During our week of Wellington exploring we jammed in as many sightseeing adventures as we could, so today I thought I would share some of them with you! The two museum visits I previously shared were obvious highlights. but Wellington had so much else to offer as well!
New Zealand Parliament
One of the best things we did was take a free tour of the New Zealand Parliament (known as the Beehive!). It’s best to book in advance as the tours do fill up, but they are run every hour from 10am to 4pm. They run two options – the 30 minute highlights package or the 60 minute full version, which is what we did. As Parliament wasn’t currently in session (they were still waiting to find out the results of the election) we got access to pretty much everywhere which was amazing.
Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgable and shared historical and modern information about both the building, and the running of New Zealand Parliament. I learned so much throughout the visit – which is a good thing given I can technically still vote in Kiwi elections if I want to! You aren’t allowed to take any belongings with you so I don’t have any photos to share of the inside of the building unfortunately – it’s beautiful! All the more reason I recommend you put a visit on your to-do list if you’re in Wellington anytime soon.
Our Wellington exploring also resulted in us taking a ride on the cable car – the only running funicular in New Zealand. It’s been running in varying forms since 1898 and given how hilly Wellington is it’s excellent it’s still going! In fact, my dad used to take the cable car to get to uni – so it was probably less of adventure for him than for me!
The top of the cable car takes you to the suburb of Kelburn, where you get a gorgeous view back over Wellington (even when it’s grey out!). You also find yourself at the Botanic Gardens and the Cable Car Museum, which was super interesting. They even still have the original winding gear on display which takes up an entire room. It’s definitely easier to operate these days!
Mount Victoria Lookout
If you find yourself with some glorious weather while you’re in Wellington then a trip up to the Mount Victoria Lookout is a must-do. You’re 196m above the city so the view back towards the city is pretty extraordinary. You can walk the whole way up from the city, but be prepared for a steep incline! We went for the far simpler option and drove up!
The other great place to do some sightseeing is to walk along the waterfront, you get lots of excellent views of Wellington. One day we walked from Te Papa all the way round to the stadium, and then on another sunny day we headed off in the other direction.
I really loved all the little features we came across, including parks and wetlands, boat sheds, swimming areas and plenty of cafes and bars. I also particularly enjoyed stickybeaking on all the houses that look out over the water – it’s incredibly steep terrain so you get some pretty amazing architecture. Some of them even have there own private cable cars to avoid having to lug things up a million stairs!
The view at every turn got better and better as well!