Wellington travel guide

Wellington Tourism | Wellington Guide

You're Going to Love Wellington

Wellington is relaxed and upbeat, full of residents who are more than willing to show you around. Embark on nature safaris and scale mountains in the same city you would shop and dance the night away.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Wellington

1. Nerds Unite!

...at the Weta Workshop, responsible for the mock-ups, sets, and production of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Make sure to book your tickets for tours online in advance.

2. Views of the City at Brooklyn Wind Turbine

The Brooklyn Wind Turbine is the best spot for you to take in a breathtaking view of Wellington, the harbor, and Cook Strait. Go at sunset for a real treat.

3. Nature in the Urban at Wellington Botanic Garden

While the adults are relaxing, strolling through the beautiful gardens, kids can interact at Space Place, an astronomy and space museum in the park featuring planetarium shows and interactive science exhibits.

4. The Mountains

You don't need to scale Mount Victoria and Mount Kaukau on foot because there are buses that will take you up there. Don't miss these spectacular lookout points.

5. A Kiwi Wildlife Safari

Head to Zealandia at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can watch endangered birds and animals in a natural haven.

What to do in Wellington

1. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: It's "Our Place"

The Museum of New ZealandTe Papa Tongarewa has a mission: bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous populations and cultures through diversity, multidisciplinary collaboration, and the preservation of the narratives of traditions. The robust and unique collection features more than simply textiles or texts of the Pacific cultures. It also houses a herbarium of 250,000 species, fossils, 70,000 species of birds and a rare colossal squid, at 14 feet long. Through hands-on and immersive exhibits, the Museum's curators give a sense of ancient Maori culture and traditions as well as New Zealand's abundant natural world.

2. Mount Victoria Lookout: For Your Eyes Only

More than 642 feet over the city is Mount Victoria Lookout's highest lookout point. Indeed, with the stunning panoramic views it affords all who venture up to her peak, it's hard to miss anything in the city. View the city's ferries and cruise ships puttering about while flights take off and land at Wellington's airport. Pack a picnic lunch and take in the views of the beautiful Tinakori Hill, Hutt Valley, and the Miramar Peninsula. You can drive up or take the walkway intended for pedestrians through the Town Belt.

3. Botanic Gardens: Grow a Green Thumb

These glorious gardens were developed out of a 1844 initiative by the New Zealand Company to set aside a 5.26ha strip of land for a botanic garden reserve. The gardens boast a stunning variety of flora and fauna, with plant varieties native to New Zealand, Australia, and South East Asia. Their gardens include the Begonia House brimming over with tropical plants, and the Lady Norwood Rose Garden with over 3,000 roses.

4. Carter Observatory: Reserve a Space at Space Place

Any star enthusiast knows that the southern night sky is the best place on the planet to navigate and view the majesty of the Large Magellanic Cloud, as viewed from the historic Thomas Cooke telescope. The Carter Observatory houses the Space Place, a full-dome planetarium with plenty of exhibits and activities for younger children or science and astronomy enthusiasts. Virtual exhibits combined with planned astral viewings and shows present the continuity between indigenous cultures such as the Maori's markings and modern science's discoveries. Besides the telescope, visitors will also delight in taking part of the star dome, which allow you to sit back, recline and view immersive projections of the sky above.

5. Beehive: Where the Busiest Members of Parliament Buzz

The Beehive is so-called because of its unique beehive-like design and structure. The upper floors of the Beehive are the seats of Cabinet members and the Prime Minister. Walking through the halls of the interesting structure, visitors will sense a palpable "buzz" of law- and policy-makers as the Beehive is where discussion over bills occur. Its resident pool, cafes, and theater make sure there's time to unwind as well. The Beehive also proudly displays an extensive collection of New Zealand art from local and traditional artists. Its marble floors, steel walls and gorgeous glass ceilings make this more than simply a political house.

1. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: It's "Our Place"

The Museum of New ZealandTe Papa Tongarewa has a mission: bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous populations and cultures through diversity, multidisciplinary collaboration, and the preservation of the narratives of traditions. The robust and unique collection features more than simply textiles or texts of the Pacific cultures. It also houses a herbarium of 250,000 species, fossils, 70,000 species of birds and a rare colossal squid, at 14 feet long. Through hands-on and immersive exhibits, the Museum's curators give a sense of ancient Maori culture and traditions as well as New Zealand's abundant natural world.

2. Mount Victoria Lookout: For Your Eyes Only

More than 642 feet over the city is Mount Victoria Lookout's highest lookout point. Indeed, with the stunning panoramic views it affords all who venture up to her peak, it's hard to miss anything in the city. View the city's ferries and cruise ships puttering about while flights take off and land at Wellington's airport. Pack a picnic lunch and take in the views of the beautiful Tinakori Hill, Hutt Valley, and the Miramar Peninsula. You can drive up or take the walkway intended for pedestrians through the Town Belt.

3. Botanic Gardens: Grow a Green Thumb

These glorious gardens were developed out of a 1844 initiative by the New Zealand Company to set aside a 5.26ha strip of land for a botanic garden reserve. The gardens boast a stunning variety of flora and fauna, with plant varieties native to New Zealand, Australia, and South East Asia. Their gardens include the Begonia House brimming over with tropical plants, and the Lady Norwood Rose Garden with over 3,000 roses.

4. Carter Observatory: Reserve a Space at Space Place

Any star enthusiast knows that the southern night sky is the best place on the planet to navigate and view the majesty of the Large Magellanic Cloud, as viewed from the historic Thomas Cooke telescope. The Carter Observatory houses the Space Place, a full-dome planetarium with plenty of exhibits and activities for younger children or science and astronomy enthusiasts. Virtual exhibits combined with planned astral viewings and shows present the continuity between indigenous cultures such as the Maori's markings and modern science's discoveries. Besides the telescope, visitors will also delight in taking part of the star dome, which allow you to sit back, recline and view immersive projections of the sky above.

5. Beehive: Where the Busiest Members of Parliament Buzz

The Beehive is so-called because of its unique beehive-like design and structure. The upper floors of the Beehive are the seats of Cabinet members and the Prime Minister. Walking through the halls of the interesting structure, visitors will sense a palpable "buzz" of law- and policy-makers as the Beehive is where discussion over bills occur. Its resident pool, cafes, and theater make sure there's time to unwind as well. The Beehive also proudly displays an extensive collection of New Zealand art from local and traditional artists. Its marble floors, steel walls and gorgeous glass ceilings make this more than simply a political house.

Where to Eat in Wellington

Beach Babylon is the place to go for authentic New Zealand cuisine with a stunning view of the beach. A retro-styled, beach-side cafe and restaurant, it has great drinks and mains like rostis, fondue platters, tarahiki fish, and slow roasted pork belly. Expect to pay between NZ$10 and NZ$30, per person, depending on what you order.

When to visit Wellington

Wellington in August
Estimated hotel price
€106
1 night at 3-star hotel
Wellington in August
Estimated hotel price
€106
1 night at 3-star hotel

Hold on to your hats and your hair because Wellington is known as the world's windiest city. However, it's very pleasant to travel through the region's urban area as the temperatures don't drop below 32 on the coldest of winter nights, while the summers are a comfortable 77.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Wellington

Plane

Travelers will arrive at Wellington International Airport (WLG), which is located just three miles southeast of the city's center. There are plenty of shuttle services and taxis waiting directly outside the terminal.

Train

Use the InterCity train service to get from Auckland to Wellington for a single adult fare of NZ$41.

Car

To drive from Auckland to Wellington without exploring or stopping, use the State Highway 1 and head south.

Bus

Buses depart from the InterCity Auckland bus terminal at Sky City and get in to Platform 9 of the Wellington Railway Station. Fares vary by days traveled but a standard, one-way adult fare for direct overnight service starts at NZ$34.

Airports near Wellington

Airlines serving Wellington

United Airlines
Good (2,856 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,393 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,337 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,442 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (975 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,460 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (316 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (337 reviews)
Finnair
Good (703 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (2,651 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (783 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (143 reviews)
Thai Airways
Good (63 reviews)
Asiana Airlines
Excellent (90 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (180 reviews)
EVA Air
Excellent (152 reviews)
Vietnam Airlines
Good (21 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (346 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (78 reviews)
Jetstar
Good (92 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Wellington

Wellington Central - this is the main hub of Wellington, its core for shopping, restaurants, businesses, nightlife, and galleries.

Popular Neighborhoods in Wellington

Te Aro - the heart of Te Aro is a bustling commercial and business center, as well as much of Wellington's entertainment and nightlife spots.

Pipitea - this is the perfect neighborhood, with a vibrant student life, thanks to the presence of the Victoria University of Wellington. Its proximity to the water, Westpac Stadium, and Wellington Botanic Garden make it a real draw for travelers and locals alike.

Where to stay in popular areas of Wellington

Most booked hotels in Wellington

Intercontinental Wellington, An IHG Hotel
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
€187+
Boulcott Lodge
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
€122+
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
€120+
Travelodge Hotel Wellington
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
€104+
Fernhill Motor Lodge
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
€103+
ibis Wellington
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
€103+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Wellington

Public Transportation

Metlink runs a bus and train system divided into three zones. A single adult fare starts at NZ$2 for a single zone. If you're staying long-term, you can grab a monthly pass for NZ$132.50 and use an electronic Snapper Card to get 20% off all fares, as long as you tap when boarding and tap again when leaving.

Taxi

You can hail a taxi on the streets or you can pre-book with companies like Green Cabs or Wellington Combined Taxis. Keep in mind that there may be extra charges for airport pick-up, phone bookings, or electronic payment. Fares start at a base rate of NZ$3.50 and it's NZ$1.65 per mile thereafter.

Car

Avis, Apex, and Go Rentals are just some of the providers in Wellington. Rates for a standard, 4-door car vary but generally start at NZ$25 a day.

The Cost of Living in Wellington

Shopping Streets

Start at the Old Bank Arcade, housed in a gorgeous historical building, or the Westfield Queensgate. Lovers of vintage will find Hunters and Collectors simply divine.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs NZ$2.72 and a dozen eggs costs NZ$4.74.

Cheap meal
€11.37
A pair of jeans
€71.25
Single public transport ticket
€2.42
Cappuccino
€2.99