Free Things To Do in Wellington
- #1View all Photos#1 in WellingtonMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
Many recent visitors said the museum offers something for everyone, whether young or old, local or tourist. The museum restaurants, restrooms and souvenir shops earn high praise as well.
- #2View all Photos
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.
Previous visitors offered favorable reviews of the small but breathtaking Wellington Botanic Garden. Not only did travelers find the flora spectacular, they also appreciated the exercise the many trails afforded them. If you're a fan of tulips, past visitors suggest arriving in September when these vivid plants are in bloom.
- #3View all Photos#3 in WellingtonBeaches, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors appreciated how "tucked away" this beach feels, even though it's just a short distance from downtown Wellington. They also enjoyed the beach's proximity to restaurants and cafes. What's more, reviewers praised its kid-friendly waters and relaxing atmosphere.
- #4View all Photos#4 in WellingtonFree, Hiking, SightseeingTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDFree, Hiking, SightseeingTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
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.
Recent visitors recommend hiking up the Mount Victoria Lookout on a nice day, since the summit will leave you exposed to the elements. Most said that although there are a few steep portions of the trail, the views at the top are worth the exertion. Travelers are divided on the best time to enjoy Mount Victoria: Some said the quiet morning is the best, while others suggest arriving late in the day to watch the sun set here.
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