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ZEALANDIA picture in Wellington
Grant Reaburn / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Museums, Recreation, Tours Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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.

Many described this sanctuary as a magical place found just a stone's throw from the city. Some highly recommend splurging for a guided tour, as the passionate guides bring the sanctuary to life.

You can reach ZEALANDIA Sanctuary via public bus and cable car. (A free shuttle travels between the attraction and the nearest cable car stop.) The property is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission costs 19.50 New Zealand dollars (or about $13.50), while child admission is NZ$10 (the equivalent of about $7). Kids 4 and younger get in for free. Travelers should keep in mind that the self-guided admission is valid for two consecutive days. Guided day and night tours range in cost from NZ$27.50 to NZ$40 (or $19 to $28) per child to NZ$55 to NZ$85 (or $38.50 to $59) for each adult. On-site facilities include a cafe and a gift shop. To find out more, visit ZEALANDIA Sanctuary's website.

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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 ... Read more » Courtesy the Museum of New Zealand

#2 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 ... Read more » new zealand transition / Getty Images

#3 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 ... Read more » Image courtesy of Wellington Travel Bureau

#4 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 ... Read more » Steve Clancy Photography / Getty Images

#5 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 ... Read more » Grant Reaburn / Getty Images

#6 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 ... Read more » Anna Yu / Getty Images

Museum of New Zealand picture in Wellington
Wellington Botanic Garden picture in Wellington
Oriental Bay Beach picture in Wellington
Mount Victoria Lookout picture in Wellington
ZEALANDIA picture in Wellington
Cable Car picture in Wellington
Museum of New Zealand picture in Wellington
Wellington Botanic Garden picture in Wellington
Oriental Bay Beach picture in Wellington
Mount Victoria Lookout picture in Wellington
ZEALANDIA picture in Wellington
Cable Car picture in Wellington

The Museum of New Zealand houses some of the country's greatest art and artifacts. Courtesy the Museum of New Zealand

The small but lovely Wellington Botanic Garden teems with flowers, plants and trees, with numerous footpaths winding throughout. new zealand transition / Getty Images

For some beach time, travelers should look no further than Oriental Bay Beach, which is considered one of New Zealand's best. Image courtesy of Wellington Travel Bureau

This is the view that awaits travelers who reach the Mount Victoria Lookout. Steve Clancy Photography / Getty Images

Visitors can commune with native birds at the ZEALANDIA Sanctuary. Grant Reaburn / Getty Images

For a scenic overview of Wellington, hop aboard the iconic Wellington Cable Car. Anna Yu / Getty Images

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