Wellington is a bustling city in the southernmost state of New Zealand. The region is continuously called one of the most livable cities and, in 2013, received recognition as “the coolest capital in the world.” If you have a trip to Wellington on your agenda – or would consider it – the following eight activities can help ensure that it’s an unforgettable experience.

The Beehive

The Beehive is the colloquial name for the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament building. It is also one of the most distinctive architectural sights in the city, resembling – you guessed it – a beehive. The iconic landmark leads daily tours and features breathtaking rose gardens that are open to the public.

City Gallery Wellington

If you are wondering what makes Wellington a “cool city” look no further than the City Gallery of Wellington. The forward-thinking art space displays year-round contemporary exhibits by renowned and local artists. Stop by and treat your eyes and mind to the art installations, multimedia exhibits, sculptures, painting, photography, and other stunning visual arts.

Mountain Victory Lookout

Experience the stunning views of the cityscape, harbour, and mountain backdrop.

When you want a photo to end all photos, take a trip to the top of Mount Victoria. One of the highest points in the area, visitors get stunning views of the cityscape, harbour, and mountain backdrop. If you play your cards right, you can also glimpse one of the most magnificent sunsets of your life.

Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)

The Museum of New Zealand is a celebration of the history and culture of the Maori people, who first arrived in New Zealand in the 14th Century. Te Papa, as locals call it, has 11 galleries featuring artifacts, artworks, and other treasures. One of the most eye-popping displays is the Nike Savvas – Finale: Bouquet, which captures the jubilation of 200,000 pieces of confetti falling in a colourful freeze frame.

Princess Bay

Venture outside the city centre to Princess Bay for an afternoon of swimming and picnicking. The quiet coastal stretch is a local favourite during summer, boasting spectacular views. On a clear day, you can even see the peaks of the Kaikoura Range from the South Island.

Wellington Botanic Gardens

The Wellington Botanic Garden is a haven for nature lovers. The 25 hectares of protected forest, plant collections, and conifers showcase a variety of exotic and native plant species. When you visit, you can also check out more than 100 beds at Lady Norwood Rose Gardens and a collection of eastern plants at the Carter Observatory.

Wellington Cable Car

Experience the Wellington Cable Car for scenic views and relaxing ambience.

Taking a trip to Kelbrun on the Wellington Cable Car is a quintessential component of any visit to Wellington. The antique cable cars began running in 1912 and take riders up the sloping hills of Lambton Quay. The scenic views and relaxing ambience make this a must-do for tourists and locals alike.

Wellington Zoo

The Wellington Zoo is the oldest zoo in New Zealand and has made a name for itself for its conservation critters. Visitors can see everything from monkeys to meerkats and chimpanzees to cheetahs. It recently added The Nest, which offers an open viewing gallery displaying the medical procedures that staff employ to treat resident animals.

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