This downtown city in New Zealand boasts an area which is easy to walk through and explore. The architecture varies from the 19th century style wooden cottages to latest masterpieces across the city. So many places to visit here that you won’t get time to explore the city thoroughly. View of the city from the scenic Mount Victoria is one of the best sights of Wellington. The museums, the cafes and the nightlife with vibrant colors and the sea all add to the wonderful liveliness of this city.
When To Go:
The summers in Wellington are quite pleasant with the average temperature going just a little above 20 degrees Celsius. In the winters the minimum temperature is just slightly below 6 degrees Celsius, making it quite chilly in the city. During the winters the winds are a major factor as these winds can turn into gales making it difficult to go out and explore the city. Rainfall is high during the months of May till August. The best time to visit the city would be during autumn and spring where the rainfall is low thus making it easy to move about the city, the temperatures aren’t too high or too low, the winds are pleasant and welcoming and the city is fully alive.
Here is a list of the top things to do in the city of Wellington:
World of Wearable Art
The World of Wearable Art opened up in the city of Wellington in 2001 becoming a major tourist attraction. The gallery exhibits the garments and adornments of the World of Wearable Art Show which is held annually in the country during September. It began in Nelson in the year 0f 1987 after which it became an annual event. The show extends to more than 11 and people all over the country and from across the world. The idea of the World of Wearable Art was conceived by the sculptor from Nelson named Suzy Moncrieff as a part of a promotion of a rural art gallery.
She came with the idea of taking art off from the wall and making humans adorn it and flaunt it. With time this show has become one of the most dynamic events in the country. To actually appreciate the style and glamour of the show and clothes you have to be present and watch it all on stage. The pictures and videos put up don’t show the actual fun. So try to make it to the show or go through the vast gallery and be amazed by the creative clothing designs.
Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)
This exquisite and unique museum is not like any other museum. Withholding history of the country dating back to thousands of years the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) is vast and highly interesting to visit and walk through. There is a section in the museum where presentations are put up explaining the earthquakes, the formation of land and how human life came into being. The displays are highly interactive especially for children, which explain history and each of the exhibits in a very detailed manner.
The museum covers almost all ranges of possible topics which include flora, fauna, settlement, history, fashion, marine, geology, music, culture and different eras. You can go and experience an earthquake itself within the museum and learn its effects and causes. The giant squid is one of the best natural specimens placed in the museum. The entrance to the museum is free. The true history and culture about the Maori roots of the country can be learnt here in detail. You can spend more than half your day and be fully entertained. Find some snacks inside and delve in the history of the city with enthusiastic fun.
If you climb the famous Mount Victoria of Wellington you can get a wonderful panoramic view of the city at all 360 degrees. Watch the city life going on about from this serene place a little away from the main city. The mountain is part of the Wellington Town Belt which was land set aside in 1841 during the colonial rule of New Zealand for the recreation of the public inhabitants of the city. People usually go here for walking, jogging or cycling. The loop walk to the mountain top is about 2 and a half hour and is excellent for those who are just averagely fit.
Along the walk you can view some special parts of the city, the harbor and other places. Reaching the top will mesmerize you. The full and complete view of Wellington is bound to amaze you. The scenic sight requires a camera so don’t forget yours while going here. If you don’t want to walk to the top, you can take a bus too. Just don’t miss out on the amazing experience of getting a full view of the surroundings of the city and the city itself.
Old St. Paul’s Church
This church is one of the great architectural pieces inherited by the city. Old St. Paul’s Church was the first Anglican church of Wellington and is a classic Gothic Revival church built in 1845. Made from wood this building is just beautiful to look at and the architecture, style and surroundings in the church leave one speechless. Old St. Paul’s Church was designed by a parish vicar Reverend Frederick Thatcher. The simple white exterior prepares one for a very dramatic and amazing interior all in wood.
The use of native timbers inside is very much bold with the wood of the piers forming trusses and curving upwards to meet in the centre of the roof making it look like a hull of an upturned boat. The stained glass of the building is another highlighting factor which makes the building extremely glamorous. These vibrantly colored windows and glass surround the apse and south of the church. It no longer does the regular Sunday services but is mostly used for funerals and weddings by people. Visit this church and be struck by its marvel of architecture.
Wellington Botanic Garden
This lovely garden covers more than 25 hectares of land with views that you have never seen before, landscapes that are highly unique, forests, native bushes, specialist gardens and colorful flower displays. If you want peace and tranquility this is the place you should definitely go to. The Wellington Botanic Garden was established in 1844 and is home to the most exotic plants and trees in New Zealand. At night this garden is alive with wonderful illumination and colorful lights that bring this nature to life and make it one of the most visited places at night.
During the day you can get a tour of this marvelous place. You will find a herb garden, the native and exotic forests being complemented by duck ponds, a begonia house and café with lovely snacks, an Australian garden and the award winning Lady Norwood Rose Garden. While walking through the garden you will find many sculptures and many stunning views of the harbor and the city. In the evening you will find glow worms along the shady areas of the parks. Relax on the benches and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this heavenly place.
Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience
The Karori Sanctuary is the place where rare and exotic species of animals are kept safe and are conserved from being extinct. These species are flourishing in their natural habitat in the wild which is specially maintained for their protection. You can wander through this wild habitat of the animals and find very scenic spots, enjoy the peace and tranquility of the surroundings, relax at the café with some coffee while overlooking the beautiful lake and go to the museum. Take a boat ride or go for ranging in this uniquely lovely place.
Zealandia is a mainland island which is a forest surrounded by a fence to separate it from the rest of the area. With 32 kilometers of different tracks to choose from the Karori Sanctuary Experience provides its visitors with a whole range of activities to choose from. Going to this place you can spend your day well while sightseeing and also relax in the natural surroundings of the sanctuary while also admiring the rare species of birds and animals kept safe there. Don’t miss out on exciting fun in this exotic area.
The best place to view and enjoy the sea. The sparkling and clear blue waters are alluring for anyone going to the city. You will find many locals going by walking or jogging along the sea especially on weekends. The best part of going to the Oriental Bay is the special ice cream which rounds up your day perfectly. Plan a picnic by the sea. Just lie down in the white sands of the shore, go for a swim or just walk into the sea. You can relax here after a hectic day or just take a break from all the sightseeing in the city.
The sunset view from here is classic and worth watching. Right at the bay you will find many small restaurants and bars which offer the finest seafood in the city of Wellington. Just walk around and enjoy your time with some lovely things to find. You will even find some small shops and hacks to buy things from. The Oriental Bay is a relief from the busy and noisy city itself and is a hub for people to come and just relax at the end of the week. So go here and enjoy the pleasant breezes coming from the sea and get the sea experience.
Matiu Somes Island
This lovely little exotic island was given its Maori name by Kupe more than 1000 years ago. After the Europeans settled in here the island was named after the Deputy Governor Joseph Somes of New Zealand and later on the names were combined to become the Matiu Somes Island. The location makes it an ideal spot for the first inner harbor lighthouse in New Zealand. Moreover, there is a military defense position, an internment camp and an animal quarantine station. In 1995 the island became open for the public revealing whatever secrets it had which are now open for the people to explore.
Go to the Matiu Somes Island on a ferry; plan a proper picnic on this spot where you can get a 360 degree view of the harbor making it a much more scenic place. Find some rare species of New Zealand as well and explore the island with the little things built on it. Visit the monument to pay your respects to those who died while they were confined on the island. Learn the war history of New Zealand on this pretty little island with its deep secrets.
The Embassy Theatre, Wellington
One of the grandest picture palaces of New Zealand stands the Embassy Theatre which was fully refurbished in 2003. After that it has been hosting the largest film festivals and shows in the country. It was originally built in 1926 and was then renovated for the premiere of the Lord of the Rings. The Embassy Theatre, Wellington has been a major attraction of the city with its grand festivals and premiers taking place.
The interior of the theatre has always been grand and well maintained with the large marble staircases, wrought iron handrails, originally tiled foyers and the plastered ceilings which have always remained the same despite many renovations and upgrades of the building. The refurbishment of the theatre added a giant cinema scope screen, state of the art sound system installation, luxurious seating and some detailing which goes with the style of the previous century. This site is a must visit with its grand importance and lovely aura.
If you are looking for some scenic views and some trekking fun then Mount Kaukau is the place to visit with its terrific sceneries and some good fun. It is the highest point overlooking the harbor of Wellington city. There are several tracks which lead to the summit of the mount. This place, along with natural sceneries and surroundings is fully equipped for people who travel a long distance.
There is a 30 meter swimming pool situated in the native bushes with an area for children and toddlers. There is also a small café located near the swimming pool which has some great coffee and refreshments to offer. This place is great for a picnic. When you reach the top you will be amazed by the beautiful view from Mount Kaukau. Another place where the camera becomes a must. Don’t forget to visit this site and best part is to walk till the top.
Take a look at the marvelous southern skies through the Carter Observatory with its multimedia exhibition and a digital full dome planetarium. This digital experience will take you from the skies of Wellington to across the world. It has been New Zealand’s longest serving national observatory which offers an unlimited amount of space journeys. Visiting this place will enhance your knowledge of the ways to learn direction by looking at the sky, the Maori ways of distinguishing stars and about the Maori New Year.
The Pickering Gallery in the observatory is the place where you can launch your own rocket and touch the moon along with the Tuhura Module, which is an interactive space where adults and children can learn about surviving in space and about the life there. Take a tour of this amazing gallery which will take you across different skies and learn more about stars and planets.
This zoo is one of the best zoos of the country and is widely gaining its reputation across the world. The Wellington Zoo not only offers you to walk through it and look at the animals, but also provides many interactive activities for adults and children who are keen about learning more about the wildlife. Here you can see many rare and exotic species of animals all protected and safe from the danger of extinction. There are small cafes built around the zoo for refreshments and snacks. While sitting on benches and enjoying the view you can look at your children dig like a dingo in the sandbox or jump like a kangaroo on the trampoline. The zoo is an amazing experience of the native animals thriving in the country. So take your kids along and walk through this lovely zoo which is clean and well kept and enjoy watching the animals going about their business.
Wellington is a major tourist attraction in the world due to the magnificent sites it beholds. The Oriental Bay and the harbor with its clear blue waters are a perfectly serene sight for people looking to relax. The views from the Mounts Victoria and Kaukau are lovely and highly memorable for anyone who reaches the top. The Botanic Garden is another peaceful place with its gloriously exotic plant species and the wonderful illumination that happens in the evening and night. With much more glorious views and splendors this city is one great place to spend your vacations. Go ahead and get going to indulge in this holiday.