See Wildlife At Zealandia Cheap
Here comes one of our favourite Wellington attractions! New Zealand birds! So many New Zealand birds! For around NZ$22 take a stroll through the sanctuary and exhibition, which is home to native birds and the tuatara lizard the only living ancestor from the dinosaur age. Learn more about Zealandia on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Discover The Amazing Coffee Culture Wellington Is Known For This
The coffee culture is an important part of Wellingtons identity. There are more than 300 cafes throughout the city and in a place this small, that means there is a new one to find around every corner.
The city is home to many well-established coffee roasters such as Coffee Supreme, Laffare, Havana, plus many others. Competition is high here which means the quality is also very high, one bad coffee will turn a customer onto another café almost instantly. Expect to find beautiful latte art on the top of your coffee wherever you end up drinking.
In a city full of cafes, there are a few that stand out from the crowd. Pour and Twist is a fully manual coffee brew bar. They brew specialty filter coffee using only manual methods, coffee is a form of art at this establishment. Customs, which is Coffee Supremes café, has a cool quirky vibe, youll find the coolest Wellingtonians hanging out here! The Hangar, which is home to Flight coffee, has a great selection of coffee choices. If youre a real coffee nerd this is the place for you, theres plenty of single-origin espresso and filter options, you can even try a coffee tasting tray.
What To Do In Wellington At Night
There is a wide variety of things to do in Wellington at night, apart from eating and drinking.
- See the lights of the city from Mount Victoria
- Listen to wildlife on a Zealandia night tour
- Hunt for glow worms at the Botanical Gardens
- See the stars at Space Place at Carter Observatory
- Watch a movie at Roxys
- Sip cocktails at The Library on Courtenay Place
- Wander the buzzy Wellington waterfront
And theres always a craft beer to be found before you leave this beautiful city.
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Visit The Martinborough Wine Region
One thing about New Zealand you just have to know is that they make incredible wine. The best part is that only a short drive from Wellington you can explore the amazing Martinborough wine region. Here you can find lots of amazing wineries and just hop from one cellar door to another.
Some of the best wineries I recommend visiting are Tirohana Estate, Te Kairanga Wines, and Palliser Estate Winery. These wineries are open every day from 11 am.
To be honest though, I actually did a tour here from Wellington. However, they arent that cheap so dont fall into the free and cheap activities in Wellington. If you do want to do a tour you can book this tour here for only $145 NZD
Dockside Restaurant And Bar
Dockside has a great location in the renovated Shed 3 on Queens Wharf. It offers an excellent menu and fine dining experience with a full glass front that opens out onto the harbour for an exceptional outlook. They focus on the best and freshest local ingredients and the meal was excellent.
Perhaps it was the night we went but the service was a little cold and overly present for my preference, nothing serious but interrupting conversation multiple times every course to ask how the meal was made me feel we were being unnecessarily rushed.
The food was excellent though and while they are known for their beef I cant go past New Zealand fish, that Akaroa salmon was fantastic and you really cant go wrong with any local white fish. After almost 30 years this really is a Wellington icon that you want to try yourself if you have the chance.
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Museum Of New Zealand Or Te Papa
Both Bailey and I have traveled to over 50 countries and its extremely rare that the National Museum is ever free. In Wellington, New Zealand however, it is!
The Museum of New Zealand is home to some of New Zealands most important treasures and the name Te Papa literally translates to Container of Treasures. From Maori culture to New Zealands history, the museum is constantly updating its exhibitions in the highest quality.
Te Papa is interactive, interesting, and impressive even to people who arent overly into museums. To date, Te Papa is the best museum Ive visited and its hard to believe that this place is completely free!
In my opinion, Te Papa is not only the best free thing to do in Wellington, but its the best thing to do in Wellington in general!
Tour: If you would like to do a guided tour of the Te Papa Museum thenthis tour is great value at only $20 NZD.
Visit The Peanut Butter Factory
Its tucked away at 5 Eva Street, but once you know about it, you cant not pay a quick visit
Yup, you read that correctly, this is one of the new places to visit in Wellington. Some of you might be wishing this was a Marmite factory though? Or not. Anyway, this peanut butter factory is the home of Fix & Fogg, a great Kiwi entrepreneurial story in the making. Theres no tour of the factory per se, as its more of a window, but you can talk to some staff, try some PB on toast and good luck trying to walk away without buying a jar or two.
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Eat The Best Fish And Chips On Quirky Cuba Street
A visit to Wellington has to include Cuba Street and its famous bucket fountain.
Youll find some of the coolest shops, hip bars, trendy cafes, and stylish restaurants along this quirky street.
The vibe is fantastic, especially from early evening onwards.
And a visit to Wellington has to include a plate of fish and chips.
Wellington Seamarket on Cuba Street has a selection of fresh fish every day.
You get to choose the fish to complement your chips.
Or would you prefer a picnic on a Wellington one day trip?
You can either:
- Take the Dominion Ferry from the Wellington waterfront or
- Hire a car for the day
Ride The Wellington Cable Car
Wellington Cable Car, Wellington
The bright redWellington Cable Caris a bit of a classic. Enjoy a ride up from the terminal in the heart of the Lambton Quay shopping district up to the lookout for panoramic views of the city. Youll also find theCable Car Museum,Space Place at Carter Observatory, andBotanic Garden.
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Three Day Wellington Itinerary: Pulling It All Together
Personally, I could spend weeks in Wellington, but if time is limited, we recommend the following flexible 3-day Wellington itinerary, one that we have completed with visitors a few times.
- First day: Cable Car to the top Enjoy the view Cable Car Museum OR Carter Observatory and Planetarium Walk downhill through the Botanic Garden Parliament tour National Library Old St Pauls cathedral Thistle Inn Friday Night Market Cuba Street nightlife
- Second day: Breakfast at a waterfront cafe self-guided waterfront walk Zealandia OR Wellington Zoo OR The Great War Museum OR Weta Workshop tour dinner Courtenay Place nightlife
- Third day: Breakfast at a Cuba Street cafe Te Papa Taranaki Street Jump Platform Mount Victoria
Wellington can be part of our larger North Island self-drive tour.
Try Sunday Brunch At Harbourside Market
Harbourside Market, held every Sunday from 7:30 AM, is the place to buy your fresh produce, baked bread, fresh fish, artisan goods, and brunch from a wide variety of food stalls.
When you awake late in the morning, this market is perfect for great coffee and food.
And for later in the day, Cuba Street is a taste sensation.
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Beach Time At Oriental Parade
A popular saying locally is You cant beat Wellington on a good day, and its so true. Wellington is known as the windy city, but on a nice sunny day without the wind about, Wellington is a phenomanal spot and the locals will embrace all the good days they can get. That includes heading on down to Oriental Parade, a short walk from the city, where youll see people relaxing on the beach, swimming & jumping off the platoon, riding crocodile bikes, and enjoying one of the restaurants and cafes bordering the beach. If you get a perfect day in Wellington, this is a must visit given its a short walk from the city centre.
Visit Two Historic Cemeteries One Of The Unusual Things To Do In Wellington
The Cemetery, its not as creepy as it looks. Promise!
The two cemeteries are Mount Street Cemetery and Bolton Street Cemetery. The Mount Street Cemetery was Wellingtons first Roman Catholic cemetery opened in 1841. Closed to new burial sites in 1891, there are ~200 headstones existing today and you can nab a view of the city too.
The Bolton Street Cemetery was the cities first cemetery opening in 1840. Its actually three separate cemeteries attached to each other, with the storyboards throughout the cemetery giving you a good understanding. This is also the starting point of the City to Sea Walkway.
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Hike Or Drive Up To Mount Victoria Lookout
Wellington is built on the ocean but its backdrop are large steep hills that provide the best vantage points in town! Mount Victoria is arguably the best of those vantage points. From the top, you get 360-degree views of the area and the best part is you can either drive or walk to the top.
The hike up Mount Victoria is one of the most popular walks in Wellington. It takes around 25 minutes to walk the 2 km to reach the summit, or the drive is 5 minutes. If you get clear weather, be sure to make it up for sunset for what could be the best one you ever see!
Experience Movie Magic At The Weta Cave And Workshop
Any Lord of the Rings tour in Wellington will include a visit to the Weta Workshop Studio amongst many other Middle-earth locations around the area. For the money-savers out there, the Weta Cave is free to visit and the Workshop Tour is under NZ$30. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. Additionally, check out the Guide to The Lord of the Rings in Wellington.
Location: 1 Weka Street, Miramar.
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Visit Te Papa The Museum Of New Zealand
On February 14, 1998, Te Papa opened and now sees over 25 million visitors a year. It is branded and commonly known as Te Papa and Our Place as the Maori name Te Papa Tongarewa is translated as the place of treasures of this land.
The best part about this museum is that it is free for general admission with the exhibitions focusing on the history of New Zealand and Maori culture. There are often touring exhibitions as well, and I have seen Dreamworks animation exhibit with concept drawings and actual artwork from some of the Dreamworks movies such as Kung Fu Panda and Shrek.
One of my favorite exhibits is the colossal squid on display. Caught in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica and donated to Te Papa in 2007, the squid weighs in at 495 kgs and is in a lighted display measuring over 6 meters long.
Take In The Views At Mount Victoria Lookout
Mount Victoria, Wellington
Nestled between a stunning harbour and protected green belt, theres nothing quite like the view from Mount Victoria Lookout in the central city. You can drive all the way up, or walk through the nature trails. Grab some fish and chips and sit on the grass as the sun goes down and the lights come up.
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Visit The Wellington Botanic Garden
One of the best FREE things to do in Wellington is checking out the bush walks, gardens, treehouse, duck pond and free summer gigs at the Wellington Botanic Garden. When youre wandering through the native bush or gardens of this park, youll never believe you are still in the middle of Wellington! For more free activities, see 22 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Wellington.
Location: Entrances off Salamanca Road, Glen Road, Upland Road , Mariri Road and Glenmore Street.
Take A Walk Down Cuba Street
This pedestrian street is popular with locals and visitors alike. With a variety of trendy shops, fun restaurants and quirky bars, youll no doubt find a few places to pop into.
And if youre near Cuba Street at night, itll take on a whole different vibe, with bars bustling, live music playing, and people making there way from one place to the next.
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Browse The Underground Market
Who woulda thunk a market with 40+ stalls would be under there!
Every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm you can find a predominantly artisan market with stalls from some of Wellingtons most creative people. You can find the market under Frank Kitts Park and when you enter the space is sneaky big and doesnt feel claustrophobic. With the foals of helping small businesses thrive in the countries Creative Capital theyve done really well to attract an ongoing crowd with a location that sees visitors to the city who walk by the entrance and cant help but take a look at whats inside. if youre looking for a unique gift to take home, this is your place! You can find out more about the .
Learn About The Underwater World
Note: if youre planning to come, the visiting hours are narrow, so be sure to check before you arrive that itll be open.
If you find yourself on the southern coast of the city Coast, pop your head into Bait House Aquarium where you can learn about the sea life thats on the Wellingtons coastline. There are some open water tanks, with some animals coming in from outside the area, but most are retrieved straight from the reserve on the doorstep. I gotta say though, I dont like how they let you touch the sea life!
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Hunt For Wildlife At Zealandia
A great way to enjoy Wellingtonis to spend time amongst the natural wildlife and fauna of the region.
Zealandia is an enclosed area of 225 hectares with day, twilight or night tours to see and hear up close New Zealand native species of birds and reptiles.
Some of the favourites, especially on the night tour, is to hear the Kiwi.
And during the day, try to find the ancient Tuatara or the scary-looking giant Weta.
Afterwards, take the free shuttle bus back to Wellington I-Site at Civic Square.
For a real unique experience though, its worth booking a tour to visit the sanctuary at night. You can organise this awesome activity right here.
Nairn Street Cottage & The Colonial Cottage Museum
Wellington’s oldest surviving original home, the Nairn Street Cottage, was built by William Wallis in the 1850s as a home for his family. It has been painstakingly preserved with many of the family’s original 19th-century furniture and fixtures in place to recreate the ambience of life in New Zealand’s pioneering era, while outside is an organic heritage garden.
Entry to the house is via a guided tour that allows visitors a taste of colonial Wellington and details the history of the Wallis family who lived here for three generations. The garden area is open to tourists throughout the day.
Address: 68 Nairn Street, Wellington
Nine kilometers south of central Wellington, in the Houghton Bay district, is the sandy cove of Princess Bay. This sheltered sweep of sand with plenty of rock pools is a favorite swimming and picnicking spot for locals during weekends in the summer months.
On a clear day, the beach affords excellent views that can stretch across to the South Island. A short coastal track above the beach runs to a lookout point with even better views and is popular strolling territory in the late afternoon.
Address: The Esplanade, Houghton Bay, Wellington
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Hike Up To The Top Of Mount Kaukau Perfect For Outdoor
Wellington is quite unique in that you can access nature right from the center of the city. There are many walking tracks that connect you to the various hills and mountains that surround the city. Mount Kaukau which is just north of Wellington, is one of the most visible points in the landscape that surrounds the city. From the top of Mount Kaukau there are unbelievable panoramic views of the city, harbor, and Tararua Ranges, and on clear days even the South Island is visible.
There are many tracks that lead to the summit of Mount Kaukau from all directions, the two best in my opinion are the Skyline and Northern Walkways. If you fancy escaping the city for the day this is the perfect option.
Coenes Bar And Eatery
If youre headed around to Oriental Bay or Mt Victoria youll pass Coenes hanging right out over the water. Its a great position and a spot on the deck is ideal for brunch or lunch in the sunshine.
Menu is standard brunch fair but the Corn Fritter was tasty, big breakfast substantial and the poached eggs cooked perfectly. Coffee was strong and good, the gin cocktail was perhaps over the top but nice and it was a very late brunch.
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