Wellington earned its renown for its artistic spirit and energetic personality. Today, the bustling cosmopolitan city is a global attraction for its spectacular views, phenomenal food, and a variety of entertaining events. It’s why Wellington is the “coolest little capital in the world.” If you want to experience it for yourself, be sure to visit the following five spots during your next trip.
Mount Victoria should be at the top of any “to-do” list when you’re in Wellington. The prominent hill towers above the city, jutting out from the mountain ridge. The 196-metre-high overlook serves up panoramic views of Wellington and the harbour that make it worth the trek.
Mount Victoria also has connections to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first footage that director Peter Jackson shot was on Alexandra Road 11, as the protagonists escaped via a road there. Later, Jackson used a quarry near Ellice Street to serve as a campsite in the movie.
The Wellington waterfront is a bustling hub of activity. The centre overlooks the Lambton Harbour’s collection of pop-up markets, kiosks, restaurants, and trendy shops. It is a popular destination to shop for souvenirs, clothes, and handmade arts and crafts.
The Wellington waterfront also features several distinctive attractions, including a footbridge over the Frank Kitts Lagoon, which has hundreds of padlocks locked to the side. Visitors can also check out the Museum of New Zealand: Te Papa Tongarewa, which celebrates Maori people and is free to explore. You’ll also see sculptures and murals throughout the city.
City Gallery Wellington
The centre for art and entertainment starts at the City Gallery Wellington. The contemporary gallery features a dynamic range of exhibits by local and international artists. Some of the most popular include Ronnie van Hout: Quasi, as well as Eavesdropping and Split-Level ViewFinder.
City Gallery Wellington celebrates the arts in every form, including multimedia, photography, and art installations. It also offers school holiday programmes for children and weekend exhibition tours. The gallery is one of Wellington’s central hubs for meeting and performing arts in the region.
Zealandia is a 225-hectare urban sanctuary dedicated to conserving the nature and wildlife of Wellington. The preserve is a short walk from the city centre and is home to endangered species of native birds, including the saddleback and stitchbird. You’ll also find 32 kilometres of walking trails and a museum that documents the region’s natural history.
The Wellington Museum is a four-floor encapsulation of the city’s maritime history, starting with the Maori and European settlements, respectively, through to the present day. The features tell the story about how the city evolved via interactive exhibits, priceless artifacts, and a multi-floor cinema. The institution spent the time and money to restore and maintain the original façade of the building for genuine authenticity. What’s more, The Times recently voted Wellington Museum one of the top 50 museums in the world.
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