Answers from Our Experts (2)
Wellington’s attractions cover the gamut from historical sites to places of natural beauty. As a university town, there’s a vibrant arts and food scene here that’s one of the best in New Zealand. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ recommendations for the best things to do during your next visit to Wellington.
1. Visit Te Papa. The free national museum, Te Papa (“Our Place” in Maori) is actually three museums —natural history, New Zealand history, and art — in one beautiful building on the waterfront. Te Papa is open every day of the year, and stays open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays.
2. Tour Parliament. Both buildings of New Zealand's government — the landmark “Beehive” structure and the older Parliament building next door — are free and open to the public for informative tours; the lush grounds around them are also worth a visit.
3. Hike Mount Victoria. The top of this mountain on Wellington's eastern side provides the best view of the city and harbor. It's a pleasant hike to the top along a wooded trail, though bus transport to the viewing area is also an option.
4. Explore the Waterfront. You can find lots to do along the curve of the city's harbor. Take a ferry ride, rent a bike, or sign up for a helicopter ride. Check out the beautiful sculptures on the city-to-sea walkway, or relax on one of the city's beaches.
5. See the Botanic Gardens. New Zealand has some of the world's most unique foliage, and you can see plenty of examples, including colorful flowers and prehistoric ferns, in the 25 hectares of the capital's expansive botanic gardens.