Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, nicknamed “Windy Wellington” is located on the southernmost point of the North Island across the Cook Strait.
This diminutive capital city is big on restaurants, cafes and culture in general. It lies on the slopes of forest hills ending in a magnificent bay looking out to the Cook Straits. It is a city with many attractions and here you’ll see a few of them.
View of Wellington from Mount Victoria
Located east of the city is the impressive 196 meters high Mount Victoria with beautiful views of the city skyline. It can be very windy on top, from the terrace the view of the Capital of New Zealand and the harbor is awesome; then from one side the Cook Straits and on the other hand the Kelburn Park with university building.
The Byrd Memorial on Mount Victoria commemorates the American pilot, Richard Byrd who was the first person to fly over the South Pole from his base in New Zealand back in 1929.
Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand's finest museum
It is located in the Capital of New Zealand and known as Te Papa Tongarewa in the Maori language. This is the country’s finest museum that shows the development of this country and the Maori people who first settled it, as well as the Europeans that have settled the islands and shaped the nation.
It features 11 galleries of artwork of New Zealand and Pacific Islands artists. The highlight is the Mana Whenua exhibition, which traces the history of the Maoris with multimedia displays of Maori art and treasures.
Te Papa Tongarewa which literally means “container of treasures”, offers surprises for the whole family, such as the Earthquake House simulating an actual earthquake and real aftershocks. Families can take the children to the famed Children Discovery Center.
At Te Papa you may wander on your own or take a guided tour in many languages to please the 24 million visitors that have been to the museum since it opened in 1998.
At the end of the visit make sure to visit the Museum Store with many souvenirs. Please allow at least one day to visit this important museum.
Wellington Cable Car
This antique cable car goes up the hill to Kelburn Lookout, next to the Botanic Gardens. Is the perfect alternative to those that don’t want to walk up the steep hills of this city.
Built in 1912, it offers amazing views of the city along the way, and once on Kelburn Lookout it becomes a paradise for photographers.
Museum of Wellington City & Sea
Wellington’s history is shown here in multimedia displays. It is a small but important museum that traces the history of the capital city as well as its evolution. There is an exhibit of the Wahine disaster, the ferry that sank on Wellington’s harbor during a storm claiming 51 lives on the country’s greatest maritime disaster.
This is an attractive area in the hub of downtown. Frank Kitts Park and Queen’s Wharf are surrounded by fine buildings including the New Zealand Museum and the Civic Center.
From the park there is a great view of the Welling Harbor. This park hosts a market every Saturday. There are many restaurants and cafés to stop by and have some rest from the city stroll.
Beehive Building is home to New Zealand's Parliament
This is the home of the parliament in the Capital of New Zealand. It was designed by British architect Sir Basil Spence and built between 1964 and 1979. It is a building with a distinctive shape and is loved and at the same time hated by locals. Next door is the oldest Parliament House built in 1907 in Neoclassical Edwardian style and home to The Chamber where parliamentary debates are held.
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.
Wellington Botanic Gardens
Located on the city hillside this oasis displays native fauna and many flowers. The Lady Norwood Rose Garden is one of the top attractions of the Botanic Gardens.
The Carter Observatory planetarium is located on the eastern side of the Gardens. You may walk through a series of walking tracks and enjoy from forests areas and seasonal flower beds.
It exhibits New Zealand’s efforts to conservation of its unique nature and wildlife. This is an urban eco-sanctuary only 2 km from the center of town. Enjoy the country's native birds and endangered species such as saddleback, taka-he and stich bird. More than 100 kiwis can be seen during night tours, as well as the Tuatara, the country’s famed reptile can also be spotted here.
Cuba Street is one of Wellington's Hot Spots
This is one of Wellington the Capital of New Zealand's hot spots. The street is crowded with bars and restaurants for drinks and food in the evenings. There are many Cuban influenced establishments on this street. But, the name comes from an emigrant ship that came to the islands.
Find here many second-hand book stores, record stores and retro fashion outlets. And of course, the colorful Bucket Fountains, that surprises you with a splash as you go by.
This cozy sandy cove is located 9 km from downtown. It is a sheltered sandy strip with many rock pools. The place is a favorite with swimmers and sunbathers.
From here you have a great view of South Island. There is a short coastal trail above the beach running to a lookout with even better views.
Awesome Tiger can be seen in Wellington's Zoo
Established in 1906 it is the oldest zoo in New Zealand. This is the excellent family vacation spot. The little ones will see some of the wildlife of this country up close. That includes among others the kiwi bird, the national emblem of the country, and the tuatara reptile.
There are many enclosures with animals from all over the world including the Malayan sun bear and the Monkey, the Chimpanzee, and big cats such as Tigers and Lions. There are Giraffes, Tasmanian devils and a few more.
When you visit the zoo, 10% of the proceeds will go to conservation projects supported by the zoo.
Map of New Zealand showing Wellington in the North Island
images for capital of new zealand
courtesy of wikimedia commons