A Day in Wellington: New Zealand 🌎

Harshita Kasera
Globetrotters
Published in
6 min readApr 13, 2023

My husband and I took a 22-day road trip across New Zealand in December 2022. On this trip we stayed at several unique places all over the country.

Wellington was definitely one of the highlights on this trip. This city has its own special charm and appeal.

📍 Wellington City Sign, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range.

Wellington is the most remote capital city in the world 🌎

On our trip, Wellington was the last stop on the North Island. We had a day to explore the city and we loved the amazing vibe of this city.

Wellington Map (Photo Credits: Google Maps)

This blog will cover things we did in and around Wellington.

Mount Victoria Lookout | Maps

This lookout is a great place to visit if you’re looking for stunning 360-degree views of Wellington.

The lookout is located on the summit of Mount Victoria, which is the highest point in the Wellington city area. There is a car park at the top of the mountain and a viewing deck to explore the lookout.

📍 Mount Victoria Lookout, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Wellington Waterfront Walk | Maps

The Wellington Waterfront Walk is a beautiful and enjoyable walk along the waterfront, past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Parliament Buildings, and Wellington Cable Car.

📍 Solace in the Wind Statue (left) & Wellington (right), Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

The Hangar : Maps

Wellington has a strong coffee culture. The city is home to a number of independent coffee roasters and cafés, which offer a variety of coffee drinks.

We went to this cool little coffee place — The Hangar ❤️. Their flat white tasting is a must try.

📍The Hangar Coffee, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Cuba Street | Maps

Cuba Street is a colorful, pedestrian-only city street in Wellington. It is a great place to spend a day or an evening. It is a vibrant and exciting place with something for everyone. It is filled with unique and independent shops, fun bars, and quirky cafes.

📍 Cuba Street, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

📸 Be sure to snap a photo at Bucket Fountain.

The Bucket Fountain is a popular tourist attraction and a beloved part of Wellington’s cityscape. The fountain consists of a series of “buckets” that fill with water until they tip, spilling their load into the buckets and pool below.

📍 Bucket Fountain, Cuba Street, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Weta Workshop

Weta Workshop is a source of pride for New Zealand and a testament to the country’s creativity and innovation.

Wellington is known as the Cultural Capital of New Zealand.

Weta Workshop is a world-renowned leader in the field of special effects. The company’s work has helped to shape the look and feel of many popular films including the Avatar and Lord of the Rings movies.

Wellington’s Weta Workshop is located in Miramar, a suburb of Wellington. The area has been nicknamed “Wellywood” due to its association with the film industry.

📍 Weta Workshop, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Weta Workshop offers a number of tours for fans to learn about the making of movie effects, including armors, weapons, creatures, costumes, make-up, miniatures, and more!

If you don’t have the time for the tour, you can still walk-in and visit Weta Workshop. There is a small exhibition space that showcases some of the amazing work that the workshop has done on films. There is a gift shop where you can purchase the workshop merchandise.

📍 Weta Workshop, Wellington (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve | Maps

Putangirua Pinnacles located in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, about two hours east of Wellington is a beautiful and unique place to visit.

📍 Putaringa Pinnacles, New Zealand (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

The Pinnacles are a series of tall, thin rock formations that were created by erosion. We did the Pinnacles Track Loop which is a 2.9 mile hike that takes you through the Pinnacles, and the views from the top are stunning.

Tip: Make sure to download the trail map offline as the trail is not well marked.

The Pinnacles are also a popular spot for filming, and have been used in a number of movies and television shows, including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

The Putangirua Pinnacles were used as the filming location for the Dimholt Road in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

If you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings like my husband, I highly recommend visiting this place.

Remutaka Hill Viewpoint : Maps

The Remutaka Hill Road is a scenic route that winds its way through the Remutaka Range.

📍 Remutaka Hill Viewpoint, New Zealand (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Kaitoke Regional Park : Maps

Kaitoke Regional Park is a regional park located at Kaitoke, northeast of Upper Hutt, in the Wellington Region of New Zealand’s southern North Island. It is a beautiful place to hike, picnic, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

📍 Kaitoke Regional Park, New Zealand (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Tolkien fans definitely want to visit this place as it was used as a filming location for the movies. It is also referred to as “The Gate to Rivendell”.

Kaitoke Regional Park was used to represent Rivendell, the hidden refuge of the Elves in the Lord of the Rings movies.

All buildings, walkways, and other structures were removed after filming was complete, but a half size replica of the archway was recreated for the movie fans.

Cook Strait Ferry

Cook Strait is the stretch of ocean that connects the North and the South Island of New Zealand.

When we were heading from the North to South Island, we booked a ferry ride from Wellington in the North Island to Picton in the South Island.

This ferry ride is considered as one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world.

📍 Interislander Ferry from Wellington to Picton, New Zealand (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Experiencing the Cook Strait crossing is a must-do experience in New Zealand.

The route between Wellington and Picton is served by two companies: the Interislander and Bluebridge Ferry. We chose the Interislander and we had a great time.

Tip: Book your ferry tickets in advance online. You could also get a discount on the ferry through most of the rental car companies. Make sure to ask about this when you’re booking your car!

Photos

Enjoy!

Wellington is a modern city with a vibrant arts and culture scene, and plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors. If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, highly recommend to add this city to your itinerary.

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