New Zealand is a beautiful country and the capital Wellington is one of my favorite places to spend a long weekend – or rather a whole week. There is so much to do in Wellington that you are truly spoiled for choice. Here are 7 great activities to include during your stay in Wellington.
1. Te daddy
My favorite spot in Wellington should be the beautiful waterfront that has been cleverly and creatively developed to make the most of the city’s position on the rocky southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. One of the main attractions of the waterfront is the national museum, Te Papa, a must for visitors to the city. It is seductively close to the waterfront, making it seem less of a museum and more of a cultural center. There’s always plenty to see and do at Te Papa, so be sure to include it in your itinerary during your time in Wellington.
2. Cable car
I love the red funicular that takes you straight from the city streets to the “top of the world” – also known as the Botanic Gardens and the fantastic view over this stunningly beautiful harbor city. I could stand by that lookout all day and never get tired of that view.
Wellington is the political center of New Zealand and also the capital. The men and women who run the country work from parliament buildings and a quirky New Zealand icon, the Beehive. I highly recommend the tour of these buildings during your stay in Wellington. You will gain an intriguing insight into the political history of the nation, and if you arrange your visit well, you can get involved in a real political debate.
An excellent adventure just outside the city center can be found in Peter Jackson’s Weta Cave. It’s not full of creepy crawls, but you can definitely find some creepy stuff inside. It is the museum for the Weta Workshop, the famous house of Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and many other famous movies and television shows. It is a small museum, but it is full of fascinating memorabilia.
5. Karori shrine
On a recent trip to Wellington, I was very happy to take a guided walk through the Karori shrine. It’s a woodland walk with an array of unique New Zealand flora and fauna that feels a bit back in time. When you are there, it is hard to believe your own minutes from a bustling city.
6. Carter Observatory
If you want something different, check out the state-of-the-art planetarium and the 144-year-old telescope at the Carter Observatory. It is an awesome place for children and adults.
As I said, the waterfront itself is a great place to spend time in Wellington. There really is something for everyone, including great sculptures, a walk for writers, and plaques commemorating historical events. Take a walk, eat a sandwich, meet a friend, fall in love.