TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.WELLINGTON CABLE CAR AND THE KELBURN LOOKOUT
Since 1912 Wellington’s antique cable car has been chugging up the hill to the Kelburn Lookout. The scenic view across the city is definitely a photographers dream come true. There is also a small museum with displays of the original cable car used on the tracks.
2.MUSEUM OF NEW ZEALAND
Take an immersive journey into the natural forces that formed the country, the culture of the Maori people who first settled here, and the social history of both Maori and Europeans who have shaped the nation since then. Visit the Earthquake House that simulates the experience of being in an earthquake, the Arts Te Papa collection with 11 galleries of artworks focused on New Zealand and Pacific Island artists and the Mana Whenua exhibition, which traces the history of New Zealand's Maori with a fine collection of Maori art and treasures and state-of-the-art multimedia displays.
3.COLONIAL COTTAGE MUSEUM
Built in 1850 by William Wallis as a home for his family, it is Wellington’s oldest surviving original cottage. Preserved with many of the Wallis furniture and fixtures in place to recreate the ambience of family life in New Zealand's pioneering era, while outside is an organic heritage garden. The garden area is open to tourists throughout the day.
4.CITY GALLERY WELLINGTON
The gallery is one of the leading galleries of contemporary art spaces in New Zealand. Changing temporary exhibits throughout the year display artworks by both renowned and up-and-coming local, Pacific Island, and international artists. Exhibitions range from painting to photography to sculpture, multimedia work, and art installations.
5.WELLINGTON BOTANIC GARDENS
Sprawling on the city hillside, the gardens is a lush oasis full of blooming displays and native fauna. One of the gardens most famous attractions is The Lady Norwood Rose Gardens with 110 rose beds boasting a flurry of different varieties. The Cater Observatory offers planetarium shows while the Begonia House is offering a display of their tropical flowers species.
Built between 1964 and 1979 this is New Zealand’s most iconic building with its distinctive shape as the city's most love-it-or-hate-it piece of architecture and site of New Zealands parliament. Free one-hour tours of the parliament buildings are held daily and you can trace New Zealand's parliamentary history as well as touring through the important government rooms. The gardens around the buildings are open to the public and contain rose gardens and a statue of Richard John Seddon who was prime minister of New Zealand between 1893 and 1906.
7.MUSEUM OF WELLINGTON CITY AND SEA
Once one of the city’s early department stores this small but impressive museum brings to life the history of Wellington through state-of-the-art multimedia displays. Exhibits and film presentations trace Wellington's maritime history and the city's evolution. There is also a very well presented gallery focused on Maori myths and legends.
8.DOWSE ART MUSEUM
The museum is worth visiting for its jaunty architecture and culture exhibits. The museum is showcasing NZ art, craft and design, and during winter a ice rink.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
One of the best ways to explore Wellington is on foot. Other transports options are, bus, trolley, trans, taxi or ferries.
The best time to visit is between December and February. During June and August (winter) Wellington is very wet and windy.