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Best Things To Do in Wellington

Travelers to Wellington won't be short on things to do. Whether you want to laze around Oriental Bay Beach or learn something new at the Museum of New Zealand, there is something for everyone in Wellington. You can also stop and literally smell the roses at the Wellington Botanic Garden. And for an overview of the entire city, travelers can hop aboard the Wellington Cable Car or ascend the Mount Victoria Lookout.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Wellington

Free
The Museum of New Zealand – which also goes by its Maori name, Te Papa Tongarewa, translated as "Container of Treasures" – is just that: a beautiful modern building filled with artifacts and art by predominantly New Zealand artists that piece together both the natural and anthropological history of the country. Of special note are the museum's collections of 20th-century New Zealand paintings and its early New Zealand photography. But its historic collections, including textiles that date back to the 18th century, its Maori tribal carvings and its taxonomic preservation of New Zealand's flora and fauna, are also must-sees.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Museum of New Zealand
The Museum of New Zealand – which also goes by its Maori name, Te Papa Tongarewa, translated as "Container of Treasures" – is just that: a beautiful modern building filled with artifacts and art by predominantly New Zealand artists that piece together both the natural and anthropological history of the country. Of special note are the museum's collections of 20th-century New Zealand paintings and its early New Zealand photography. But its historic collections, including textiles that date back to the 18th century, its Maori tribal carvings and its taxonomic preservation of New Zealand's flora and fauna, are also must-sees.
... more

#2

#2 in Wellington

Free
The Wellington Botanic Garden spans 60-some acres, fanning out north of Wellington's central business district. The gardens are filled with everything from cacti and roses to tulips and magnolias. Plus, there are gorgeous, wide trails that weave throughout the property, making the experience of viewing all of the flowers, plants and trees even more enjoyable. The on-site cafe is also a great place for a coffee or lunch, according to some recent travelers.
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Wellington Botanic Garden
The Wellington Botanic Garden spans 60-some acres, fanning out north of Wellington's central business district. The gardens are filled with everything from cacti and roses to tulips and magnolias. Plus, there are gorgeous, wide trails that weave throughout the property, making the experience of viewing all of the flowers, plants and trees even more enjoyable. The on-site cafe is also a great place for a coffee or lunch, according to some recent travelers.
... more

#3

#3 in Wellington

Free
Oriental Bay Beach is Wellington's most popular beach, mostly because it's so close to central Wellington and features a pristine promenade. Even if it's too cold or windy to swim, travelers can enjoy sinking their toes in the sand or simply take in the view from the nearby Boat Café.
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Oriental Bay Beach
Oriental Bay Beach is Wellington's most popular beach, mostly because it's so close to central Wellington and features a pristine promenade. Even if it's too cold or windy to swim, travelers can enjoy sinking their toes in the sand or simply take in the view from the nearby Boat Café.
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#4

#4 in Wellington

Free
Every great city needs a great lookout – and Mount Victoria, which rises more than 640 feet above sea level, is the place to find that awe-inspiring, panoramic view of Wellington and its surrounds. Once you reach the summit, which you can drive or hike up year-round, you'll enjoy an awesome vista of the city, the harbor, and the rolling hills and valleys that wrap around Wellington.
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Hiking Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Mount Victoria Lookout
Every great city needs a great lookout – and Mount Victoria, which rises more than 640 feet above sea level, is the place to find that awe-inspiring, panoramic view of Wellington and its surrounds. Once you reach the summit, which you can drive or hike up year-round, you'll enjoy an awesome vista of the city, the harbor, and the rolling hills and valleys that wrap around Wellington.
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#5

#5 in Wellington

ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, established in 1999, is the world's first fenced urban ecosanctuary. Spanning more than 500 acres, ZEALANDIA aims to preserve Wellington's valleys, forests and freshwater and restore them to their natural state. Since opening, the sanctuary has reintroduced 18 species of wildlife back into area. Visitors have the opportunity to walk through the preserved and protected ecosystem, catching glimpses of rare species, such as saddlebacks and stitchbirds, along the way.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary, established in 1999, is the world's first fenced urban ecosanctuary. Spanning more than 500 acres, ZEALANDIA aims to preserve Wellington's valleys, forests and freshwater and restore them to their natural state. Since opening, the sanctuary has reintroduced 18 species of wildlife back into area. Visitors have the opportunity to walk through the preserved and protected ecosystem, catching glimpses of rare species, such as saddlebacks and stitchbirds, along the way.
... more

#6

#6 in Wellington

The century-old Wellington Cable Car is a great way to get an overview of the city, as it runs from Lambton Quay in downtown Wellington up to Kelburn. It's also a scenic way to reach top attractions, such as the Wellington Botanic Garden and ZEALANDIA Sanctuary. There are five stops along the cable car route. At the top, visitors will be treated to a viewing platform, the free Cable Car Museum and a small cafe.
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Wellington Cable Car
The century-old Wellington Cable Car is a great way to get an overview of the city, as it runs from Lambton Quay in downtown Wellington up to Kelburn. It's also a scenic way to reach top attractions, such as the Wellington Botanic Garden and ZEALANDIA Sanctuary. There are five stops along the cable car route. At the top, visitors will be treated to a viewing platform, the free Cable Car Museum and a small cafe.
... more
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