Wellington, New Zealand (pop. 212,700 in 2017), is the country’s capital city. Its citizens are proud of its well-deserved reputation for being a vibrant, creative, and welcoming city. Wellington is a great place to visit and has many attractions and amenities. Visitors will find plenty to do. Here are some highlights:
- Explore the Wellington waterfront, home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a pedestrian and bike-friendly path that offers views of the harbour. Just a doorstep away from Wellington’s central business district, the Wellington waterfront is the product of clever planning and investment. The waterfront has been converted from a former busy container shipping offload area to its current spacious and entertaining pedestrian-only reserve.
- While at the Wellington waterfront cross to Queens Wharf via the City to Sea Walk Bridge, featuring large Māori carvings, restaurants, and the Museum of Wellington City and Sea. Queens Wharf has a long history and was once an important transportation hub for many years. Like the rest of the waterfront, Queens Wharf has been revitalized and has amenities and popular attractions, including a large events centre, restaurants and bars, and arts and cultural displays.
- Visit Te Papa Museum, New Zealand’s national museum, home to a range of exhibitions and artifacts. The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa showcases the country’s history, art, and culture. Its buildings are Wellington landmarks.
- Take the Wellington cable car, an iconic attraction that hauls visitors on a scenic ride up to the top of a hill, where they can enjoy stunning views of the city. Take a five-minute ride from the Wellington city centre and travel up through the surrounding hillside for easy access to the Cable Car Museum, Space Place Observatory, and Zealandia.
- Stroll through the Botanic Garden, a 61-acre attraction located on the side of a hill. The Botanic Garden offers a peaceful escape from the city where visitors can explore a range of themed gardens and enjoy hillside views of the surrounding landscape.
- Visit the Zealandia Ecosanctuary, a wildlife sanctuary whose mission is to protect and restore New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. Zealandia is the world’s first urban wildlife ecosanctuary. It is a fully fenced 500-acre conservation project that reintroduced 18 endangered wildlife species into its area. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the conservation efforts and see the wildlife up close.
- Go to the Wellington Zoo, New Zealand’s oldest zoo and home to a variety of animals from around the world, including native species such as kiwi birds and tuatara reptiles endemic to New Zealand.
- Visit the Beehive and Parliament Buildings, the executive wing of New Zealand’s parliament, where visitors can take guided tours to learn about the country’s political system and history.
- Check out the Weta Cave, a mini-museum and gift shop associated with the Weta Workshop. The Weta Workshop is a special effects and prop company that worked on a range of films including the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This is a must-see for film buffs and lovers of cool special effects. Admission is free.
- Head for the South Island on the Wellington and Picton Interislander Ferry. Take a reasonably priced three-and-a-half-hour ride to Picton, New Zealand, another famous New Zealand tourist destination.
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