Things to do in
Wellington

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Our most recommended things to do in Wellington

From Wellington: Kapiti Island Nature Reserve Day Trip

1. From Wellington: Kapiti Island Nature Reserve Day Trip

Meet your host at the Kapiti Boat Club Paraparaumu and board a purpose-built jet boat for the short 20-minute trip to Ko te Waewae Kapiti o tara Rua ko Rangitani, also known as Kapiti Island. Prior to departure, your guide will take you through a short biosecurity check to ensure Kapiti Island is kept predator free. One of the reasons Kapiti Island is so special is that it does not have any mammalian predators. This means the bird life is not like on the mainland. On Kapiti, you will see and hear rare and endangered species that thrive on the island. On arrival at Kapiti Island, head up to the information center and gain a 20-minute overview of the ecology, natural history and birds you are likely to see on the island. Learn about the best tracks, how to best spot the bird, and where to swim. Then, set off on your own to soak up the beauty of the island. For an additional fee, you can enjoy a 1-hour guided walk with a world-class guide, prior to being let loose on the island. Whilst this is not a fully guided experience, your guide will be on the island for the day, available to answer any questions and help ensure you have the best day possible. After your self-guided experience, climb back onboard the boat to head back to the mainland, arriving around 2:45 PM.

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Wellington: Return Cable Car Ticket

2. Wellington: Return Cable Car Ticket

Follow the Cable Car signpost around Lambton Quay to find the hidden Cable Car Lane in the heart of the city centre.  Wellington's iconic Cable Car travels through three historic tunnels and over three bridges. There are three intermediate stations; the residential areas of Clifton, Talavera and Salamanca. Victoria University of Wellington and Kelburn Park Fountain can be accessed from the Salamanca Station. Enjoy the panoramic views of Wellington city and the harbor from the top of the Cable Car. To get back down into the city, there are several walks through the hillsides of the Botanic Garden, including a beautiful 40-minute stroll back down to the city centre via the historic Bolton Street Cemetery and the Beehive. Or if you prefer an easier route back down, choose the return journey option. This allows you plenty of time to enjoy the views and explore the surrounding attractions at the summit before heading back.

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Martinborough Winery Tour

3. Martinborough Winery Tour

Enjoy a 5 hour guided tour of the Martinborough wine region in the Wairarapa starting with a spectacular drive over the stunning Remutaka Ranges. Stop at the Remutaka Summit for amazing views before heading down into the Wairarapa.  Enjoy the view across the Stuart Macaskill Lakes from the viewing platform perched in the native bush above. Visit three of the Martinborough regions' best wineries and enjoy their Cellar Door experiences as you sample the world-class products available. Specific wineries are available by request. Visit C'est Cheese and try some of their locally produced cheeses or something from further afield. Have a look at the on-site cheese factory and peruse the available cheeses from around the country and the world. Great place to grab a snack for the road if needed.  Transportation is available. Guests may share a vehicle with others. No exclusivity guaranteed.

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Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa: Gallipoli Early Entry Ticket

4. Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa: Gallipoli Early Entry Ticket

Avoid the crowds and enter the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa before it opens to the public at 10:00 AM, and access the "Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War" exhibition to learn more about one of the major campaigns of World War I. Get a short introduction from a knowledgeable guide, and then explore at your own pace. Combining the world of museums with the world-class creative artistry of Weta Workshop, the ground-breaking exhibition tells the story through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.  Learn all about the giant sculptures that took a staggering 24,000 hours to create. Encounter 3D maps and projections, miniatures, models, dioramas, and a range of interactive experiences that will bring New Zealand's Gallipoli story to life. Then, use your entry ticket to explore the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa's vast collections at leisure.

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Zealandia by Night Tour

5. Zealandia by Night Tour

Experience Zealandia by night on a guided tour by torchlight. The fully-fenced, urban eco-sanctuary is located 10-minutes from Wellington central business district.   Your guide will lead you in search of the distinctive sights and sounds of New Zealand’s native forest. Experience many of the rare and endangered species. See those that only come out at night. Observe unique species such as wētā, glow worms, tuatara, and takahē.  Sightings of kiwi are common on these tours (around 80% of the time), though are not guaranteed. Gain insights into New Zealand’s natural history. Learn about the significance of unique species within Māori culture. Your tour will end with a replenishing cup of hot kawakawa (bushman’s tea) in the Visitors Centre.

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Wellington: Fear Factory Haunted House Admission Ticket

6. Wellington: Fear Factory Haunted House Admission Ticket

Feel the adrenaline rush and learn about Wellington’s haunted history in the heart of New Zealand’s capital city.  Enter the interactive dark and venture below the deck of the Lost Ghost Ship. Discover a nautical nightmare inside the HMS Wayfarer.  Grab a group of friends, your family, or someone you really trust and take on this white-knuckle adventure. Challenge yourselves and see who can last the longest.  If you decide you’ve had enough before the 30-minute tour is up, there is a way out: scream “I chicken out!” You will be immortalized on the ever-growing chicken counter, which has more than 1,300 people listed.

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Martinborough Winery and South Wairarapa Wild Coast Tour

7. Martinborough Winery and South Wairarapa Wild Coast Tour

Enjoy a 10-hour guided tour heading north from Wellington around the western edge of the beautiful Wellington Harbor and up the Hutt Valley following the Hutt River. A scenic drive over the Remutaka Ranges includes a sightseeing stop at the summit before you arrive in the rural Wairarapa where you will enjoy a wine tasting and tapas lunch at a Martinborough vineyard and winery. Visit award winning wineries and enjoy their cellar door experiences and sample their world renowned wines before a sumptuous lunch at a vineyard restaurant. Next you head to the rugged south Wairarapa coast where you will experience epic sweeping views of Palliser Bay as you descend to the coast. Visit the rural fishing village of Ngawi, the North Island's largest permanent seal colony and the Cape Palliser Lighthouse at the most southern point of the North Island. For dinner, head to the Lake Ferry hotel before heading back over the Remutaka Ranges to Wellington. Book optional extra activities available throughout the tour including: a visit to Putangirua Pinnacles, a craft beer tasting, an olive oil tasting or a visit to the quaint town of Greytown and their famous chocolatier.

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Zealandia Twilight Ecosanctuary Tour

8. Zealandia Twilight Ecosanctuary Tour

Experience Zealandia as it transforms from daylight to twilight during this special guided experience. The fully-fenced, urban eco-sanctuary is located 10-minutes from Wellington central business district.   Begin your tour with the highlights of Zealandia's interactive exhibition. Your guide will then lead you through the sanctuary valley. See birds returning to the sanctuary to settle into their nests and marvel at the sight of the evening sky and hear the changing sounds of birds from day to night.  Encounter unique species such as wētā, takahē, tuatara and more. You may even experience the first sounds of the nocturnal birds, such as kiwi and ruru (morepork) as they wake.

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1-Way Ferry Service Between Wellington and Picton

9. 1-Way Ferry Service Between Wellington and Picton

Sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most spectacular ferry crossings in the world, between the north and south islands of New Zealand. With 92 kilometers of breathtaking views, the 3.5-hour journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist activities.   There are 3 different ships in operation every day. Whether you are travelling alone or with your vehicle, you’ll always have a wide choice of travel times.   Once on board, enjoy a range of activities. Stroll on the decks, enjoy a meal and a drink, or catch one of the latest movie releases. You can also simply relax and take in the breathtaking view. Keep your children busy with a play area, nursery, cartoons and video games. Plus, there’s plenty of seating for families.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Guided Tour

10. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Guided Tour

This introductory 1-hour guided tour is the perfect way to gain an overview of Te Papa’s highlights, Maori treasures, and New Zealand history. It is ideal if you have limited time or would like an introduction for an extended visit!  In central Wellington, you're rarely more than a 20-minute walk away from The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a cultural history museum located on the waterfront. Join a tour in either English or Mandarin led by a friendly, knowledgeable guide to make the most of your visit. The guides are highly trained, with a knack for bringing the stories of New Zealand's places and people to life. Tours available in English or Mandarin.  Learn about Maori history, traditions, and art. View photography and natural science displays, come face-to-face with the largest and only colossal squid on display in the world. Enjoy high-tech interactive exhibits, art and design galleries, and the living, growing exhibition of Bush City. After the tour, use your entry ticket to explore the museum further at your own pace. There is plenty to see and you are welcome to stay as long as you like. Rest and recharge at one of the onsite cafes and browse for a souvenir at the gift stores.

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Frequently asked questions about Wellington

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What people are saying about Wellington

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 625 reviews

What a great day out! We got picked up by our friendly driver Kelvin in his classy truck and drove over to Marinbough. He was very informative and interesting so the trip went quickly. After a stop at the top of the ranges for a view we headed to the wineries. We visited 3 wineries and had a fantastic lunch at Moy Hall. Kelvin was a great host and guide and I would recommend this tour and would defiantly book again.

What a great day on the island such a great island with plenty to see and do The boat rew where magnificent from the easy check in process to the safety brief on the boat, Coops and his crew were not only professional but were both polite and knowledgeable of the history of the island, that's team.

Extremely well run and friendly operation. The tour guide's (Rob) introduction was so very interesting and comprehensive, I came away with a better historical and environmental knowledge of not just Kapiti Island but Aoetearoa. Will definitely go again and again!

Fantastic day out. John (our driver) was very flexible and proactive about the accident on the Rumatakas. Highly recommend.

Great guides, with knowledge of history and bird life. Lovely day