Top 10 things to do in Wellington when you’re not drinking Pinot
Wellington isn’t known as ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ for nothing. Spend some time either side of Pinot, and get amongst all that’s great about our nations’ capital. Here are our top 10 tips.
- Take in the stunning views from Mount Victoria lookout
Get your bearings at Wellington’s iconic Mount Victoria lookout where you can see the city, Hutt Valley and Cook Strait. Mount Victoria is a short drive with easy parking, or a 30-minute walk through beautiful bush and a pine forest with plenty of spots to relax at the peak.
Note: The walk up Mount Victoria to the lookout takes you through a forest environment on unpaved, sloped paths. Please be aware of your surroundings and wear footwear and clothing appropriate for outdoor pursuits. Follow all signage and stick to the paths. Only attempt this walk if you have a reasonable level of fitness as it involves an uphill walk of around 30 minutes. One of the best places to start the walk is from the park at the top of Majoribanks Street.
Address: Lookout Road, Mount Victoria, Wellington
- Explore New Zealand’s history at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Visit Te Papa and experience New Zealand in one building at this bold and innovative museum. Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum, where you can explore the great stories of this fascinating land and the people who live there. The past, present and future are exhibited in provocative, challenging and entertaining ways. Be sure to pop in to the Te Papa Store for high-quality souvenirs, books, clothing, jewellery, and treasures.
Address: 55 Cable Street, Wellington
- Go behind-the-scenes on a Weta Studio Tour
Weta Studio Tours is the ultimate destination for exciting, immersive filmmaking experiences in Wellington, New Zealand. From Middle-earth to Tracy Island and beyond, Weta Studio Tours reveal the creativity behind the movie magic.
Join the Weta Workshop crew on an exclusive behind-the-scenes Weta Cave Workshop Tour to see the authentic practical effects created for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, District 9, Elysium, and more, or visit the Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-the-Scenes Experience to see an authentic shooting stage and discover the Weta Workshop models and miniatures behind the popular TV series.
Address: 1 Weka Street, Miramar, Wellington
- See rare birds, reptiles and insects at Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience
Just minutes from central Wellington, step into a nature lover’s paradise and ground-breaking restoration project at the award-winning Zealandia eco-attraction. See some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, reptiles and insects living wild in their natural environment in The Sanctuary Valley. Visitors can also step back 1,000 years to the ‘day before humans arrived’ in The Exhibition, and discover Zealandia’s story, 80 million years in the making.
Address: 53 Waiapu Rd, Karori, Wellington
- See the works of Cindy Sherman at City Gallery
Cindy Sherman has changed the face of contemporary art, by constantly manipulating her own image. For over forty years she has used herself as her own model in staged photographs, transforming her appearance through makeup, costumes, wigs, prostheses, and more recently, digital effects. Cindy Sherman is a major exhibition of Sherman’s photography since 2000, the moment where she returned to photographing herself after a decade of willful absenteeism from her own work. It features seven major series where Sherman investigates a range of new and troublesome ‘types’ (socialites, fashion victims, clowns), and includes her collaborations with fashion houses Balenciaga and Chanel.
Address: Civic Square, Wakefield Street, Wellington
- Ride the iconic Wellington Cable Car
One of Wellington’s most popular tourist attractions, the Wellington Cable Car runs from Lambton Quay in the commercial heart of the city and emerges at the top of the Wellington Botanic Garden for a stunning view of the capital. Take a ride between 7pm and 9.30pm to be dazzled by light shows which depict famous Wellington events in the tunnels.
Address: 280 Lambton Quay, Wellington
- Wander the Wellington Waterfront
Blessed with a beautiful natural harbour the Wellington waterfront is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Many activities are based around the waterfront from harbour cruises, strolling from Queens Wharf to Oriental Bay, and swimming at the golden sand beach to rollerblading and rock-climbing for the more adventurous. Many prefer to grab a coffee or gelato and sit back and enjoy beautiful views of the Wellington Harbour and cityscape.
- Visit the ‘world’s tastiest laneway’
Explore Hannahs Laneway and see why it’s been dubbed ‘Little Portland’. This cosy culinary hub is home to bakers, roasters, grinders, brewers, chocolatiers, pizza slingers and soda crafters, who work collaboratively together to bring life to a former industrial quarter. Some of the boutique kitchens you’ll find in the laneway include the Wellington Chocolate Factory, Six Barrel Soda, Fix and Fogg, and Leeds Street Bakery.
Eva Street and Leeds Street, Wellington
- Explore the local craft beer scene
Wellington has a growing number of bars that specialise in serving quality craft beers. The local brews are front and centre, but you can also taste distinctive beers made by independent micro-breweries from New Zealand and around the world. Head to Malthouse, Fork & Brewer, Golding’s Free Dive, Hashigo Zake and Garage Project’s Taproom, to try some of our favourite brews.
- Discover some of the world’s best coffee
With cafes on almost every corner, it’s fair to say we love our coffee in Wellington. And the rest of the world agrees, with CNN recently naming us one of the top 8 international coffee destinations. Here are a few of the best places to try a local roast; Customs Brew Bar for Supreme Coffee, Milk Crate for Rich Coffee, L’affare for L’affare Coffee, The Flight Coffee Hangar and Memphis Belle for Flight Coffee, Lamason for espresso and siphon brewed coffee, Fidel’s for Havana, Prefab for Acme & Co, The waterfront for Mojo Coffee, Leeds St Bakery for Red Rabbit Coffee Company.