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Things to do in Wellington

Our most recommended things to do in Wellington

Wellington: Wētā Workshop Experience and Guided Tour

1. Wellington: Wētā Workshop Experience and Guided Tour

Visit Wellington's Wētā Workshop and step into a world of magical creativity. Learn about how special effects and props and designed and made for film and TV on a guided tour of the Wētā Cave. Meet your guide at the Wētā Cave store to begin your journey through the world of Wētā Workshop, one of the film industry’s premier special effects companies, located in the heart of Wellington’s Miramar peninsula. From The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to Avatar and District 9, learn about props, costumes, and creatures were created for your favorite films. Check out cool stuff from the creative departments and catch an artist at work on the tour stage. Discover the filmmaking technique of miniature effects and learn how they are built for hit TV and film productions. Wander through monumental miniatures from Thunderbirds Are Go and see how it's possible to fit an entire island, cityscape, and mansion under one roof.

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.

Wellington: 3-4 hr Guided Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

3. Wellington: 3-4 hr Guided Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

Get to know Wellington like a local on this electric bike tour. Your guide will take you off the beaten path and show you the best places to snack and shop. Glide along the beach and enjoy panoramic views from a lookout point. Meet your guide at Queens Wharf in Central Wellington for a morning departure. After listening to the safety briefing, learn how to operate your electric bike and enjoy time practicing in a safe area before heading out. Once you’re feeling comfortable, saddle up for a fun bike tour of Wellington, and follow your guide along the Wellington Waterfront. Glide along the seafront, passing the lively port and harbor, and the beaches of Oriental Bay. Continue along the Miramar Peninsula and leave the bustle of the city behind as you cycle along the scenic coast. Pause along the way at a local café, where you’ll have the chance to enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee, and purchase sandwiches and cakes at your own expense. Afterward, loop back towards the city. Finally, climb up to the lookout point for an unforgettable view over Wellington, the Miramar Peninsula, and the ocean. Your tour ends in the early afternoon back in central Wellington. The route is approximately 25 km (15 mile). The tour usually takes 3 - 3.5 hours, but leave 4 hours for this activity in case of any delays along the route.

Martinborough Winery Tour

4. 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.

Zealandia by Day Tour

5. Zealandia by Day Tour

Discover New Zealand’s native wildlife on an immersive 2-hour guided walking tour at Zealandia Ecosanctuary. Located 10-minutes from Wellington CBD, the fully-fenced, predator-free ecosanctuary is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary and vulnerable animals.  Zealandia can be easily reached by car, free shuttle, or cable car from Wellington CBD. Check in at the vistor center ticket desk where you will meet your guide. Begin with introduction in the ecosanctuary’s exhibition. You will complete a short bio-security bag check before you can enter the sanctuary. This is to prevent any predators from entering the sanctuary with you. Then, venture out into the sanctuary to discovery the riches of our native flora and fauna at its very best.  Make the most of your visit with your expert guide, who will share with you the history, sights and sounds of the forest and its secrets. Witness the highly intelligent kākā (bush parrot), kakariki, tūī and bellbirds at feeding stations positioned along the sanctuary’s walkways. After 2 hours exploring the vast parklands, you will return to the visitor center. Relax after your tour with a coffee or meal at Cafe Rata. 

Wellington and Picton: Interislander Ferry

6. Wellington and Picton: Interislander Ferry

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, so 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.

Wellington: 9-Minute Scenic Flight Ride

7. Wellington: 9-Minute Scenic Flight Ride

Soar high and get a birds-eye perspective with land and ocean views from all angles. Enjoy a scenic flight over Wellington and discover the city from a unique aerial perspective. Moments after boarding your helicopter, ascend from the heart of New Zealand's capital city on a short 9-minute exhilarating flight. In an instant, the Wellington landscape will be brought into perspective before your eyes. Marvel at the unique birds-eye views of the skyline below you, dotted with iconic buildings such as Te Papa, the Beehive, and the Cake Tin. You may even get to see the Marlborough Sounds and upper South Island on clear days.

Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa: Gallipoli Early Entry Ticket

8. 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.

Wellington: Electric Bike Hire

9. Wellington: Electric Bike Hire

Ride at your own pace by hiring an e-bike to explore Wellington city and the surrounding bays. These high-quality electric bikes are easy to use and suitable for any level of fitness. Ride the bays to take in the best viewpoints or use your e-bike as your transport between the must-see attractions of Wellington such as the Weta Workshop, Zealandia Sanctuary, Te Papa Museum, or the Wellington Cable Car located only 5-minutes away. Whether you're traveling solo, as a couple, or in a group, these top-quality electric bikes make your mode of transport an experience in itself. The local partner can recommend a great day route that takes you from their store on the Wellington Waterfront, around the bays to the Miramar Peninsula and back via a lookout of the harbor entrance and the Mount Victoria lookout.

Zealandia Twilight Ecosanctuary Tour

10. 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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Frequently asked questions about Wellington

What top attractions are a must-see in Wellington?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Wellington?

The best day trips and excursions from Wellington are:

Martinborough

What are the best tours to do in Wellington with kids?

What are the best inexpensive tours in Wellington?

Other Sightseeing Options in Wellington

Want to discover all there is to do in Wellington? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Wellington

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 527 reviews

I booked this trip for my elderly parents. They absolutely loved it and haven't stopped talking about it since they returned last week. In particular, they commented on how friendly and helpful all involved were. I can personally vouch for Golden Bay Air - always helpful and quick to reply to my emails when I was sorting the booking out. While I haven't yet done the trip myself, I couldn't recommend this more highly and look forward to following in my parents' footsteps by doing the trip with my wife in the next wee while.

Dylan was prepared to guide just two of us along the waterfront despite all others canceling their bookings, the pouring rain, and the gusty winds. We got soaked - but it was the best thing we did in Wellington in the four days we were there. We had a fabulous time. Dylan was awesome, funny, knowledgeable and careful to make sure we were having a great time. I can't speak highly enough about these bike tours... great thing to do, and very friendly folk.

I’m a big LOTR nerd so naturally I loved every minute! But if you’re not, you still will! A must see! Guide was a lovely lady called Lisa who actually works at the workshop and it was brilliant to pick her brain! Be careful, it’s hard to leave the Wētā Cave with so many cool things to buy!

I really enjoyed the tour! The guide was knowledgable and gave a lot of much-needed background information about the Māori. And the museum is amazing. It was an excellent place to start the exploration of New Zealand.

Everything went great. The reception is also very good.