Wellington's claim to fame as the hipster capital of New Zealand is much deserved. The city is buzzing with great nightlife, craft beer, great food and of course - amazing coffee! But there's more to Wellington than culture and good times - the coastline stretching along the CBD is beautiful and it's a great place to experience a little Lord of the Rings. So if you're asking yourself the question "what can I do in Wellington?" - here are our top 10 picks!
What To Do in Wellington - Our Top 10
1. Hit up Cuba Street & the Wellington Night Market
Cuba Street is the place where locals come to eat, drink and play. There's loads of cool little coffee spots and cafes stretching along Cuba Street, along with loads of pubs, great hungover brekky joints (Fidel's Cafe is a fav of ours), street art and lots of boutique and artsy stores. Every Friday and Saturday night Cuba Street transforms into the Wellington Night Market from 5:00pm - 11:00pm.
Tip: head to Slow Boat Records and browse through the new and vintage records!
2. Take a walk to the top of Mount Victoria
For the perfect Wellington selfie and fantastic 360 views of the CBD and Harbour, a walk to Mount Victoria Lookout is a must. The loop walking track is around 1.5km starting from Base Wellington. From Base, follow Majoribanks Rd to Charles Plimmer Park. The rail will then lead you towards the lookout.
TIP: look out for the Tyre Swing at Charles Plimmer Park - makes for an epic photo!
3. Weta Workshop
Wellington is the artistic hub of New Zealand and is nicknamed Wellywood for a reason! Many of the nation's movie studios are located in Wellington and many parts of the Lord of The Rings (LOTR) movies were filmed here. Weta Workshop is where many of the costumes, props and visual effects for films such as Avatar, LOTR & King Kong were created. If you are keen on LOTR, there is a tour that includes a visit to many of the film spots as well as a trip to Weta Workshop! This is a Wellington attraction you cannot miss especially if you love films! Read more about the Wellington Movie Tour.
4. Check out Frank Kitts Park & the Waterfront
Take a stroll along Frank Kitts Park and Jervois Bay - it's a sight for sore eyes that's for sure! You will find lots of quirky street sculptures along the harbour, lots of water view bars, cafes, restaurants, pop up ice cream stalls and loads of events and markets all year round.
5. Te Papa Museum
Not only is entry to Te Papa Museum FREE, but it is the largest (and best) Museum in New Zealand - you could literally spend an entire day there! The Museum includes anything and everything about New Zealand's culture, history, geography and animals. There are loads of interactive displays, videos, artefacts, an Art Gallery and you can even catch a glimpse of the original Waitangi Treaty - New Zealand's founding document.
6. Chill or take a walk by Oriental Bay
Oriental Bay is Wellington's very own answer to Beach. Absolutely buzzing in summer, Oriental Bay is one of the most popular spots to take a dip and chill out under the sun. If checking out the beaches is on your radar, Wellington's coastline is stunning and home to so many unpopulated beaches!
7. Take a FREE tour of New Zealand Parliament
Get a little insight into New Zealand's governance and history by taking a free tour of the "Beehive" - the iconic beehive shaped Parliament building. Tours depart daily between 10:00AM and 4:00PM and will give you the opportunity to take a tour of the building and grounds.
8. Cram loads of Wellington activities in on a 3 hour cheap tour!
If you are on a tight schedule in Wellington, for example arriving off the Kiwi Experience or Stray Bus with just half a day to kill, then there is a 3 hour tour that you can do. Hammond's Wellington City Sights & Coastline Tour is a great way to get a little snapshot of all that Wellington and its surrounds offer. Your guide will teach you loads of interesting facts about NZ and the city, and you will visit Mount Victoria Lookout, Wellington's "Wellywood" coastline and rich people's houses, the outer beaches, Parliament Building, St Paul's Cathedral, Wellington Cable Car and many of the city's iconic buildings and landmarks.
9. Take a ride on Wellington's historic Cable Car
You can't visit Welly without taking a scenic ride on the iconic Wellington Cable Car. Not only are the views worthwhile, but it's a quick and easy way to get to the Wellington Botanic Garden. The trip from the city centre to the very top, a hill side suburb by the name of Kelburn, takes just 5 minutes.
TIP: check out the Cable Car Museum!
10. Go on a Welly Pub Crawl
Wellington has some amazingly weird and quirky bars well worth checking out, from Brewerys to hidden laneway bars, from Pool Halls to outdoor beer gardens.
TIP: check out the reasonably priced newly opened Rooftop Bar Dirty Little Secret for amazing views over the CBD.