Top 25 Wellington Attractions (2022)

wellington

(source: wellingtonnz.com)

Wellington is the capital for New Zealand and was referred to as the coolest little capital in the world by Lonely Planet. The journey through Wellington will open your eyes on how nature and urbanisation can cohesively grow together. Surrounded by beautiful landscape and heritage buildings, it is also known as a culinary hub of the country. Let’s explore the capital together, starting with the best 25 attractions in Wellington.

 

1. Castlepoint Lighthouse

castlepoint lighthouse

(source: Chrisgin.com)

Situated along the coastline of Wairarapa, this famous New Zealand landmark is one part of the Castlepoint Scenic Reserve. Standing as the tallest lighthouse in the North Island, this 52 metres structure stands majestically as a navigational aid to oncoming ships. The walk up is a little steep, but boardwalks are built to make the walk to the higher grounds much more comfortable. The walk can get tough during windy days as it can be quite dangerous, especially walking at the highest point.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

2. City Gallery Wellington

city gallery wellington

(source: abbythetraveler.com)

City Gallery Wellington, known as Te Whare Toi by the locals is a popular attraction where visitors will get a chance to have a glimpse at the many contemporary locals and international arts. Founded in 1940, this gallery is the capital’s public contemporary art museum that welcomes artists around the world to hold their exhibition here. It is inspiring to know that many of the artworks here will stimulate your mind and inspire creativity.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

3. Cuba Street

cuba street

(source: rosa woods/stuff)

One of Wellington’s more vibrant neighbourhood, Cuba Street is a pedestrian mall with plenty of boutiques, cafe and pubs that are packed with attitude. Just walking distance away from Dixon Street and Ghuznee Street, you will also get to see the Bucket Fountain during your stroll here. This iconic 1968 kinetic structure features colourful buckets filled with water and tipping over once its full.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

4. Egmont Street

egmont street

(source: neatplaces.co.nz)

Foodies rejoice as Wellington offers a gourmet experience like no other in the alley of Egmont Street. Formerly an abandon industrial carpark, it has now been transformed to be one of the most lively and vibrant places in the city, spoiling you with plenty of cafes and restaurant serving meals all day long.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

5. Golden Mile

golden mile

(source: mad-daily.com)

Located within the city and stretching from Willis Street and Lambton Quay, Golden Mile is a shopping district you don’t want to miss. Surrounded by heritage buildings, you can easily explore this place by foot as you come across departmental stores, vintage boutique shops and unique bookstores. You can also unwind in any of the themed restaurants and cafes that are found here.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

6. Hannahs Laneway

hannahs laneway

(source: theurbanlist.com)

Dubbed as the tastiest lane in Wellington, Hannahs Laneway is nestled between Leeds and Eva Streets. Hidden in a small maze-like alley, you will soon discover a myriad of quirky looking eateries that serves mouth-watering dishes such as pizzas, pastries, chocolates and brownies. You will also find steampunk inspired bars serving some of the meanest cocktail concoctions.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

7. Harbourside Market

harbourside market

(source: Neil Price)

Come and get the best of Wellington’s fresh produce and artisan foodstuff in the oldest market place in the city. Always bustling with people coming to join in the festivity with plenty of music, expression of arts and something for people of all ages. Besides food, you will also find crafts, clothes and handmade goods all in one place.

Operating Hours: Sunday, 7:30am – 2:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

8. Matiu Island

matiu island

(source: edwud.com)

An island located north of Wellington Harbour, Matiu Island is the largest of the three islands and serves as a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city. Just 20 minutes boat ride away, Matiu Island surprises you with plenty of heritage and natural trekking sites. This re-forested island is now rich in floras and faunas that roam free in the pest-free environment.

Operating Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Subject to tour rates.

 

9. Mount Victoria Lookout

mount victoria lookout

(source: Anna Langer)

For the best 360 panoramic city view in Wellington, it will have to be from Mount Victoria Lookout. Standing at 196 metres, the summit is accessible through a few routes. The journey up takes approximately 30 – 45 minutes depending on which route you take; either from Oriental Parade or the Summit Walkway. As it is famous for its stunning sunsets, it can get pretty crowded at the peak, so do arrive earlier.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

10. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

museum of new zealand te papa tongarewa

(source: tepapa.govt.nz)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is an interactive and modern museum that was established in 1992. This national museum of New Zealand is a merge between the National Museum and the National Art Gallery. The museum tells of fascinating stories about the country’s history and culture together with a vast collection of ancient artefacts, fossils and Elgar Collections. One of the highlights of the museum will be the rare colossal squid specimen that is the largest in the world.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

11. Nairn Street Cottage

nairn street cottage

(source: Hannah Zwartz)

Nairn Street Cottage is a place you will have to drop by if you’re visiting Wellington. Though it might require a bit of walk, but to be able to see a piece of New Zealand’s important history, it is all worth it. Built in 1858, Nairn Street Cottage is the oldest cottage in Wellington that has been preserved to be a museum and serves to educate visitors about the past. It is fascinating to see the furniture from the old Wallis family that has stayed in this place for three generations.

Operating Hours: Daily, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – NZ$8 | Child – NZ$4

 

12. Old St Paul’s

old st paul

(source: Grant Sheehan)

Old St Paul’s is one of New Zealand’s valuable heritage site that has been in existence since 1866. This must-visit attraction is a gorgeous cathedral made out of timber and is designed according to the Gothic Revival architecture. This sacred place is open for visitors to pray or to admire the beauty of the interior wooden arches and stained glass windows.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

13. Oriental Bay

oriental bay

(source: Ross Giblin ans Maarten Holl/Fairfax NZ)

Located a kilometre away from the city, Oriental Bay is an upscale suburb where you will see plenty of the finest and beautiful residences. Oriental Parade Beach that is also located in the same district is a popular spot for outdoor and water activities. You can easily spot the Carter Fountain that operates four times a day, spouting water 16 metres into the air.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

14. Otari Native Botanic Garden

otari native botanic garden

(source: arcgis.com)

The only botanical garden that is dedicated to New Zealand native plants, Otari Native Botanic Garden is home to the oldest 800-year-old rimu in Wellington. You will be able to see over 1,200 species of plant in this unique forest reserve that encompass of 105 hectares of land. All the plants are labelled accordingly, allowing visitors a chance to know and understand these plants in depth during their stroll.

Operating Hours: Daily, 5:00am – 10:30pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

15. Parliamentary Library

parliamentary library

(source: Donaldytong)

Built in Gothic Revival style and resembling a church, this Parliamentary Library is the oldest of the Parliament complexes. This majestic library was built in two phases and was completed in 1899. It currently occupies 8,000 collections and is also the research centre for members of parliament and parliamentary officers. It is open to the public, but please make way to the Visitor Welcome Centre that is located in between the West Block and Centre Block.

Operating Hours: Weekday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

16. Princess Bay

princess bay

(source: planetware.com)

Extremely lively during the summer, Princess Bay is a famous beach that is located on the south of Wellington. It is a calm beach to swim in as it is strategically located within the sheltered bay. This beautiful beach also exudes a different charm as you will discover large rocky areas and uniquely-formed rock pools.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

17. The Beehive

the beehive

(source: exploringmyownbackyard.com)

It is one of the most prominent Parliament building because of its exquisite design that resembles a woven beehive. The Beehive is the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament where the Prime Minister and the cabinets hold their meetings. The Beehive is opened for public tours; however, you will need to make bookings prior to your visit.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

18. The Weta Cave

the weta cave

(source: i.pinimg.com)

The Weta Cave will bring you on a journey through incredible movie sets all within one place. It is an ideal place for movie lovers who will get to see many movie props from Lord of The Rings, Avatar, King Kong and many more. The exhibition is managed by Weta Workshop where you can opt to see what happens behind the scene and experience the process of making this realistic props.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 5:30pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

19. Wellington Botanic Garden

wellington botanic garden

(source: queenstownisite.com)

Nestled in the heart of Wellington, you will find this gorgeous botanical garden that is open all year round. Wellington Botanic Garden is the oldest garden of its kind in New Zealand and offers a colourful feast to the eyes. With over 150 years in history, the garden is home to many rare and exotic flowers and trees. Loved by many, this is an important Heritage Area that you should include into your itinerary.

Operating Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

20. Wellington Cable Car

wellington cable car

(source: Rhiannon Whitaker/flickr)

A Wellington icon, this charming Wellington Cable Car has been serving the people since 1902. This red tram-like cable car is the only funicular railway that is still running and offers a scenic view of the city. This cable car traverses and ascends passing the Botanic Gardens, Kelburn houses towards the Kelburn Lookout, the highest point of the cable car.

Operating Hours: Daily, 7:00am – 10:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – NZ$9 | Child – NZ$4.50

 

21. Wellington Museum

wellington museum

(source: newzealand.com)

Wellington Museum is a heritage building that has been around since 1892. Located in the Queens Wharf, you will get to understand and experience the country all within these walls. Consisting of four levels, you can go through 10 galleries touching on different parts of the history. Maritime History, Ngā Heke and The Frederick de Jersey Clere Room are just some of the exhibits you will be able to see here.

Operating Hours: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

22. Wellington Night Market

wellington night market

(source: Wellington Night Market)

A must-visit place that will stimulate all your senses will have to be the Wellington Night Market. Located at Lower Cuba Street, this place comes alive every Friday with plenty of stalls set up selling food, handicrafts, jewellery and many more. New Zealander music fills the air while whiffs of aromas travel the air, inviting you to sample some of the most authentic foods in Wellington.

Operating Hours: Friday, 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

23. Wellington Underground Market

wellington underground market

(source: Wellington Underground Market)

Hidden within the stunning Wellington waterfront, come and discover the best of Wellington’s art and craft scene. Do take time to visit this creative spot and discover another facade of Wellington through the many installation and vendors that are here. Lined on both side of the tunnel, you can easily find essential oils, handmade candles, pottery and all kinds of accessories for the home.

Operating Hours: Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Free

 

24. Wellington Zoo

wellington zoo

(source: Wellington Zoo)

A short trip away from the city centre, Wellington Zoo is not only the first zoo in the country but the first carboNZero certified zoo. Home to 500 exotic and endangered animals, this is an ideal place for families to get up close and personal with native creatures such as the Agouti, Capybara, Caracal and many. The zoo aims to educate the visitors and how we all can care for these creatures.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – NZ$27 | Child – NZ$12

 

25. ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

zealandia ecosanctuary

(source: wellingtonnz.com)

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary is a 225 hectares fully-fenced ecosanctuary that is located in the centre of Wellington. Come and discover the best of New Zealand wildlife where you will get to see luscious greens and a myriad of extraordinary animals such as the kaka, takahe, tuatara, to name a few. While you are here, why not join in the Ranger Talk and a boat ride around this paradise for a more inclusive experience.

Operating Hours: Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ticket Price(s): Adult – NZ$18 | Child – NZ$12

Driven by great food, wine and craft beer, Wellington is a vibrant metropolitan, you will have to experience for yourself. Plenty of secrets hidden in the alleys, waiting to be discovered. With attractions located not too far away from the town, this is indeed an excellent holiday destination.