Wellington’s top natural attractions

It’s renowned for its arts, culture and cocktails, but the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ is also a native beauty.

A peaceful walk through native bush or along a golden sand beach can be found just a few minutes from the urban hub of Wellington city. Visitors can relax on the popular waterfront, explore the rugged South Coast, hike through numerous regional parks, picnic in local gardens and enjoy panoramic views of a city hugged by harbour and hill.

Look out!

Get your city bearings, as well as some great photographs, from the Mt Victoria Lookout and Te Ahumairangi Hill. You’ll also get a great view from the top of the Wellington Cable Car.

Iconic Kiwi Experience

Try your hand at Kiwi spotting on a Night Tour at ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience; it’s your chance to see New Zealand’s iconic nocturnal bird in its natural environment just 10 minutes’ from the centre of New Zealand’s capital city. ZEALANDIA is an award-winning, 252 hectare nature reserve internationally recognised for its efforts to restore a piece of New Zealand to what it once was. You’ll be part of history in the remaking.

Flower Power

Take the Wellington Cable Car from the heart of Wellington’s premier shopping precinct, Lambton Quay, and you’ll find yourself in the Wellington Botanic Garden, filled with over 26 hectares of exotic forests, native bush and colourful floral displays. The only botanic garden solely dedicated to native plants is also found in Wellington - visit an 800-year-old rimu tree and tiptoe through treetops on the Canopy Walkway at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

Animal Attraction

Tour the rugged South Coast and visit a resident seal colony - just a 10 minute drive from downtown Wellington. On a clear day you can see right across to the South Island.

At Wellington Zoo - New Zealand’s oldest zoo – you’ll find cheetahs, giraffes, lions and Tahi, the popular one-legged Kiwi. Book in for a Close Encounter and time your visit to see treatments at award-winning The Nest animal hospital.

Slightly further afield, you’ll find Staglands Wildlife Reserve and Pukaha Mt Bruce. You can also spend a day or night on a natural conservation estate, Kapiti Island.

Take a hike!

Wellington is renowned for its compact size; one of the best and easiest ways to explore the city is on foot. There are many different walks you can take, ranging from an hour to a day.

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