A Guide to the Coolest Places to Visit In Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand is known for its vibrant, scenic capital city. From sleek and modern places to visit like the Hilton Hotel Wellington and Gallagher Pool to funky destinations like Cuba Street and the movie theater, there are plenty of cool things to do in this eclectic city. In this article, we’ll walk through another part of Wellington – the museums. With 10 interactive museums and an escaped Greyhound onsite, these spots offer a fresh perspective on how heritage has been preserved over time!
If you’re looking for a day-long adventure in Wellington, you’ll want to consider hitting up some of the city’s coolest places. From scenic hikes to quirky dive bars, here are eight fantastic destinations worth checking out on a sunny day in the capital.
1. The Beehive – This iconic landmark is home to impressive government buildings as well as cafés and restaurants galore. If you can handle a few steps (or a lift), walk to the top of the building for amazing views of the city and bay.
2. Tararua Ranges – This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to stunningly unique landscapes, including steep mountain peaks, deep valleys and rushing waterfalls. Hike the ranges all day or take a leisurely drive along the winding roadways.
3. Miramar Regional Park – This vast park offers cyclists plenty of routes and good weather, as well as scenic lakeside walks and campsites perfect for hiking, fishing or simply relaxing under the stars.
4. Cable Car Museum – Ride up to the top of Wellington’s iconic chimney, then take in exhibits about the city’s history and construction through amazing vintage photos and videos. Admission is free , but there is a fee for taking a video tour.
5. Cathedral Cove – This UNESCO World Heritage site is believed to have been one of the first places Captain James Cook ever saw when he arrived in the New Zealand capital in 1769. Or take the time to explore throughout the whole winery, which includes underground tunnels and stonemasonry stations.
6. Lyall Gibbons Estate Winery – Don’t miss tasting delicious wines while exploring detailed exhibits involving natural decimation techniques and ancient techniques of winemaking, such as submerged yeast barrels and straw harvesting, among others. For more information visit www.thehistoryofskywines.com
7. Skyline Drive – This 6-nation scenic drive peacefully combined with beauty of the country is one of the best activities to do in Christchurch, New Zealand. Get ready for an amazing blue sky, exciting and wonderful bridges constructions, sandy beaches and enchanting nature reserves and even more; it is a breathtakingly beautiful trip you will never forget.
Museums and Galleries
Wellington has a great collection of museums and galleries, each with its own unique features and story to tell. Here are just some of the best places to visit in Wellington:
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision – This museum is home to a wide range of significant New Zealand visual art, including works by Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It’s also worth checking out the nearby Wellington Town Hall, which was once used as a movie set in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Te Papa – This Museum of New Zealand Art is one of the world’s leading collections of indigenous and early modern New Zealand art. There’s also a planetarium on site, which offers incredible views of NZ night sky.
Victoria University Museum – This archive is home to everything from archaeological finds to historical documents and artefacts from New Zealand’s maritime history. The museum also boasts an impressive collection of natural history specimens, including a mounted kiwi bird.
Wellington City Council Gallery – This gallery houses a wide range of contemporary artworks, as well as important historical collections from the city council’s history.
Cafés and Coffee Shops
Cafés in Wellington are a great way to escape the heat, meet new people, and get some quality coffee. Here are our top picks for the coolest cafés in Wellington.
1. The Verandah Café: This café is on The Terrace, right next to the National Library of New Zealand. They serve up some amazing breakfast options, such as bacon and egg benedict, as well as some light lunch options like salads and sandwiches. They also have a variety of pastries, drinks, and desserts.
2. Fifteen54 Café: Fifteen54 is an Instagram-famous café in Wellington that serves up some delicious coffee and pastries. They have lots of indoor seating as well as a few outdoor spaces to enjoy their cool atmosphere.
3. The Hatch @ The Embassy: This café is located inside The Embassy New Zealand – one of the most iconic buildings in Wellington. They offer light lunches with items like soup and salads, but their specialty is their incredible range of coffees including beans from all over the world. You can also find pastries, desserts, and drinks here!
4. Caffè Nero: Caff è Nero is an Italian coffee house with espresso-based beverages, sandwiches and pastries. Sounds good right?! The Caffè Nero in Wellington has a second location on Lambton Quay, with indoor seating as well as tables under their covered outdoor area.
If you love the outdoors, Wellington, New Zealand is a paradise on earth. From world-renowned Milford Sound to the stunningly diverse Wellington City and its environs, there is plenty to explore in this vibrant city of 163,000. Whether you’re looking for hiking, biking, swimming or soaking up the sun on the beach, here are some of our favourites:
Botanic gardens – With more than 8 km of winding pathways and acres of lush gardens, the Botanic Gardens are an oasis of beauty in the city. The Conservatory also features revolving exhibits of flora from all over the world.
With more than 8 km of winding pathways and acres of lush gardens, the Botanic Gardens are an oasis of beauty in the city. The Conservatory also features revolving exhibits of flora from all over the world.
Molesworth Street – Once an exclusive shopping street for wealthy Wellingtonians, Molesworth Street is now a hidden gem packed full of charming boutiques and restaurants. Step back in time at the restored Rum Cruising Palace – one of Wellington’s first cinemas – or browse for vintage clothes in Vinegar Lane.
– Once an exclusive shopping street for wealthy Wellingtonians, Molesworth Street is now a hidden gem packed full of charming boutiques and restaurants. Step back in time at the restored Rum Cruising Palace – one of Wellington’s first cinemas – or browse for vintage clothes in Vinegar Lane.Khandallah Village Hall – pop into this friendly, community hall and check out what’s on offer – it’s open to everyone!
Take a Hike: The Wellington Region of New Zealand
The Wellington Region is home to some of the coolest places to visit in all of New Zealand. From the bustling city of Wellington at the heart of it all, to the beautifully-forested West Coast and stunning Golden Bay, this area has something for everyone.
If hiking is your thing, take a hike up 180 Metres high Mount Aspiring National Park to catch magnificent views across Wellington and rolling hills inland. Or head out for a more peaceful walk along Moari Creek where you’ll get to see lots of wildlife including kiwi, deer, and duck.
The Wellington Region also boasts some fantastic wineries, inns and eateries, so there’s never been a better time to venture out and explore!
The History of Wellington
The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington, is home to many attractions that offer a glimpse into its rich history. From the 1840s when its first settlers arrived, to the present day when it serves as the seat of government for the country, Wellington has seen a lot.
Perhaps the most famous of these attractions is Parliament, which houses the national legislative halls, where every New Zealand citizen is represented and has a voice in government. Other popular attractions include a large collection of cultural buildings, such as various museums and monuments; world-class sightseeing that includes Basin Reserve and the Wellington Cable Car; art galleries, theatres and cinemas; a number of waterfalls that overlook the city centre and national parklands surrounding it; and even unique collections found throughout its shopping destinations.
What to eat in Wellington
One of the best things to do in Wellington is explore its abundance of amazing eateries. Here are some of our favourites.
1. Pretty Bird – This coffee and breakfast spot is a huge hit, with its rustic décor and yummy eats. From eggs benedict to avocado toast, there’s something for everyone on the Pretty Bird menu!
2. The Kaffir Grill – This dimly lit restaurant offers a great mix of Asian cuisine, from stir-fries to sashimi bowls. Plus, their atmosphere is perfect for settling into with a book or good friend.
3. Lazy Ox Restaurant – This place is all about fresh, healthy food – and it really hits the spot. They specialize in organic and sustainable farming, so you can be sure that what you’re eating is pure goodness.
4. Salt City Kitchen – If you’re looking for a hearty meal that will leave you feeling satisfied, Salt City Kitchen is the place for you! They offer an extensive variety of dishes ranging from Indian tandoori chicken to black bean burger bowls.
5. Eggspectation – If you’re a fan of continental breakfast spots, Eggspectation is definitely worth checking out. Not only do they offer amazing breakfasts, you can also enjoy a chilling atmosphere where you can soak up some more morning glory!
6. The Abbey Tavern – 1805 Burgers is the place to be at when it comes to all things comfort food. You’ll find everything from juicy burgers and pizza to salads in their nautical-themed dining room.
7. Scales Downtown Eatery – If you’re looking for tasty breakfast options filled with delicious ingredients and a quaint ambiance, look no further than Scales Downtown Eatery.
8. Portage Bay Cafe – For locals, Portage Bay Cafe is known best as the go-to coffee spot. But come dinnertime, it’s transformed into an outpost of bustling yuppie goodness.
9. RheinHaus Pizzeria and Brewery – Locals often say that a good beer has to come with a hearty slice of pizza. But in order for your pizza to be the perfect complement, it needs to be delicious, too. That’s down to this Capitol Hill staple, where they make both their pizzas and craft beers while keeping the clientele well-fed throughout the evening.
Wellington is a beautiful city and it’s not hard to see why so many people have fallen in love with it. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or just some great food and wine – Wellington has something for everyone.