For those with a fondness for 'The Lord Of The Rings' movies, you will already know about the wonders of New Zealand in general, however there is so much more to see and do in 'The Land Of The Long White Cloud' which is known as 'Aotearoa' by the Maori people in reference to the North Island of New Zealand.
While this list only scratches the surface of what you can see and do in Wellington there surely is something for everyone. The locals are warm, friendly and inviting and only too happy to disclose some of the many wonderful secrets the capital, Wellington has to offer.
This city oozes character, its architecture, museums, restaurants and nightlife surround the beautiful harbor providing panoramic views from almost any viewing point. Wellington offers up mild temperate weather conditions typical of a marine climate, including plenty of wind.
The best weather in Wellington can be found during the months between October to April. Its at this time when average temperatures fall between 17°C / 62°F and 21°C / 69°F . Winters in Wellington are quite short and can be considered far from extreme.
Temperatures in Wellington rarely rise above 25°C / 77°F or drop below 6°C / 43°F. Wellington is known for its winds during winter making the temperature feel much colder. Frosts are commonly seen in and around the hillside suburbs and the Hutt Valley region during winter however snow is very rare.
Average Temperature Ranges:
- Summer (Dec – Feb): Daytime 19°C – 21°C 66°F – 69°F
- Autumn (Mar – May): Daytime 14°C – 19°C 57°F – 66°F
- Winter (Jun – Aug): Daytime 6°C – 12°C 6°F – 53°F
- Spring (Sep – Nov): Daytime 14°C– 17°C 57°F – 62°F
With the weather out of the way, lets now look at some of the top things to see and do on a visit to Wellington, New Zealand.
Running between Lambton Quay to Kelburn on reaching the top, visitors will be pleasantly surprised with a lookout, the Carter Observatory and the Cable Car Museum. On the journey back the car passes through the beautiful and lush Botanical Gardens.
Wellington Cable Car
Te Papa provides visitors to the city an excellent opportunity to take in New Zealand's Colonial and Maori history with many historically significant artefacts on display, including an exhibition detailing the geology of the country. Visitors will leave the museum with knowledge of the cultural, social and biological history of New Zealand. The museum is open every day between the hours of 10am - 6pm (except Christmas Day) and entry is free.
Visitors to Wellington should take the time to picnic or take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens. Its easy to get there by taking a cable car from Lambton Quay - a brief 5 minute ride. The gardens are filled with relaxing green spaces and colorful floral displays. It's a great place to rest and recharge, and best of all entry is free.
The hipster vibe on Cuba Street is an experience visitors to Wellington will simply love. A procession of artists, creators and idea makers can be seen dressed in vintage styled clothing, which adds to much to the atmosphere when browsing a range of shops, or dining in one of the many bars and restaurants. The area is filled with street entertainers including fire dancers, guitar players and puppeteers.
Source/Credit: Fidel's Cafe
Circular in design, the embankment was constructed during the 1940's and comprises a series of underground tunnels. The fort was designed to accommodate a total of three artillery guns, however only one was ever installed. Thankfully the fortress was never attacked during World War II, and it has been lovingly restored to become an official landmark. The location often features in television and movies with the 'Fellowship of the Ring' being just one. During special occasions the tunnels are opened for visitors to explore underground with over 600 meters / 2,000 feet of tunnels.
Source/Credit: Wrights Hill Fortress
A great way to spend a relaxing afternoon in Wellington is to take an enjoyable walk near Oriental Bay, which is filled with cafes, sculpture, bars and vendors selling ice cream. This is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike who can be seen walking, jogging, skating and cycling along the route. A number of markets are open during weekends which is a popular way to pass the time when visiting the city.
Oriental Bay Promenade
The oldest zoo in New Zealand, Wellington Zoo has a large range of creatures including native, Asian and African wildlife. Much of the native wildlife on display you may never have had the opportunity to see previously due to their uniqueness to the region. The Zoo is open daily (except Christmas Day) between the hours of 9.30am - 5.00pm. Entry per person per adult is NZ$24 / USD$17 / AUD$21 / GBP$13.
Source/Credit: Rakiura Kiwi: Department Of Conservation New Zealand
Situated near to the top of the Botanical Gardens the full-dome planetarium is easily recognizable. Visitors can attend during the day to experience a number of exhibits and shows detailing the history of the cosmos and pay a visit to the gift shop. A night time visit provides visitors with some great star-gazing opportunities. Admission for adults is NZ$12.50 / USD$9 / AUD$11 / GBP$7.
Source/Credit: Museums Wellington
A great way to see the city is to board the hop on hop off bus which provides tourists with a guided tour of 11 of Wellington's top locations a number of which are mentioned above. The informative tour takes approximately 1 1/2 hours aboard one of their minibuses which depart from the i-SITE Visitor Center. Tours cost NZ$45 / USD$32 / AUD$40 / GBP$25 per adult. The bus visits the following locations:
Source/Credit: Hop On Hop Off
iSITE Visitor Centre (Tour Bus Stop) / City Gallery
- First Bus: 9.30am
- Last Bus: 2.30pm
Courtney Place/Embassy Theater / Oriental Parade
- First Bus: 9.36am
- Last Bus: 2.36pm
Mt Victoria Lookout
- (5-10 minute Photo Stop)
- First Bus: 10.05am
- Last Bus: 3.05pm
War Memorial / Great War Exhibition
- First Bus: 10.15am
- Last Bus: 3.15pm
- First Bus: 10.25am
- Last Bus: 3.25pm
Zealandia (request only)
- First Bus: 10.30am
- Last Bus: 3.30pm
Botanic Garden / Lady Norwood Rose Garden
- First Bus: 10.35am
- Last Bus: 3.35pm
Parliament / Old St Pauls Cathedral
- First Bus: 10.47am
- Last Bus: 3.47pm
- First Bus: 10.35am
- Last Bus: 3.53pm
- First Bus: 10.57am
- Last Bus: 3.57pm
There's just so much to see and do in New Zealand be it a visit to the North or South Island, from Wellington, Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch or the Milford sound. New Zealand really is a must visit destination for any traveler.
There is a great range of accommodation options in and around Wellington, so check out booking.com to secure the best rates around.