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Wellington City

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini Melbourne, this (self-described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food, and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner-city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

Head to Te Papa Museum for a history lesson and a ticket to one of its many international exhibitions or jump aboard the Wellington Cable Car at Lambton Quay - the only running funicular railway in the country. For those with an eye for boutique, fashion wander through Cuba St to sample some of the city's best vintage stores. Break for coffee at a hipster cafe and be sure to snap a pic outside the ‘Beehive,’ New Zealand’s parliamentary debate chamber.

Go behind the scenes at Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award Winning design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and Avatar. We recommend a 45 minute guided tour through both the Workshop and Weta Cave. If you're a foodie at heart, a two-hour round trip to Martinborough is a must-do. Take your time as you wind through spectacular wine country, and be sure to stop in at Martinborough Wines or Ata Rangi Martinborough. For an educational day out, learn about New Zealand's native species at Zealandia - the world's first fully-fenced eco-sanctuary and home to over 40 types of endangered and native birds.

Zealandia By Night Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

Zealandia By Night Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

Taking a night tour of Zealandia wildlife eco-sanctuary is an unforgettable experience and one that comes highly recommended. A conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals, Zealandia is home to many remarkable species of birds, reptiles and insects living wild within a beautiful 225 hectare (one square mile) valley - just 10 minutes from the central city.
Your tour begins with an interactive exhibition before you walk through the gates of Zealandia predator-exclusion fence into the sanctuary. Your guide will then lead you on a torch-light walk through the native New Zealand bush. Possible sights include Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, glowworms shining, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pateke (brown teal) ducks feeding at night and kaka (parrots) coming in to roost. Zealandia is one of the best places to see kiwi in the wild. Over 100 of these nocturnal birds live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of the sanctuary valley - so your chances of seeing one is high!

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train: Wellington to Auckland

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train: Wellington to Auckland

The Northern Explorer is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Wellington, New Zealand's arts and culture capital and Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from panoramic windows or open air viewing decks. All carriages feature large panoramic windows giving sweeping views of the magnificent North Island. The Observation Carriage includes a mix of seating including lounge-style seating. The lounge-style seating is arranged at the very rear of this glass-backed carriage enabling you to enjoy a totally unique Northern Explorer experience.

Guided Tour of Te Papa The Museum of New Zealand

Guided Tour of Te Papa The Museum of New Zealand

Discover New Zealand's rich history and cultures through Te Papa's world-leading exhibitions and treasures. Beginning over one hundred million years ago, join your guide on a journey through New Zealand's rich history and cultures. Hear stories of our tenacious wildlife, the resilience of the Maori people, and artistic interpretations of life in the South Pacific.

Wellington Cable Car

Wellington Cable Car

For over a hundred years passengers have enjoyed the dramatic views of the growing cityscape and the surrounding hills that define Wellington's harbour. A five minute trip on the cable car to the top of the Kelburn Hill offers a charming escape from the busy city streets. From here you can enjoy views of the city & harbour Te Whanganui-a-Tara from the indoor or outdoor platforms, visit the Cable Car Museum and Space Place at Carter Observatory.

Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour with Hammonds

Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour with Hammonds

The perfect introduction to Wellington City! See Wellington through the eyes of a local on this tour. Experience the best attractions and must see landmarks of this vibrant city and get off the tourist trail. Gain a 360° view of the city from Mount Victoria, experience the rugged south coast seas and explore interesting quaint villages throughout the city. Take a ride on the famous cable car (optional at own cost) but most of all sit back and enjoy Wellington at its finest.

Interislander Ferry: Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train: Picton to Kaikoura

Interislander Ferry: Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train: Picton to Kaikoura

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you cross the Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds. Then board the Coastal Pacific train for your journey between the delightful port of Picton and Kaikoura, this leg is a scenic feast with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other.

Lord Of The Rings Full Day Tour - Wellington

Lord Of The Rings Full Day Tour - Wellington

With some of the best Lord of the Rings tours Wellington has to offer, you will not be disappointed on this tour. You'll visit local filming locations, view a short documentary showing the filmmaking exploits of Peter Jackson and his remarkable team and be guided through the sights and sounds of the Weta Workshop in Miramar. This is followed by a fascinating 'Window into the workshop' exhibition, showing film props and weaponry, with the artists themselves describing how the artefacts were created. After a local lunch, head north into the Hutt Valley following the 'River Anduin' and take in the sights of 'Helms Deep', before stopping at the 'Gardens of Isengard'. Your final destination is 'Rivendell and the Legolas tree' before returning to Wellywood.

Lord Of The Rings Half Day Tour - Wellington

Lord Of The Rings Half Day Tour - Wellington

With some of the best Lord of the Rings tours Wellington has to offer, you will not be disappointed on this tour. You'll visit local filming locations, view a short documentary showing the filmmaking exploits of Peter Jackson and his remarkable team and be guided through the sights and sounds of the Weta Workshop in Miramar. This is followed by a fascinating 'Window into the workshop' exhibition, showing film props and weaponry, with the artists themselves describing how the artefacts were created.

70 Minute Casual Sail with Megisti Sailing Charters

70 Minute Casual Sail with Megisti Sailing Charters

Board the Megisti, a luxury 42 foot catamaran for an exciting cruise through the Wellington Harbour. Enjoy incredible panoramic views of the capital city as you relax and sail in style. Have your camera at the ready as little blue penguins, dolphins and orca regularly visit the area - an incredible sight not to be missed!

Afternoon Craft Beer Tour

Afternoon Craft Beer Tour

Take a scenic drive around Oriental Parade to the Lyall Bay and the Parrot Dog Brewery for a tasting and talk with the brewery's knowledgeable staff.
Continue the tour along the rugged south coast and back into the city to Garage Project Brewery, recently voted the country's top Craft Beer brewery, where you taste from their extensive and experimental range.
Next, it's off to Panhead's Tory St brewery to taste amongst other beers, their Supercharger APA, regularly voted NZ's best craft beer. Final orders are at The Fork and Brewer who have over 30 of their beers on tap as well as special beers on their two hand pull pumps. Finish at 5pm at your Wellington location of choice, which may just happen to be another craft beer bar.

Interislander Ferry: Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train: Picton to Kaikoura

Interislander Ferry: Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train: Picton to Kaikoura

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you cross the Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds. Then board the Coastal Pacific train for your journey between the delightful port of Picton and Kaikoura, this leg is a scenic feast with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other.

Martinborough Wine Tour

Martinborough Wine Tour

Take a trip through rural countryside to a choice of over 20 wineries. Where you can sample some award-winning wines, including the Pinot Noirs that the region is famous for. This will be a day to remember full of good food, wine and plenty of laughs. 

Otari Native Botanic Gardens - Wiltons Bush

Otari Native Botanic Gardens - Wiltons Bush

Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. The Garden is a unique plant sanctuary and forest reserve and includes 100 hectares of native forest and 5 hectares of plant collections. Some of Wellington's oldest trees are here, including an 800-year-old Rimu.

Otari-Wilton’s Bush was originally covered with dense podocarp broadleaf forest. Maori used the forest for hunting and the name Otari means ‘Place of Snares’.
Following European colonisation, some of the large trees were removed for timber and others were burnt off for farmland. One of the early landowners, Job Wilton, preserved seven hectares of the original forest and fenced it off. This became known as Wilton’s Bush.

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club

Known as one of the best links courses in the Southern Hempisphere, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club is an international standard course set within the dunes of Wellington's spectacular Kapiti Coast. Designed by Alex Russel, the green has hosted the New Zealand Open 12 times.  It also offers a clubhouse with well equipped locker rooms, a bar and a restaurant.

Space Place at Carter Observatory - Museums Wellington

Space Place at Carter Observatory - Museums Wellington

At Space Place you'll hear stories of southern skies through multimedia exhibits, interactive galleries, the historic Thomas Cooke telescope and digital, full-dome planetarium. Learn about planets, stars, constellations and galaxies. Complete your trip through the galaxy with gripping stories of space exploration and the magic and science of Māori astronomy.

Taste Buds for Foodies Tour

Taste Buds for Foodies Tour

The name says it all - if you're a foodie (well, aren't we all?) this is the tour for you. Discover locally-made treats and secret spots in Petone and Wellington. Price includes lunch with refreshments plus tasting fees.

Walking tracks in and around Wellington City

Walking tracks in and around Wellington City

Wellington city has a number of walking tracks that explore the Town Belt Forest, the harbour and city suburbs.

Botanic Gardens

Home to over 26 hectares of unique landscape, exotic forests, native bush, colourful floral displays and magnificent views.  Within the gardens you can explore the Sculpture Trail, there are seven major works by some of New Zealand's foremost sculptors set in the open grounds of the gardens. The Botanic Gardens are open daily from sunrise to sunset and entry is free. 

Mount Victoria Loop

Distance 4.7km, Time 2.5 hours

This loop includes sections of the Hataitai to City Walkway and the Southern Walkway and will take you to the Mount Victoria lookout for fantastic views of the city. 

Matiu/Somes Island Loop Track

Time 40 minutes of walking, not including the ferry ride to the island.

This track takes you around Matiu/Somes Island, offering spectacular views across Wellington Harbour to Wellington and Hutt cities. Pause along the way to check out the island’s historic and ecological attractions, including introduced wildlife which are thriving amongst the native vegetation.  There are daily ferries to and from Matiu/Somes Island should you want to explore.

Southern Walkway

Distance 11km; Time 4-5 hours to complete the entire walk – but shorter sections can be walked.

The Southern Walkway follows the Town Belt forest between Oriental Bay and Island Bay. The greatest attraction of this walkway is the variety of scenery, from views of the harbour and central city at Oriental Bay, the shade and tranquillity of the Town Belt forest to the rugged and exposed Southern coastline between Houghton and Island Bays.  Shorter sections of this can be walked depending on time available and your interests. 

City to Sea Walkway

Distance 12km; Time 6-7 hours to complete the entire walk – but shorter sections can be walked.

You can choose to walk shorter sections of this walkway depending on time and interests and in either direction. Starting in the heart of the city near Parliament and finishing at Island Bay on the south Coast, this walkway passes through the Botanic Gardens, Victoria University, historic Aro Valley and many parks and reserves. You will get spectacular views of central Wellington, Mount Victoria, Mount Kaukau and the Cook Strait.

Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens

The Wellington Botanic Gardens are home to over 26 hectares of exceptional views, unique landscape, exotic forests, native bush, and specialist gardens. One of the oldest botanic gardens in New Zealand, this central city garden was established in 1868. The conifer species were planted as part of a programme to import plant species and assess their economic potential to the new colony. The very large specimens of Pinus radiata that dominate the landscape were grown from the first seed of that species to be imported from California. A feature of the gardens are major seasonal floral displays, spectacular in spring, with a massed display of 30,000 tulips. In summer, the Lady Norwood Rose garden provides a colourful spectacle with 106 formal beds each containing a different cultivar. Adjacent is a large Begonia House displaying tropical and temperate plants and a tropical conservatory with a seasonal display of orchids. Victoria amazonica, the giant water lily can be found here. There are several key attractions in the garden that visitors can experience such as glow worms in the Main Garden, public art throughout the garden, children's play area, Botanic Garden Cafe located in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden and the Carter Observatory. The information centre is located in the spectacular Tree House and nearby there is a rock garden, an extensive fern collection and a camellia walk. There are extensive, well-maintained, walking paths throughout the garden.

Wellington free day museums

Wellington free day museums

Te Papa
Te Papa means 'our place' and is considered to be the 'museum of New Zealand'. The building opened in 1998 and since then has shown millions of visitors it's fascinating and unique collection of New Zealand's art, history, memorabilia, natural wonders, treasures and stories as well as hosting many international displays.
One of the finest collections of Maori artefacts can be found here as well as displays dedicated to the many different cultures that make up New Zealand's current population. Make sure you allow enough time to explore museums many floors. The museum is open 10am to 6pm and is free to visit. A small fee may be applicable to some short term visiting displays.

Wellington Museum
Housed in the iconic Bond Store on Wellington’s waterfront, the Museum of Wellington is dedicated to the preservation and study of Wellington’s rich social and cultural history. It provides a backdrop for the permanent display of the people and events that have made Wellington what it is today. The Museum’s atmosphere is thick with history. The Bond Store dates back to 1892, when it was a cargo warehouse and head office of the Harbour Board. Careful restoration has preserved the building’s striking facade, as well as solid timber beams and the original flooring inside. The latest technology is used to further stimulate your senses. Traditional displays sit alongside interactive exhibits, holographs and a giant cinema screen that stretches the length and breadth of an entire wall, a feature unique in Australasia. The collection includes over 95,000 items. Open 10am to 5pm entry is free. 

New Zealand Portrait Gallery
The New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata is a small gallery which tells the stories of New Zealanders through the art of portraiture. The Gallery is located in Shed 11 on Wellington’s waterfront.
Open 10:30am to 4:30pm daily, entry is free.

City Gallery Wellington
Showing art that is sometimes challenging and always captivating from some of the world’s leading artists, City Gallery Wellington is known for world-class exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand and international art. It is located in Te Ngākau Civic Square and is open daily, 11am to 5pm.

Wellington Full Day Tour

Wellington Full Day Tour

Witness the best sights of New Zealand's capital city up close and personal, before experiencing the beauty of the coastline that surrounds central Wellington and its harbour. On this tour, you will head for the hills of Mt Victoria to witness the stunning landscape of Wellington and its harbour below. You will then follow the coastline round to the Weta Cave Museum, which is the showpiece of Peter Jackson's film empire, for a fascinating behind the scenes tour of the workshop. Lunch is had by the ocean, at the renowned Chocolate Fish cafe. After a drive around the south coast to see the Red Rocks and seal colony (when in season between May and October), you will head back into the city for a ride on the Cable Car and a walk around the lady Norwood rose gardens. Next, you will visit the Beehive and our Parliament buildings, as well as Wellington's oldest church, Old St Pauls. Finally, you will head out west to the Wright Hills fortress, a historic military site with commanding views of the greater Wellington region.

Wellington Half Day Tour

Wellington Half Day Tour

Witness the best sights of New Zealand's capital city up close and personal, before experiencing the beauty of the coastline that surrounds central Wellington and its harbour. On this tour, you will head for the hills of Mt Victoria to witness the stunning landscape of Wellington and its harbour below. You will then follow the coastline round to the Weta Cave Museum, which is the showpiece of Peter Jackson's film empire. After a drive around the south coast, you will head back into the city for a ride on the Cable Car and a walk around the lady Norwood rose gardens. The tour concludes with a visit to the Beehive and our Parliament buildings.

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