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How to Spend 1 Day in Wellington

How to Spend 1 Day in Wellington

Wellington lies right at the heart of New Zealand. The southernmost city on the North Island is the country’s capital and also home to a thriving film industry. This compact city is wrapped around beautiful Wellington Harbour, and is often so breezy that it’s known as Windy Welly. Here’s how to make the most of one day in Wellington. 

Morning: Coastal City Fun

Get to know the city with a tour on a hop-on hop-off bus or an electric bike—or just on foot—and see the area’s main attractions, such as the Wellington Zoo, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington Botanic Garden, and the Mt. Victoria Lookout. For a birds-eye view, you could also opt for a scenic helicopter flight. 

Alternatively, combine a sightseeing tour with a wildlife “safari” at the coast, which is known for its rugged landscapes and colonies of New Zealand fur seals.Lord of the Rings fans can also visit Middle-earth at nearby filming locations.

Afternoon: Culinary Adventures

Spend your afternoon in Wellington enjoying some of the area’s local food and wines. Browse your way through the eateries along Cuba Street and food stalls at the Underground Market, or book a private or small-group tour and let a local take you behind the scenes and introduce you to food purveyors and their artisan products. If you want to go a little further afield and learn more about New Zealand’s famous wines, opt for a quick tour of the Martinborough wine region and learn about local viticulture while you sip pinot noir and chardonnay. 

Night: Special Attractions

Some of Wellington’s most popular attractions are open late and offer special evening tours. Learn about the magic of movie special effects and props at Weta Workshop, and get a hands-on look at “Wellywood” with a tour and that illuminates the artful techniques behind many blockbuster films. If you’d rather spend more time in nature, visit Zealandia, a conservation and wildlife habitat, to try to see the nocturnal little spotted kiwi in its natural habitat. Kids will also enjoy exhibits featuring life-size models of two of New Zealand’s most famous extinct animals, the enormous Haast’s eagle and its prey, the flightless moa.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Wellington Tours

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Wellington's Half Day Lord of the Rings Tour (including Weta Tour)

Wellington's Half Day Lord of the Rings Tour (including Weta Tour)

star-4.5
Spend the morning or afternoon visiting Middle-earth on this half-day 'The Lord of the Rings' tour from Wellington. A guide with insider knowledge entertains Frodo fans on a journey into the scenic New Zealand countryside. Get a behind-the-scenes look at LOTR movie production on a tour of Weta Studios and discover why director Peter Jackson selected this region to film the renowned trilogy along with ‘The Hobbit’ movies.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$74.64
From
$74.64
Taking safety measures

Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour

Wellington Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4.5
See the top attractions of Wellington on a hop-on hop-off minibus tour that follows a route throughout the capital city and its outskirts. You can hop off at any of the stops to explore points of interest such as Mt. Victoria Lookout, Wellington Zoo, Wellington Botanic Garden, or the Te Papa Museum on your own. Your guide points out sights such as Parliament and the cable car on this group tour that can accommodate up to 20 people.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$31.32
From
$31.32
Taking safety measures

Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

star-5
The hills around Wellington offer a spectacular backdrop for a cycling tour, but you don’t need to worry about biking uphill. This 4-hour electric bike tour takes all the effort out of cycling, so you can concentrate on admiring the sights and enjoying the views.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$89.78
From
$89.78

Seal Coast Safari Tour by 4WD

Seal Coast Safari Tour by 4WD

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Journey out to Wellington’s south coast, looking out over the Cook Strait, and visit the region’s only fur seal colony. Journey out to Karori Rock’s ‘leaning lighthouse’ to meet this thriving community of once-endangered critters. Tea, coffee, and snacks are provided so you can relax and watch the seals in this isolated area that even many Wellingtonians don't know about.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.91
From
$100.91
Taking safety measures

Wellington City Sights and Coastline Guided Tour

Wellington City Sights and Coastline Guided Tour

star-4.5
Discover the capital city of New Zealand on a 3 hour coach tour of Wellington. Your driver-guide points out the highlights, including historic landmarks and iconic buildings such as the Beehive and Old St Paul’s Cathedral. You’ll stroll through the Wellington Botanic Garden, drive through the suburbs of Seatoun and Oriental Bay, appreciate the vista over Wellington Harbour and the South Coast from Mt Victoria, and have the option to take a ride on the Wellington Cable Car.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$44.11
From
$44.11

Martinborough Guided Wine and Vine

Martinborough Guided Wine and Vine

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With the wind in your hair, discover the rolling vineyards and fine wines of New Zealand’s fertile North Island on this guided Martinborough wine and vine tour. Hop onto your bicycle or take your seat and relax aboard a comfortable rickshaw. Then, head off with your guide to begin exploring the vineyards and wineries of Martinborough. Hear entertaining stories from the town’s past and gain insight into its winemaking heritage. Visit three wineries and an olive grove, and pull over for a delicious picnic lunch along the way.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$118.74
From
$118.74

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided Tour

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided Tour

star-4.5
Get a personal introduction to Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s premier museum based in Wellington. This 1-hour guided tour provides an overview of the museum’s interactive exhibits, artifacts, fine art and natural history displays so that you can better explore the collection on your own. You’ll get a deeper look at Maori cultural heritage and colonial history with an expert guide who share insights and offers suggestions for galleries that might suit your interests.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$13.92
From
$13.92
Taking safety measures

Scenic Wellington Helicopter Flight

Scenic Wellington Helicopter Flight

star-5
Lift off above the city of Wellington on a 9-minute helicopter flight that gives a thrilling perspective on New Zealand's capital. You'll get aerial views of the Museum of New Zealand, Parliament House, and the forests and trails that surround the city center. On clear days, watch Marlborough Sounds and the Southern Alps appear on the horizon, then soar across Wellington's Queen Wharf as you fly back towards the helipad. This helicopter tour of Wellington includes personal headsets so you don't miss a word of the pilot's commentary.
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  • 9 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$91.60
From
$91.60