Wellington Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Wellington Harbor, New Zealand

New Zealand as a country has a reputation for combining vibrant city life with stunning natural surroundings. Perhaps no other city in the country does this better than Wellington. The capital of New Zealand since 1865, Wellington is home to many of the nation's top cultural attractions. 

You'll find plenty of activities to keep you occupied and some of the country's best restaurants to relax at the end of the exciting day. But in this sparsely populated country, the natural world is never far away. Wellington has a population of 200,000, making it big enough to have all the amenities you need, but small enough to be easily explored, especially for a capital city. Drop off your bags at a Wellington bag storage and explore this small but perfectly formed gem for yourself.

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Wellington, New Zealand

8 Best Ways to Experience Wellington in 2024

Wellington is more than just the capital city of New Zealand. It is built around a stunning harbor and has a thriving coffee culture and culinary scene. Craft beers reign supreme, and the surrounding countryside is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

Although this is very much a walkable city, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you try to drag heavy bags around with you. Bounce luggage storage services have teamed up with local businesses both in Wellington and the world over to make luggage storage safe and convenient.

Best Remutaka Cycle Tours - Cycle Remutaka

The Remutaka Mountain range offers some fabulous cycling with stunning scenery and views that will take your breath away. This company can supply you with the best bikes as well as any auxiliary equipment to make your adventure flawless. If you are on a limited time schedule, they suggest that you use their door-to-door service where equipment is delivered to you so that all you need to do is be ready to ride.

To find out about bike hire and some of the many other options they have available call them on 6427-5700-108 or by emailing rutaka@everyonesadventure.co.nz

Best Day Tours – uTour

This couple was inspired by tours in Bali, where they discussed what they wanted to do with their driver and built the tour from there. They have sought to replicate this method and share some of their knowledge of their hometown and its beautiful surroundings. With Suzee and Jo to advise you and keep you smiling, all that remains is for you to decide what sort of an adventure you are after. Be it city or country, art or animals, they have the knowledge to make your outing a memorable one.

To discuss your needs, call 6421-4729-72 or email at enquire@utourswellington.nz

Best Wellington Tours – Talk of the Town

Brian offers full and half-day tours where he shares his in-depth knowledge of the region and promises to expose you to some of the best that Wellington, Wairarapa, and Kapiti have on offer. Whether you want to see Weta caves, vineyards, or glorious coastline, Brian can make it happen in an informative and fun-filled way.

Find out more about Brian’s extensive tour list or talk with him about plans of your own by calling 6427-4555-786 or by emailing at brian@talkofthetowntours.nz

Best Tour for Movie Enthusiasts – Adventure Safari

With huge productions such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar being shot in the country, New Zealand was suddenly thrown very much into the limelight. Wellington is the capital of the movie-making world in this country, and this company provides small tours which will open up that world to you. Visit some of the leading studios and take in some fabulous scenery at the same time.

To find out more about both their movie tours and other tour options, call them on 6427-4193-077 or email them at info@adventuresafari.co.nz 

Best Bike Tours of Wellington – Switched on Bikes

This is a company that is all about bikes and e-bikes. They offer a range of guided tours that will reveal their city to you and at the same time venture up into the hills for some spectacular scenic views. If you prefer to just do your own thing, they can rent you the gear you need and provide in-depth information about the best routes to take.

Find out more about the tours they provide and their rental services by calling 6480-0386-877 or by emailing at info@switchedonbikes.co.nz

Best Food and Drink Tours – Food and Spice Odyssey

If you are one for delving into culinary culture, this is the company to guide you through Wellington. The city is jam-packed with eateries, craft beer makers, and coffee shops. To help you find the best of them, you are going to need expert knowledge. Food and Spice Odyssey offer a range of tours lasting from just a few hours to full-day spectacles, and with tempting options such as their cocktail tour or the walking food tour.

To book your culinary adventure email sales@foododyssey.nz or call them on 6427-5155-715

Best Photo Tours – New Zealand Photo Safari

One of the most precious reminders of your New Zealand visit is likely to be the images you capture while there. You can leave capturing perfect memories to chance, or you can team up with a professional photographer who will guide you to the best vantage points and show just how to take the most entrancing shots. This company offers a range of photographic tour options, but are also happy to create a custom expedition to your requirements.

To find out more and discuss what will work best for you, call 6421-0235-6849 or email at contact@nzphotosafari.kiwi 

Best Craft Beer Tours – Craft Beer Tours New Zealand

Mike is a man with a passion for beer and a desire to guide you to some of the best breweries that Wellington has to offer. He will give you access to brewers and brewery owners and, of course, along the way you are going to be testing and tasting. That will ensure that you get that real in-depth knowledge that is so important to beer connoisseurs.

Wellington is crammed with craft beer makers, so you are going to need an experienced guide to get you to the best ones. To book a place on a tour call 6427-5350-008 or email at mike@craftbeertoursnz.co.nz

A weekend in Wellington

Many of Wellington's best attractions are outside the city, but a weekend visit may not be long enough to see them. However, the city itself has enough to occupy at least a couple of days, making a weekend trip perfectly doable. Drop off your bags at a Wellington luggage storage locker and see for yourself.

  • Zealandia is a great place to acquaint yourself with some of the fascinating animals that call New Zealand home. This wildlife sanctuary is home to some incredible birds you won't see in any other country, and there's also a museum explaining more about the natural history of this island nation.
  • Towering over the city, Mount Victoria is one of the most popular things to do in Wellington. If you're in decent shape, the climb only takes around 20 minutes, but the views would be a worthy reward even for a much longer trek.
  • Peer into the mysteries of the cosmos at Space Place. This observatory and planetarium takes advantage of New Zealand's clear skies and low light pollution to let scientists study the stars. On clear nights, you can peer through the giant telescope and explore outer space.

Wellington lockers

Wellington's relatively small size for a capital city makes it a great place to explore on foot. Wandering at your own pace allows you to soak in the town's quirky vibe. To make things easier on yourself, drop off any unneeded bags at a Wellington suitcase storage. The lighter you travel, the more you'll be able to see on your Wellington adventure.

Off the beaten path in Wellington

As well as its better-known sights, Wellington is home to some more quirky attractions. Step off the beaten path and see another side to the city.

  • Somes Island is just a short ferry ride from the city. Once a Maori settlement, the island has also been used for quarantine. Home to an extravagant array of birdlife, the island is a great place to get some fresh air close to the city, even if it feels like a long way away.
  • If you're looking for something more energetic, check out Adrenaline Forest. This woodland location has seven different assault courses that offer a challenge to both beginners and adrenaline junkies. Just a short bus ride outside the city, it's a great place to escape the crowds and burn off excess energy.
  • Ride the vibrant red cable car to Wellington Botanic Gardens. The leisurely ride offers great views of the mountains and the ocean, and there is also a cable car museum at the top if you want to learn more about the history of this unusual mode of public transport.
Mountain railway, Wellington, New Zealand

What to do alone in Wellington

Wellington is a fantastic place to explore alone. Remarkably safe, the city is home to friendly locals that are more than willing to share the best of Wellington with visitors. Drop off your bags at a Wellington luggage storage locker and begin your solo trip.

  • Wellington's harbor, surrounded by mountains, is a scenic treasure. Rent a kayak or standup paddleboard and head out on the water for an unforgettable angle on the city. You can explore by yourself or join a guided tour that will show you some of the most significant buildings of the city.
  • Craft beer is as popular in New Zealand as it is around the world. Some of the country's best breweries are located in and around Wellington, and a beer tour is the perfect way to learn more about this growing industry. Meet fellow travelers as you enjoy the best brews New Zealand has to offer.
  • The Te Papa Museum is New Zealand's National Museum, and is the perfect place to learn more about the country. First colonized by the Maori, New Zealand has a rich history of both Polynesian and European culture which makes it like nowhere else on earth. Learn more about this unique combination at the impressive museum.

The best souvenirs in Wellington

New Zealanders don't take themselves too seriously. As a result, you can find plenty of items that poke fun at the national reputation. For instance, New Zealand is famously home to far more sheep than people. Pick up a package of sheep droppings, otherwise known as chocolate-coated peanuts, to celebrate this side of the country. Or you could visit the Zealandia store for some great New Zealand-themed toys, such as a Wellington-specific version of the board game Monopoly. If you're intrigued by the unique art and culture of New Zealand's Maori population, head to Kura Gallery for some high-end sculpture, woodwork, and textiles celebrating this fascinating people.

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