First published on 29 May 2012. Updated on 8 Aug 2012.
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Take in the view from Mount Victoria Lookout
Experience the panorama of the city, watch the Cook Strait ferries sail into the harbour and the planes go in and out of the airport. Have a go on the tyre swing, and go in search of the location of the famous Lord of the Rings ‘get off the road’ scene – the first scene shot for the movie trilogy. 49 Lookout Rd, Hataitai, Wellington.
A dynamic cultural institution on the Wellington waterfront, City Gallery has three exhibition spaces showcasing contemporary Maori and Pacific Art, Wellington artists and designers, plus international works. Entry is free, but some exhibitions attract a charge. Civic Sq, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.
New Zealand’s national museum, and Australasia’s most frequented, Te Papa is recognised as a world leader in interactive museum experiences. The museum has wildly entertaining historic, artistic, educational and contemporary exhibits. There are Maori treasures, not to mention a 495kg colossal squid! 55 Cable St, Wellington.
Experience New Zealand’s diverse flora and fauna without getting lost in the wilderness. Take a stroll through regenerating forest areas and see unique NZ inhabitants the tuatara, saddleback and hihi plus the iconic kiwi bird on a night tour. End of Waiapu Rd, Karori.
Weta is the special effects group behind Peter Jackson’s blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy. Weta Cave is a museum where visitors can view props and displays from these amazing films. You may even spot a member of The Hobbit cast. Cnr Camperdown Rd & Weka St, Miramar, Wellington.
Wellington’s parliament district is made up of four historic buildings: Parliament House, the Parliamentary Library, Bowen House and the Beehive. Free, daily, one-hour guided tours kick off every hour at the Visitor Centre in the foyer of the Beehive. Molesworth St, Wellington.
Wellingtonians have loved this cinema since it was built in 1924. The Embassy screens the latest movies, classics and world premieres, and boasts a gorgeous interior – with two new boutique cinemas. It houses the popular Blondini’s Café & Bar and Capitol Dining Room & Bar (see Restaurants). 10 Kent Tce, Wellington.
The red cable cars can be seen throughout the city and run from the heart of the CBD to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Take the ride up, enjoy the view, check out the Cable Car Museum then come back down strolling though the gardens. 280 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
Take a virtual journey through space in Carter’s planetarium. Discover our universe, along with telescopes and astronomical artefacts. Carter is open seven days a week from 10am until 5pm, with late night stargazing every Tuesday and Saturday until 9pm. Kelburn, Wellington.
A 15-minute drive from the city centre, the Hutt Valley serves up delightful riverside wanders and forest strolls. Visit TheNewDowse Gallery and the Jackson Street precinct in Petone, spilling over with funky shops, ethnic eateries and cafés. Hutt City i-SITE Visitor Centre, The Pavilion, 25 Laings Rd, Lower Hutt.
Head back to our Insider's Guide to Wellington.
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