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Wellington, New Zealand City Info
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Australia and Oceania > New Zealand
Wellington




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Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand)

Cable Street

Wellington

Location Downtown Wellington

Phone Number 04 381 7000  Friday to Wednesday 10am - 6pm

Thursdays 10am - 9pm.

An Introductory Te Papa Tour provides an overview of the Museum in 45 minutes, and runs daily at 10.15am and 2pm,  more frequently during the high season (November to April).

Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum, offering visitors a unique and authentic experience of this country’s treasures and stories. Prepare to be engaged, stimulated, and surprised!  At the heart of Te Papa are the stunning long-term exhibitions. They are enhanced by diverse short-term exhibitions and a captivating and distinctive events program - performances, talks, lectures, entertainments, and more.

 

The Original Settlers of Wellington:  The Maori People

Maori people define themselves by their iwi (tribe), hapu (sub-tribe), maunga (mountain) and awa (river). Whanau is the name given to family - the term embraces immediate family, in-laws and all those connected by blood ties.

In recent years, the introduction of Maori language nests (kohanga reo) has revived the Maori language. At kohanga reo, preschool children are encouraged to speak in Maori. Primary and secondary schools build on this early immersion by including Maori in the curriculum. 

 

Mount Victoria

Address:   Top of Mt Victoria

Wellington

Location City Suburbs 

+64 0(4) 802 4860

Free of charge 

High lookout point along Wellington's Southern Walkway gives visitors a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings.

 

Parliament Buildings Beehive Parliamentary House and Library

Corner Lambton Quay and Molesworth Streets

Wellington

04 471 9503

Weekday hours:  10 am to 4 pm (last tours depart at 4 pm), Weekend hours:  Saturdays 10 - 3 pm, Sundays 12 - 3 pm (last tours depart at 3 pm), Closed:  New Year's Day & 2 January, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Christmas & Boxing Day.  Private tours (10 or more) can be pre-booked by arrangement. Free guided tours leave on the hour.

A visit to the Capital City would not be complete without a visit to New Zealand's beautifully refurbished Parliament Buildings. Located in the historic suburb of Thorndon, the complex is made up of three architecturally distinctive buildings: the Edwardian neo-classical Parliament House, the Victorian Gothic Parliamentary Library and the unique 1970’s style Beehive building. Free entry.  These buildings are a prime example of New Zealand art and an outlet to the world of politics in Wellington.

 

Katherine Mansfield Birthplace

25 Tinakori Road

Thorndon , Wellington

Location City Suburbs

04 473 7268  04 473-7268

Open Daily (except Monday) 10am-4pm. Closed Mondays, Christmas Day, Good Friday.

The childhood home of New Zealand's most celebrated author and one of the world's best-known short story writers. Nestled on historic Tinakori Road, the exquisitely restored house and the heritage garden provide an excellent background to Mansfield's writing and give a unique opportunity to experience New Zealand society of the time. (Number 1 in the Thorndon Heritage Trail).

 

Museum of Wellington City & Sea

Located in downtown Wellington at "The Bond Store", In front of Queen's Wharf

Wellington

Open Monday to Sunday 10am - 5pm

Closed Christmas Day

04 472 8904

The restored Historic Places Trust Category One building, originally an 1892 Bond Store (customs house), utilizes traditional museum techniques combined with holographic special effects, re-creations, interactive exhibits, and a giant cinema screen to take visitors on a journey through Wellington's past, present and future.  The heritage of Wellington is displayed through exhibits that cover the city's Maori roots to its modern times.  Tours available

 

Wellington Zoo

200 Daniell Street

Newtown, Wellington

04 381 6755

New Zealand’s oldest Zoo, Wellington Zoo offers unique experiences in an interactive and exciting environment of conservation, learning and fun.

Book a “Close Encounter”  and interact with Tigers, Lions, Red Pandas, Giraffes and many other engaging animals.

Founded in 1906, Wellington's zoological gardens have all the traditional attractions. Zoo management has recently extended and upgraded the facilities to include such features as the Tropical River Trail, New Zealand's newest and largest habitat exhibit. Zoo inhabitants include New Zealand natives such as the kiwi, the giant weta, the black stilt and the tuatara, as well as the more exotic species such as  the North American bison, the Nepalese red panda and the Sitatunga antelope.

 

Karori Wildlife Sanctuary

At the End of Waiapu Road

Karori, Wellington in the City Suburbs

04 920 2222  or  04 920 9200

Open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10am to 5pm (or 10am to 4pm on weekdays during April to Nov).  Visitor Centre is at the end of Waiapu Road, Karori (first left after the Karori tunnel).  Waiapu Road junction is on Bus routes 12, 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23.

The Sanctuary is a world first conservation attraction where a unique protected natural area is being faithfully restored. Some of New Zealand's rarest and most endangered wildlife has been released inside the Sanctuary such as the little spotted kiwi, saddleback, stitchbird and kaka.

Take a leisurely stroll around natural bush, lakes and historical buildings or book a guided tour during the day or night. You can walk across a unique historic dam, see a 19th century goldmine carved deep into the hillside, and take a scenic ride on an electric boat or picnic on the lawns by the wetlands.

The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary is an ambitious 250 hectare project intended to restore and protect native flora and fauna within the city environment. A ground-breaking fence to deter predators has been especially designed and constructed and a weka breeding program is well established. Kiwis were recently released in the area. The secluded inner city valley will eventually incorporate educational facilities and a network of tracks.

 

Lyall Bay

+64 4 802 4860

If riding waves by board, or just jumping in them is what you like,  then this is the beach for you. With a breakwater at one end to create waves for riding, rocks at the other end for clambering over and safe swimming in between, this beach will keep you amused for hours. Watch the ferries pass by while you relax on the white sand.

 

Mt Kaukau

+64 4 802 4860

Mt Kaukau rewards those who take the time to conquer its steep slopes, with stunning 360 degree panoramic views of the Wellington harbor basin and Cook Strait beyond. If ever you are likely to see the South Island, it will be from here. Entry points at Simla Crescent, Ngaio and Woodmancote Streets, Khandallah.

 

Bungy Extreme

Corner of Courtenay Place and Taranaki Street

Downtown Wellington

+64 4 382 8438

Up to 3 people are strapped into an open capsule which is connected to two bungy cords winched to two 40m towers. The capsule is then catapulted 55m into the air at speeds of up to 160km per hour in less than two seconds, experiencing 5gs.

This adventure is situated right in the entertainment sector of town.  It is controlled by an electric console, and all safety features are observed. If you have ever wanted the bungy experience without jumping, this could be the thrill for you.

 

City Circular Bus Route

+64 4 801 7000

This distinctive yellow double-decker bus stops at the city's ten top spots. For a modest fare you can do the circuit and get a feel for the town's layout and attractions. Then decide at which downtown highlight you will start:  Te Papa, Kirkcaldie's, the Cable Car, or maybe the Parliament Buildings. Buses leave every 10 minutes from the Railway Station. They then continue  to the Customhouse and Jervois Quay and the top of Oriental Parade. The return trip travels along Courtenay Place and down the shopping mile at Lambton Quay.

 

East by West

+64 4 499 1282

The Evening Post ferry, operated by this company, provides commuter and leisure transport to the Eastern bays. A day excursion is highly recommended for a unique perspective on the city, harbor and its environs. Watch out for dolphins. The ferry departs from Queens Wharf and stops (subject to demand) at Somes Island before continuing to lovely Days Bay.

 

Cable Car

+64 4 472 2199

For something completely different, why not take a trip on Wellington's beautifully restored flaming red cable car! A vital commuter link between Lambton Quay and the leafy inner-city suburb of Kelburn, this route has been operating since 1902. This is a popular form of transport for the thousands of students attending Victoria University and is a favorite inclusion in the typical Wellington itinerary providing easy access to the Botanic Gardens and sweeping panoramic views of the city

 

Island Bay Marine Education Center

64 4 383 8285

The laboratory has indoor and outdoor tanks enabling you to learn about, see and touch the marine wildlife in a safe learning environment. Children can pick up the spider starfish,  feel the sea cucumber, and handle a hermit crab. Admire the large array of seahorses the laboratory breeds. The crayfish are abundant too, although not for eating.

 

Area Attractions outside Wellington

Cape Palliser

+64 4 802 4860

Located on the far south-eastern coast of the Wairarapa and the wind-swept bays of Cape Palliser, is a different world, that of Cape Palliser. Climb the 250 steps to the lighthouse for 360 degree views! The North Island's largest breeding seal colony is situated below. Do not get too close as they move fast and have been known to bite. Visit the fishing village of Ngawi with its houses nestling under the cliffs.

 

Southward Car Museum

+64 4 297 1221

A short drive up Wellington's lovely "Gold coast", is the largest collection of cars and motorbikes in New Zealand. Once the largest private collection of cars (now a charitable trust) the Southwards car museum holds more than 200 cars and 125 motorbikes. With cars dating from an early (1890s) Benz, the collection is outstanding.