It’s true what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Living in Wellington for the first 28 years of my life, I didn’t realise how much potential and how beautiful the city of Wellington really is. I guess you could say I took for granted living in the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, and it wasn’t until a recent trip back home that I realised what I had been missing out on all this time! If your looking for a relaxing get away, a cultural experience, and amazing sights then I recommend putting Wellington, New Zealand on your bucket list! Here are my top 5 favourite spots and places:
1. THE WELLINGTON CABLE CAR
When I think of Wellington, one of the first thoughts that come to mind is the Wellington Cable Car. It is considered a widely recognised symbol of the city, and it is an attraction that shouldn’t be missed. It was first opened in 1902 and is situated between the main shopping street Lambton Quay and the hills of Kilburn. The views at the top are fantastic, especially on a clear sunny day, giving you a scenic look over the harbour and city below. Once you have admired the views, you can then head on over to the Cable Car Museum where you can learn about the history of the ride further. Situated across from the museum is the Kowhai Cafe, where you can sit down and relax, enjoying a cup of coffee and a little something to eat.
COST Adult: $4.00 One way/ $7.50 Return Child: $2.00 One way/ $3.50 Return Family Pass: $19.00 (2 adults and up to 4 children) *prices are $NZD
OPENING TIMES Monday to Friday: 7am-10pm, Saturday: 8.30am-10pm, Sunday: 8.30am-9pm
2. WELLINGTON BOTANICAL GARDENS
If you have taken a trip up the Cable Car, why not stretch your legs and head on down to the botanical gardens? This is one of my favourite spots, especially during the summer. With native bush walks, wildlife, a beautiful rose garden, and a large conservatory, its a perfect place to relax. There are also a number of cafes dotted around the gardens where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy a range of hot and cold beverages. During the summer months the gardens play host to free concerts for people of all ages to enjoy, but remember to take a blanket or warm jumper as the evenings (even in the summer) can get a little bit chilly!
3. ORA ART GALLERY
Located on Allen Street in the heart of Wellington city, you will find ORA Gallery, which is home to one of the best collections of contemporary New Zealand art. Here you will find stunning paintings, pottery, jewellery, glass and homeware items. You will find the perfect gift for your loved ones, or even a treat for yourself, that is whole heartedly New Zealand inspired! You can also enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat right on the gallery floor. Trust me this gallery is a place you do not want to miss!
OPENING TIMES Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm, Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-4pm
4. QUEENS WHARF AND ORIENTAL PARADE
To escape the hustle and bustle of the inner city, head to Queens Wharf and walk around the water front towards Oriental Parade. Here you can admire Wellington Harbour in all its glory, and admire the rolling hills surrounding the city. This area also boasts a range of small gift shops, restaurants, cafes and, bars where you can enjoy the finest New Zealand wine and beer. There is also a great park for children to run and play. During the weekend a pop up market appears, where locals sell hand crafted goods or delicious food for you to enjoy. If your feeling adventurous you can hire a kayak or paddle boat, which gives you an opportunity to view the city from the water.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which is translated to ‘the place of treasures of this land’ can not be missed. The museum is home to artefacts, art, and displays that delve into the historical and cultural aspects of New Zealand. There is a full programme of ever changing exhibitions and events all year round, with some of the programmes incorporating hands on activities, performances, and talks. One of the most popular displays at the museum is: Gallipoli, The Scale of War exhibition, where the famous Weta Work Shop (who worked on The Lord Of The Rings) have developed a display where you can immerse yourself in the eight month Gallipoli campaign. With life sized sculptures, 3D displays, and interactive elements really bringing the exhibition to life. And guess what? It’s free!
OPENING TIMES: Monday- Sunday: 10am-6pm