Wellington : The Best Place to be in New Zealand

The City of Wellington serves as the capital of both New Zealand and the whole Wellington region that encompasses the Wairarapa region and the Kapiti Coast. The city is one of the most populous in New Zealand coming second only to Auckland. It is also widely regarded as the windiest city worldwide with average wind speeds of over 25 km/h. The city features a waterfront, pristine sandy beaches, and a harbor surrounded by stunning hills. It is a fairly compact city making it easy for visitors to explore it extensively. Despite its relatively small size, the city has a wealth of attractions including museums, art galleries, theatres, and many more. The city residents commonly referred to as Wellingtonians, are also very welcoming adding to the allure of the city. Some of the best places to visit are listed below.

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Wellington : The Best Place to be in New Zealand:table of contents

1. Wellington Zoo

Photo by Sarah-Rose

The Wellington Zoo was the premier zoo in New Zealand and has been in existence for over a century. Located in the green belt of the capital, it is home to many different species of animals from around the world. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it offers up close and immersive experiences for visitors with a variety of fun activities and demonstrations. Some of these include close encounters with red pandas, lemurs, giraffes, cheetahs, and lions. The zoo also engages in conservation programs for endangered species like the Sumatran tiger and the sun bear. There is also an animal clinic where visitors can observe and interact with veterinarians as they care for a variety of animals. Children are also not left out as the zoo carries out fun and educative sessions that have gained huge popularity.

2. Space Place at Carter Observatory

The Space Place housed in the world-renowned Carter Observatory offers visitors a chance to explore the wonders of space. It has a wide array of activities that are both entertaining and informative. These include a fully digitized dome planetarium that has customized shows for all age groups. It also has various interactive galleries where one can learn about past space exploration missions. The Tuhura Space Module is also highly popular as it enables visitors to experience the feeling of being in a spaceship. At the Matariki Theatre, visitors learn the importance of Matariki, an astronomical event that marks the New Year for the indigenous Maori people. Through stories, visitors also learn how the Maori used stars for navigation across the Pacific Ocean. Another hit at the center has been the giant Thomas Cooke Telescope where visitors can view spectacular skies.

3. The Wellington Cable Car Museum

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The Cable Car in Wellington has a length of 612 m running from the main shopping area in the city, Lambton Quay to the hilly suburb of Kelburn. This trip takes about five minutes and has been a mainstay of the city for over a century. Rising about 120 m, the ride offers visitors a wonderful view of the city and the surrounding hillside. It is also an easy way to access other famous attractions in the city such as the Cable Car Museum housed in the original winding house of the cable cars. The museum is set on two floors, and it offers visitors a glimpse into the history of the city’s most iconic transportation system. Its exhibits include the “Relentless Red Rantler’ cable car used from the 1950s to the late 1970s. Another exhibit is the beautifully restored “Grip Car No. 3’ used in the early 1900s.

4. Mount Victoria Lookout

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Mount Victoria Lookout is a lovely spot to take in the breathtaking panoramic view of the city and the harbor. From there, one can also view planes as they take off and land at the airport below. It is also a lovely picnic site where you can relax with friends and family while enjoying the beautiful scenery. To access it, one can drive or hike up following a walkway through the bushy Town Belt. The lookout is also the best place in Wellington to view the beauty of the sun as it rises and sets over the beautiful landscape.

5. Old St. Paul’s

It is a wooden cathedral located Wellington and was built in the 1860s in the Gothic Revival architectural style. Although it no longer serves as a parish church, it is a popular tourist attraction site and venue for various occasions. Situated within walking distance from the waterfront and the Lambton Quay shopping district, it is easily accessible. Guided tours are available although some choose to explore the cathedral on their own. Its beauty both on the outside and the inside is a rare sight and one that ought not to be missed while in Wellington.

6. Zealandia

Photo by Jeffrey B. Banke/shutterstock.com

Zealandia is a 225-hectare wildlife sanctuary whose vision is to restore the Wellington ecosystem to its original state. As the only urban ecosanctuary in the world that is fully-fenced, it is home to over a thousand different species of birds, reptiles, plants, and invertebrates. Many of these are endangered while others are extinct elsewhere. Some have been reintroduced to the region after almost a hundred years absence. The fact that almost 80% of the native trees and plants are only found in New Zealand makes it an extraordinary place worthy of a visit.

7. Museum of New Zealand

Photo by Ghislain Mary

The New Zealand Museum in Wellington is the country’s national museum. It also goes by the name ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’ in Maori which translates to ‘our container of treasures.’ It has been a popular attraction since it opened in 1998 averaging over a million visitors every year. The museum incorporates the latest technology with classic storytelling in its displays educating and inspiring visitors simultaneously. Its collection explores the history of the country’s extraordinary life and people. It also houses some important pieces of art. With six floors of engaging displays, a visit to the museum is an unforgettable experience.

8. City Gallery Wellington

Photo by Stephen Colebourne

The City Gallery in Wellington opened in 1980, is an art gallery in Civic Square that focuses on visual arts, design, and architecture. It is also known as ‘Te Whare Toi’ in the Maori language. It is a non-collecting public gallery that presents an ever-changing programme of exhibitions positioning it as the home of art in Wellington. An exhibition devoted to Maori and pacific art was added in 2009 after a year of renovations that also saw a new auditorium added to its itinerary.

9. The Great War Exhibition

The Great War Exhibition opened in 2015, is a national legacy project created by Sir Peter Jackson-the master film-maker. It tells the story of the First World War by exploring the hardships faced by those who served and those that were left behind. The colorized photographs of the war are especially moving as they enable visitors to identify with the hardships faced during the war. The exhibition is housed within the Pukeahu War Memorial Park in the Dominion Building. It has a wide range of rare artifacts from a full-size 10-tonne tank to tiny figurines. The exhibition is always evolving with new additions that aim to tell the story the war in greater detail. It is a highly popular destination that is worth checking out.

10. Wellington Botanic Garden

The Wellington Botanic Garden is a popular destination for Wellingtonians and outsiders alike. Located on the hillside between Thorndon and Kelburn, the 25-hectare garden is of national significance and has been in existence for over two centuries. It also features protected forests, a duck pond, and also offers seasonal displays. During the autumn-spring, it offers monthly tours where visitors can view glowworms at night along the paths in the Main Garden. Its location also offers stunning views of the city below.

◎ Closing

Wellington city covers all the interesting places that you have been craving to go. This splendid city will make your dreams come true. Take a trip and discover so many places that can fulfill your heart desires.

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