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Wellington NZ

How to spend one day in Wellington NZ

I’ve visited this amazing city twice and I still can’t get over how much I love it.

I’ll admit that I was a tad worried about earthquakes. The city is precariously placed on a major tectonic fault line so it’s kind of prone to tremors. But don’t worry, the city’s residents are well aware of this so most of Wellington’s buildings are built to survive the occasional seismic activity.

Once I got over the earthquake-factor, I found that I could spend days (or weeks even) drinking coffee in one of the thousands of cafes, relaxing on the grass by the waterfront, pointlessly wandering the hilly streets and exploring the many museums.

There are a bucketload of activities in and around the city, for both Lord of the Rings fans and also the folk who have no interest in fantasy novels. Here’s how to spend one day in Wellington, New Zealand!

Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington waterfront, New Zealand

Walk around the waterfront

Wellington is positioned next the sea and among jagged hills on the south coast of New Zealand’s north island. The waterfront is the perfect place to get your first city vibes with a boardwalk, sculptures, grassy areas, and street food vendors in shipping containers that draw both locals and tourists to the area.

Hit up the night markets on Cuba Street

There’s a great night market on Friday and Saturday evenings on Cuba Street. This event often has relaxed live music and a range of stalls selling casual foods. Sampling some of the local seafood is apparently a must for anyone who eats it (not me!).

Views of Wellington from the Botanic Gardens, New Zealand
Botanic Gardens, Wellington, New Zealand

Take the cable car to the Botanic Gardens

If you’re into specky views and nature, hop in the funicular to reach the top of the hill behind the city. The views from are truly awesome as you can see all the way across the bay to the hills on the other side. Afterwards, do the downhill city walk through the botanic gardens, which are free to enter.

Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

Head up to Victoria Lookout

Mt Victoria lookout is also well worth a visit for 360 degree views of the city and bay. You’ll also find a few Lord of the Rings filming locations on the walk up to the lookout. If the walk seems too strenuous for your liking, you can reach this spot on a Wellington hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Wellington, New Zealand

Find LOTR filming locations

Lord of the Rings fans will love Wellington. On top of the Mt Victoria locations, you’ll also find the Weta Cave here. A 40 minute drive will take you to Kaitoke Regional Park, which was host to the beautiful scenery of Rivendell.

If you’d like to see some of these locations, I’d highly recommend doing a Lord of the Rings half-day tour as your guide will be able to pinpoint the exact spots where certain scenes were shot.

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