The best Wellington attractions if all you have is one night will keep you busy and highly entertained. The good news is that there are many wonderful things to do and see in Wellington, even if time is short. Our top highlights include a visit to Te Papa Museum, a stroll down Cuba street and a trip up the Cable Car. If you have a vehicle and like 360 degree panoramic views, Mount Victoria Lookout is also a must-do activity. The stunning views from Wellington’s airport to city and harbour are breath-taking. Please remember your camera for those all-important selfies!
Wellington from Mount Victoria lookout – spectacular panoramic views
Get those walking shoes on and head out to the waterfront. We suggest you start at the TSB Arena and head towards the Freyberg pool and fitness centre at Oriental Bay. There are many places of interest along this walk including Frank Kitts Park and an unusual sculpture by English born Max Patte, titled ‘Solace in the Wind.’ If you or your children feel like a spot of indoor rock climbing or a kayak check out Fergs Kayaks,
Solace in the Wind – Wellington Waterfront
Further along the waterfront after the various cafes and shops you will come to New Zealand’s finest Te Papa Museum. On at the moment is the incredible WWI Gallipoli Exhibition. This is definitely one of the best Wellington attractions you will experience. There is also the Wellington Museum that looks at the maritime history of Wellington. This child friendly Wellington attraction was recently voted by the Telegraph newspaper one of the world’s top 50 small museums.
One of Wellington’s oldest and most beautiful buildings – The Wellington Museum
Take a walk down the wonderfully quirky if not slightly wacky Cuba street. Stop off for one of New Zealand’s best coffees. If it’s sunny, take a seat outside Plum Cafe on the pedestrianised pavement. Plum is close to the marvellously kitsch and clanky bucket waterfall, a Wellington icon. It’s a fun place to hang out and watch people from all cultures and backgrounds. One moment you might see an elderly couple enjoying their lunch and next to them a clown lurching past on a unicycle. Perhaps you’ll see a balloon sculptor reciting poetry or an old lady in a rainbow wig expertly twirling three hula hoops! Anything goes here, you get the picture?
The iconic bucket fountain in Wellington’s quirky Cuba Street
If you need a quick shop for clothes or toiletries you can always pop into the Farmers Store by the fountain. Otherwise, there are a number of excellent boutique shops and vintage clothes stores such as ‘Spacesuit’ dotted up and down the street.
If you are interested in politics and government take a walk along Lambton Quay which is the main shopping area of town. At the end of the street you will come to a rather unusual looking building known as the Beehive. Here, you can enjoy a free tour with a trained guide every morning, on the hour, visiting key parts of the building. It is a unique opportunity to learn about New Zealand’s parliamentary processes and history. When it’s over, pop back down to Lambton Quay for a trip up to the botanical gardens in Wellington’s characterful Cable Car. It’s an experience not to be missed with spectacular views of the city and harbour at the top.
After enjoying all those Wellington sightseeing attractions you will be hungry. Click here for our selection of the best Wellington restaurants and cafes in the main tourist areas, Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. Our suggestions are completely independent and are based on what we decide is the best and worth going to.
Prefab restaurant and cafe – the perfect place for a top quality lunch in Wellington
Finally, if you are keen to have a guide show you the best place to visit in Wellington email us here at What to Do In Wellington. We recommend a number of top Wellington based tour operators who will be happy to take you on a day tour.
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