With so many great things to do in Wellington, make sure that you plan your weekend to make the most of your time spent in New Zealand’s vibrant and charismatic capital. Here are five amazing Wellington attractions that should definitely be included in a weekend getaway.
Te Papa Tongarewa
The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa is open daily and is one of the most popular free things to do in Wellington. This fabulous museum has over 500,000 pieces of artwork, unique specimens, and interesting objects that document the people, the ideas, and the places which have influenced the development and formation of the Pacific and New Zealand. With ever changing exhibitions and events, there is always something new at Te Papa to interest any visitor. Take a guided tour, or wander around at your leisure, and stop in for a coffee or a bite to eat at one of the cafes to make the most of your visit to one of the top Wellington tourist attractions.
After all that culture, how about a bit of rest and relaxation? Oriental Bay is the most popular beach in Wellington, and although it is conveniently located close to the city center it’s a great place to have a picnic or to take a swim out to the floating wooden barge. In 2002 the city council imported 22,000-tonnes of fine sand from Golden Bay to widen and extend the beach, and with lots of green areas, there is plenty of space for all to enjoy. The waterfront paths are perfect for cycling and walking, so be sure to come and enjoy some of the most popular activities in Wellington.
As the night draws in one of the top things to do in Wellington has to be a visit to bustling Cuba Street. It claims to be the coolest street in the whole of New Zealand, and although the area was actually named after a settler ship in 1840, many businesses have adopted the Caribbean theme to create a laid back, Bohemian neighborhood. This a great place to just wander about, check out the art galleries and graffiti-covered alleyways, grab a coffee in a quirky café or sit down to an award-winning dinner in one of the many highly acclaimed restaurants. This area also offers lots of vintage shopping opportunities, with some of the best second-hand boutiques in the country. Enjoy an evening of fun and diversion on Cuba Street during your weekend in Wellington.
Wellington Cable Car
After a good night’s sleep, you will be ready for one of the most fun things to do in Wellington, a trip on the Wellington Cable Car. This historic funicular railway, which started operation in 1902, runs every 10-minutes from the main shopping street of Lambton Quay. The 612-metres of track rises steadily up out of the city and reaches a height of 120-metres in the suburb of Kelburn, offering spectacular views over Wellington and the surrounding area along the way.
Round your stay off with a visit to the Weta Cave at the Weta Workshop film studios, famous for their work in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. This is one of the top free things to do in Wellington, as there is no admission charge to visit the mini-museum and to view the fascinating 30-minute long documentary which reveals lots of behind the scenes secrets of the local film production industry. There are loads of interesting film artifacts for sale and plenty of unique photo opportunities. Your visit will be both entertaining and educational and if you want to learn more about filmmaking you can join one of the tours which leave regularly from the Cave.
Angela Hallberg is Marketing Manager for Omega Rental Cars, one of New Zealand’s most trusted car hire companies. With a passion for travel, and years spent in the New Zealand tourism industry as a travel agent, tour organizer, and incentive travel specialist, she loves to help others discover all the best things to see and do in her home country. Sharing local knowledge, feedback from Omega Rental Cars customers, and actively seeking information on activities and attractions, Angela can help you plan an itinerary to maximize your time in New Zealand.