Mount Victoria Lookout#4 in Best Things To Do in Wellington
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.
Visiting the lookout is free. The walk to the top takes a little more than 20 minutes, and you can hop on the trail in a few different places, including just off the central business district from Majoribanks Street, where you will see signs for the Southern and Summit walkways. If you want to drive, just head up Alexandra Road (which turns into the aptly named Lookout Road). There is ample free parking at the peak. You can also hop aboard Metlink's No. 20 bus from the city center. Visit Wellington's tourism website to find out more.
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#1 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.
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.
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