Wellington Travel Guide

Activities & Events

Parks and gardens
The Botanic Garden is a nice place to go for a picnic, or just an afternoon walk (or run for a challenging fitness experience). You can take the Cable Car from Lambton Quay for a quick 5-minute trip to the top; but it is not designed to be exciting, despite being photogenic. If you're keen on walking up, take the lifts in the The James Cook Arcade (or one of several others along Lambton Quay) up to The Terrace, head south uphill until you reach Salamanca Rd. Head uphill up Salamanca Rd until you reach Victoria University. A set of stairs on the opposite side of the road to the Hunter Lawn goes uphill right to the top of the Gardens. If you already shelled out for a Busabout Daypass ticket, just catch the Mairangi bus, get off at the stop after the University, and walk back along Upland Rd until you reach the Cable Car Museum. At the top of the Gardens, there are several attractions:
* The Cable Car Museum has two of the old cars in semi-restored and fully-restored condition and some of the original Cable Car machinery from the system that was replaced in 1978.
* The Lookout has a great view day or night, and the large map next to the round tree usually has a few pamphlets with maps of the Gardens.
* The Carter Observatory is a stones throw from here. This is the perfect place to explore the Garden from, or wander back to the city.
Bolton Street Memorial ParkWatch out for the friendly black cat who haunts this hillside cemetery. If you're returning from the Botanic Gardens by foot, this is great place to meander through and check out the epitaphs of early pioneers and historical figures.
Red Rocks/ Seal Colony. This is an interesting walk named for its distinctive red rocks (probably Jasper). Take the number 1 bus to the end (Island Bay). Walk across the park towards the ocean and hang a right. There is another bus, number 4, that goes to the end of the road but only at certain times. Travel west (right side, if facing the water) until you run out of road. Here you will find a disused quarry and a soon-to-open visitors centre. The walk along this beach is pleasant but rocky and often very windy, so dress accordingly. If you walk for about an hour you'll come across a distinctive pass though the rock face. Just on the other side of this is a seal colony that is worth the walk. Please bear in mind that these are wild animals and so require a certain level of respect, so keep your distance and don't get between them and the sea, especially if you value your health! Continuing on from here, you will eventually arrive at Makara (but this is a long distance, and the seal colony is a recommended turn-around point).
Dive the frigate Wellington (F69)Probably the world's most accessible dive wreck. Just a few kilometres around the coast from Wellington International Airport. Sunk on 13 November 2005 in 23-26m of water off Island Bay on Wellington's south coast. The wreck lies about 600m southeast of Taputeranga Island (the island of Island Bay).
Take a ferry across the harbour. Go down to Queen's Wharf and check out the destinations and times.
Oriental BayOriental ParadeOriental Parade is Wellington's most beautiful street. Wellingtonians and visitors run, walk, cycle, rollerblade and eat at the great cafes & restaurants on this strip or sunbathe at the beach. However if you are not from somewhere really cold it is unlikely that it will be hot enough for you to be in desperate need for a swim. There is a spa pool (jacuzzi) in Freyberg Swimming Pool (on Oriental Parade) which is inexpensive if you enjoy "people soup".
Skyline Walkway
Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park
Karori Cemetery is an interesting picnic spot.
Frank Kitts ParkA great place to wander around, with walls to climb, inline skates, and jet ski rental.
Theatres
Capital E National Theatre for Children .
The Embassy Theatre10 Kent TerracePhone: +64 4 384-7657Hours: 09:30 until lateThis 1920s heritage-listed theatre is Wellington's premier film venue, and hosted the world premires of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Events and festivals
Beck's Incredible Film FestivalIncredibly strange, exploitation cinema and extra low budget movies.
Comedy Festival.
Cuba Street CarnivalWellington's largest free street festival is held biennially in late February. Being revamped.
New Zealand International Arts FestivalFebruary/March every year.
Out in the SquareAnnual gay and lesbian carnival held in 'Civic Square' on the first Saturday of March.
SevensThe Wellington Sevens or the New Zealand International Sevens is an annual rugby sevens tournament held in Wellington. The tournament, the fourth on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit, is played at Wellington's Westpac Stadium in early February and includes teams from 16 countries. The event attracts over thirty thousand spectators annually. The tournament has become Wellington's largest sporting event and one of New Zealand's leading sporting events. It also has a reputation for a party atmosphere, with a large proportion of attendees choosing to wear fancy dress. Recent years have seen large groups of costumes that vary from Fred Flintstone and Wilma to Care Bears, dance troops, wrestlers and many other interesting costumes. More recently items of recent media interest or advertisements form a key theme. Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, George Bush have made appearances. Movie figures such as Men in Black (MIB) and Austin Powers are crowd favourites and an impersonator of Austin has been a regular feature each year performing to the crowd.

source: Wikivoyage

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