Wellington, is the small capital of New Zealand and what it lacks in size it makes up for in character. The city could well be one of the greenest and coolest capital cities in the world. To delight you I have been seeking out 6 adventurous and inspiring things to do in Wellington.
The city is spread out along the coastline of New Zealand, hugged from behind with lush, green mountains.
With nature a hairs breadth away, it is not surprising that the attractive city doesn’t feel much like a city at all. Yet the dynamic pulse of the city pounds and you cannot forget it’s face is truly looking to the future.
#1 – Kick back for a day at the Island Bay Beach
Not many capital cities across the world can boast beautiful beaches within short reach of the metropolis, but Wellington can. Of the many beaches located close to the heart of the city Island Bay Beach is my favorite.
The beach is an ideal location for marvellous diving, snorkelling, swimming, walking and generally being a beach bum!
I love how the Island Bay Coast Care Group have been planting up native plants in the sand dunes on the Western side of the beach. A wonderful example of the green heart of the city in action.
#2 – Picnic at Mount Victoria then Get the Adrenaline Pumping by Mountain Biking Down
For wonderful views across the city and harbour a visit to Mount Victoria has to be on everyone’s “must do” list of things to do in Wellington. However, not everyone is aware of the Mountain Biking Tracks in the area.
Just imagine. Picnic. Views. Mountain biking. What better way to do the classic Wellington outing with a twist?
Returning to the city by bike, whizzing down the slopes of Mount Victoria, through the beautiful New Zealand scenery. Not to mention one of the tracks even has the added bonus of biking past one of the filming locations from Lord of the Rings.
#3 – Check out the Kiwi’s and endemic wildlife at Pukaha Mount Bruce
For an exciting day out from Wellington, a visit to this charming conservation project for kiwi’s and other endangered wildlife is 100% worth your while. They have a kiwi breeding project and other fascinating creatures like eels, and the lizard-like Tuatara whose ancestors lived at the time of the dinosaurs!
If you want to do something REALLY unique then you can rent a campervan and spend the night there!
They then take you on an exclusive guided night time walk , during which you can hear kiwi’s in the wild, watch glowing worms and see the eels being fed. Then in the morning, you wake up to the dawn chorus… Sounds nice, right?
#4 – Explore the Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa
Okay, so I know I said this was a list of exciting things to do in Wellington, and I know, museums don’t usually get a great score in the exciting department. However, this free museum is pretty cool because they are very actively committed to biculturalism.
This means the museum is a fascinating place to learn about the history and culture of the Maori, the native people of New Zealand. You can even get involved with the museum to help them carry out projects, preserve the iwi (tribes) heritage and help the Maori to develop skills.
The marvellous projects they initiate show real leadership on the part of the museum to readdress the social balance of power after a history of imperialism.
Also, they have a “colossal squid”!
Now, if those things aren’t inspiring to you what is?
#5 – Enjoy a yummy lunch at Field & Green Cafe
When traveling I am always a big fan of places where I can blend in a little and not feel like a tourist. The local Wellington Foodies group are raving about them and this is why I am loving the Field & Green Café.
They describe the food here as “European soul food” and will be perfect on a windy, rainy or simply busy day.
The beautifully decorated and popular café is located just around the corner from the Te Papa Museum, which makes it a perfect place to get a delicious and filling lunch after a morning absorbing the displays at the Museum.
What I also respect and see as a sign of Wellington cities “green” outlook is the fact the café actively uses locally sourced ingredients and are passionate about that.
In a city that lives so close to the natural world then it seems characteristic that you will find places and people, that truly care about the environment, in abundance.
#6 – Light up your Neurons at the BATS Theatre
Do you remember I mentioned the dynamic pulse of the city? Well the Bats Theatre is where that pulse can be found. For an unforgettable night out then the BATS theatre has to be an inspiring and exciting choice.
The theatre is a not-for-profit charity and they focus on providing a venue for artists and actors, while the artists produce the shows. Just have a read of their philosophy and I am sure you will be convinced.
This is true independent theatre. They love innovation, new ideas and want to inspire.
Now! Your Turn To Pick Favorite Things to Do In Wellington
Well I hope I have given you something to think about and some inspiring ideas of things to do in Wellington. I think the city is a wonderful place, and if I ever had the chance to spend some time living there, I would not hesitate for a minute.
The small town feel to the city, the attractive location, the respect for the environment from the residents, combined with the fascinating culture of the Maori people makes Wellington, New Zealand a top destination and one I hope you will plan to visit soon (if you didn’t already)!