If you have ever flown into New Zealand’s capital city when the wind is blowing across the Cook Strait you will know why Wellington is commonly referred to as the windy city! It can get a little bumpy on approach! Wellington has much to offer visitors to the area interested in learning more about New Zealand history, culture and wildlife.
Top 5 tourist spots in Wellington
- Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand)
- Cable Car and Botanic Garden
- Wellington Zoo
- Wellington Museum
Te Papa is a must-see for anyone visiting Wellington. The museum boasts a stunning selection of permanent displays along with visiting exhibitions. Te Papa museum is free to enter, although some visiting exhibits may charge a fee. Highlights include the natural disaster section with lots of information about earthquakes and the impact of other natural disasters in New Zealand. Try out the earthquake simulator if you are brave enough!
The museum has its very own earthquake damage preventative measures, including giant shock absorbers that you can view. Long-term exhibits include the Treaty of Waitangi, a national art collection, and bush city – a living, growing exhibition exploring native bush and volcanic landscapes. Visit Te Marae and Manu Whenua for insight into the rich culture of the Maori, the original people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
The base of the Wellington Cable Car is about 15 minutes walk from Te Papa and is next on the list of must-see places to visit in Wellington. The Cable Car is New Zealand’s only running funicular (cliff railway with the ascending and descending cars counterbalancing each other) railway and in 5 minutes it takes you from Lambton Quay to Kelburn Hill at the top. At 119m above the city you are rewarded with stunning views across Wellington and have easy access to the Cable Car Museum, the Botanic Garden, and the Carter Observatory and Zealandia.
Zealandia is a short 25 minute walk from the Cable Car or you can hop on the free shuttle which takes only 5 minutes. Zealandia is an eco-restoration project and education facility set in 225 hectares of natural bush. Wheelchair friendly paths are available, as are walks for day trampers. Zealandia is providing a safe haven for many of New Zealand’s wildlife species that are under threat in their natural habitat; made possible by a specially designed fence to keep out mammalian pests, including domestic cats.
To see more of New Zealand’s wildlife and exotic species from around the world, then Wellington Zoo should be on your list of top spots to visit in Wellington as a tourist. With daily keeper talks and feeding times there is much to see and learn about at the zoo. For a close-up encounter you can pay a little extra and get friendly with the giraffes, lions, cheetahs, lemurs, red pandas and meerkats.
Te Papa is not the only museum in Wellington. If you go up the Cable Car you can visit the Cable Car Museum and the Carter Observatory at the top but there is also the Wellington Museum to visit on the waterfront as well as Nairn Street Cottage. Wellington Museum is free to enter but there is a small charge to enter Wellington’s oldest original cottage.
An easy way to take in all that the region has to offer visitors is to book a coach hire from Wellington and explore further afield. To easily explore Wellington by coach tours contact Kapiti Coach Tours. Visit www.kapiticoachtours.co.nz for more information about bus companies servicing Kapiti and the wider Wellington region.