do list. Take a stroll from Te Papa Museum along the parade to see people swimming, jogging or kayaking. Others will be dining in one of the excellent Wellington restaurants or relaxing with a coffee watching the world go by. Situated close to the TSB Arena is Frank Kitts Park, a delightful kids’ playground, designed to keep both parents and children happy. Should you find yourself in need of either liquid or solid refreshment stop for lunch at Vista or the retro-styled Beach Babylon Cafe. Alternatively, you can just grab an ice-cream or do as the locals do and have fish and chips on the beach.
Enjoy your stroll along the wonderful waterfront at Oriental Parade
No visit to Wellington is complete without a visit to Bohemian Cuba Street, so be sure to include this on your things to do in Wellington itinerary. Street entertainers and buskers, great vintage shops and any number of cafes, bars and restaurants can be found here. Some are included in our suggested wellington cafes restaurants bars list of Wellington. Many offer something a little different to the norm which help contribute to the quirky theme which runs through this essential Wellington attraction.
Wellington Museum – Kids will love the interactive experiences like this ship’s steering wheel
Wellington has many excellent museums for those looking for things to do. A visit to the vast and free-to-enter national museum, Te Papa, is as good as it gets anywhere in the world. With far too many highlights to list here, Te Papa and its million+ exhibits are internationally acclaimed and highly awarded. Be sure to check out the giant squid and the earthquake stimulator. Another great museum is the waterfront Wellington Museum. This building dates back more than 100 years and was voted into the ‘The Times’ 2013 list of ‘The world’s 50 best museums’. This Wellington attraction tells the story of a 1000 years of history through the platforms of interactive exhibits. There is also a fun discovery centre which appeals to all ages. The whole family will love this charming interactive museum which is also much smaller than Te Papa.
Finally, last but by no means least on this what to do in Wellington list, is the iconic and historic cable car. Beloved by residents and visitors alike, this funicular railway travels from Lambton Quay up the hillside to wealthy suburb of Kelburn. The views of cityscape and harbour are well worth taking the ride for alone. The cable car ride also has an intricate light display in the tunnels, making it doubly rewarding. At the top there is also a small museum and the Wellington Carter Observatory building for those people who enjoy star-gazing.
Enjoy the views on this unique journey with the Wellington Cable Car
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