Looking for what to do in Wellington New Zealand? Well, that won’t be too hard! With its amazing food and brewery scene, surrounding nature, and history, there’s an endless amount of great Wellington activities. Follow along with our Wellington New Zealand travel guide as we take you through the waterfront, up onto Mount Victoria, and share all the best things to do in the capital city.
1. WALK THE WELLINGTON WATERFRONT
The main draw to Wellington New Zealand travel is the beautiful harbor. Stroll the Wellington waterfront and take in the stunning boats as they gleam off the clear blue ocean. While the city is known for its windy weather, on a perfect day there’s nothing better than being down by the water. Stop in at a bar or cafe for a drink, and make sure to take a dip at the Oriental Bay in the summer!
2. HIKE MOUNT VICTORIA
Once you’ve checked out the Wellington waterfront it’s time to get a view from above! Hiking Mount Victoria is one of the best things to do in Wellington. It’s an amazing way to get out into nature from the city and see the unique trees and plant life of New Zealand. While the hike is fairly steep, it won’t take you more than an hour to go up the Mount Victoria Lookout Trail. Once you get to the top you’ll have an amazing view of the city and coastline.
3. BREWERY HOP AROUND DOWNTOWN
Wellington is not only home to New Zealand’s Parliament, but is also known as the Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand! While Auckland has its fair share of places to go out, its North Island counterpart has a plethora of unique breweries to enjoy. One of the most fun Wellington activities is to hop from brewery to brewery and taste some of the delicious New Zealand craft beer!
4. RIDE THE WELLINGTON CABLE CAR
If you’ve ever glanced at pictures of Wellington then you’ve likely seen the famous red cable car making its way above the city. So when looking for what to do in Wellington this should be at the top of your list! The train goes from the Lambton Quay shopping district to the Kelburn suburb above. We recommend taking it on the way up and then walking down through the gardens towards the Wellington waterfront.
5. STROLL THROUGH THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
By riding the cable car you’ll actually be able to combine two of the best Wellington activities! The botanical gardens are a stunning display of color that winds from the top of the Kelburn suburb back into the city. The best part is it’s completely free to enter and stroll the grounds. The most amazing time to visit is in the summer when over 30,000 tulips are in bloom. This is definitely a must-do in our Wellington New Zealand travel guide!
6. EXPLORE CUBA STREET
This is the main street in the city, and where you can find many of the best things to do in Wellington. The eccentric vibes coming out of the cafes and bars make Cuba Street a fun place to walk around, even if you’re not dipping in for a meal. However, if you are then you’ll have plenty of options to eat and drink out! Some of our favorite hangouts are Fidel’s Cafe for coffee, and the Wellington Sea market for their famous fish n’ chips.
7. TE PAPA MUSEUM
Ready for some history when looking for what to do in Wellington? The Te Papa Museum has you covered! The many displays feature a mix of New Zealand’s natural history and a wealth of information about the capital city. On the day we visited they had an entire exhibit on New Zealand’s part in the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I. Interesting to say the least! With free entrance and the perfect location near the harbor, the museum was easily one of our favorite Wellington activities.
8. HIT THE BEACH
The first time we turned the corner from the harbor heading towards Mount Victoria we couldn’t believe our eyes! Wellington is known for having one of the most stunning city beaches in the world, and after seeing Oriental Bay we’d have to agree. During summer it’s packed with happy beachgoers, and literally only a 10-minute walk from downtown!
9. TOUR THE BEEHIVE
Taking a tour of New Zealand’s parliament is easily one of the top things to do in Wellington New Zealand. So what makes this architecture so special? Well, the unique design of this particular wing is in the shape of a beehive! Touring this building will be a fun way to see the behind-the-scenes of this special country of just over 5 million. Maybe if you get lucky you’ll even run into the Prime Minister!
10. GET A TASTE OF INTERNATIONAL FOOD
We mentioned Cuba Street as a great place to eat out in Wellington, but really that’s just the beginning of it! Much like the food scene in Auckland, the capital city has endless amounts of amazing international food. We had our fill of Indian, Chinese, and other tasty specialties on our last visit. That’s when we realized that tasting all the delicious food is a Wellington activity in itself! Also, make sure to check out the options near the Wellington waterfront and in the suburb of Newtown if you get a chance.
Have any questions on what to do in Wellington, or want to share things you’d add to our Wellington New Zealand travel guide? Leave us a comment below!
By: Brigitte & Jake