City activities

Whether you're attending alone or bringing family and friends along for the ride, Wellington offers a range of activities to sample and many are free! Here's a few recommendations to get you started. 



Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa is New Zealand’s bold and innovative national museum, and a recognised world leader in interactive and visitor-focused museum experiences. New Zealand’s geology and natural environment and the stories of New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori, are celebrated in Te Papa’s permanent exhibitions. An exciting range of exhibitions display New Zealand’s diverse art and visual culture, and top-rating international exhibitions tour regularly.


Zealandia: the Karori Sanctuary experience

Just 10 minutes from the centre of Wellington city lies a vision to turn back the clock 500 years, restoring a piece of New Zealand’s land to what it once was. Zealandia brings the country’s incredible natural history and world-renowned conservation movement to life with a start of the art indoor exhibition. Then step through the predator-proof fence into a stunning square mile valley and be part of the vision to created a protected haven for some for some of the rarest birds, reptiles and insects in the wild.

Wellington Zoo

Make a personal connection with nature at Wellington Zoo. Home to New Zealand’s native treasures and endangered exotic animals, this is a chance to meet Tahi, the one-legged kiwi or experience a close encounter with a Meerkat, Big Cat, Cheetah or Red Panda. Experience You can AYou ca where you meet these vivacious and quirky characters. Also experience a unique first-hand glimpse of the veterinary team delivering first-class animal care using state-of-the-art equipment from the viewing gallery of the main surgical rooms. With daily procedures, you can watch and ask questions as the veterinary team work!

Carter observatory

Take a virtual journey through space in Carter’s planetarium – a state of the art full-dome digital theatre. Then take your own steps through space as you walk through the world class interactive multimedia experience. Discover our Universe, along with some of New Zealand’s most prestigious telescopes and astronomical artefacts.

Wellington Cable Car

The red cable cars can be seen throughout the city and run from the heart of the CBD to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Take the ride up, enjoy the view, check out the Cable Car Museum and then come back down strolling through the gardens.

The Weta Cave

Weta Cave is the shop front of the Oscar-winning SFX company Weta Workshop. It screens a first-ever behind-the-scenes look at Weta and interviews with Weta co-founders Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk. The mini-museum displays props and characters from your favourite movies as well as pop culture collectables and graphic novels created by Weta artists and sourced from around the world.

Wellington waterfront

Wellington Waterfront is one of the city’s most distinctive and attractive precincts. Separating central city from sea, the Waterfront is home to a vibrant, ever-changing atmosphere with unique features and attractions that include something for everyone. Read a book in the sun, absorb some culture in the galleries and museums, or dine casually or in style. Party into the night, join the crowd at a sporting or cultural event or take the family for a picnic with a four- wheel cycle ride. You’ll find this and more on Wellington’s Waterfront.

Wellington Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Garden spans over 26 hectares. It encompasses unsurpassed views of Wellington, a unique landscape, exotic forests, native bush, colourful floral displays and gorgeous specialist gardens. It is classified as a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, and is a Historic Places Trust Heritage Area.

City Gallery Wellington

City Gallery Wellington offers world-class exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand and international art, and provides visitors with sometimes challenging, always captivating art from some of the world’s most exciting artists. With specific galleries dedicated to Wellington artists, Maori and Pacific arts, and future programmes dedicated to the Wellington City art collection, City Gallery Wellington enables diverse audiences to experience art in new and inspiring ways.

Museum of Wellington City & Sea

This museum will take you back a thousand years and lead you to a vibrant present day Wellington. Housed in a heritage building on the waterfront, the museum offers a wonderful insight into the rich social and cultural history of Wellington.

Otari-Wilton's Bush

Step back in time to an ancient world. Enter the tranquil Fernery, tiptoe through the treetops on the Canopy Walkway, hike the trails to find the 800 year old rimu. Otari-Wilton’s Bush is the only botanic garden in New Zealand solely dedicated to native plants, as well as being the country’s foremost native plant collection.

To help plan your visit we recommend a visit to for in-depth and up to date information on attractions, accommodation, venues and activities in Wellington and around the region.