Top Destinations In Wellington To Explore With Your Minibus Hire

Top Destinations In Wellington To Explore With Your Minibus Hire

Wellington may seem small, but there’s plenty to see and lots of travelling around to do. The capital city of New Zealand is a must visit for any traveller venturing into this beautiful country. Nestled between steep, forest-covered hills and a wide sweep of bay overlooking Cook Strait, Wellington spreads across slopes, and the best way to get around with your travel group is by minibus. Book Wellington minibus hire for convenience and comfort while visiting Wellington.


Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa)

This is New Zealand’s finest museum, and it is fittingly located right in the country’s capital city. The Museum of New Zealand is an immersive journey into the stories behind how the country was formed, the Maori people who first settled on this land, and the dynamics between Maori and European forces which have shaped the nation since then. Commonly referred to as Te Papa by the locals, the museum has a wealth of exhibits to explore.

Try the Earthquake House, a unique installation that stimulates the experience of being inside an actual earthquake, for a thrilling activity with family and friends. Or if you’re more into the arts, there is the Arts Te Papa collection with 11 galleries of artworks made by New Zealand and Pacific Island artists. Finally, do not leave the museum without viewing its highlight, the Mana Whenua exhibition, tracing the history of the Maori people with a fine collection of Maori art and treasures, as well as state-of-the-art multimedia displays.

The Beehive

Now here’s something you don’t see every day. The most iconic building in Wellington has to be The Beehive, which is also the site of New Zealand’s parliament. This particularly unique piece of architecture was designed by British architect Sir Basil Spence and was built between 1964 and 1979. Just next door, as if in deliberate contrast, is the Neoclassical Edwardian style building of the Parliament House, built in 1907, and houses The Chamber where parliamentary debates are held. Don’t miss as well the beautiful gardens around the parliament buildings, containing rose gardens and a statue of Richard John Seddon, prime minister of New Zealand between 1893 and 1906.

There are daily one-hour tours of the parliament buildings offered for free between 10am and 4pm, where visitors can learn about the parliamentary history of New Zealand and tour through the important government rooms. Tours leave from the visitor centre on the ground floor of The Beehive.

Wellington Cable Car and the Kelburn Lookout

This charming cable car is an antique still in operation. More like a funicular than a car, the bright red cable-operated train has been chugging up the hill to the Kelburn Lookout, next to the Botanic Gardens, since 1912. Visitors aiming to get to the vantage point at the top of the hill tend to prefer this convenient and scenic ride up the hill, but more adventurous and athletic travellers may also choose to climb up on foot, starting from Lambton Quay in the waterfront central district. This is a particularly good option for photographers as there are lovely views to be had on the way up. Hang around for a bit once you get to the top, though – there’s a small museum at the Kelburn cable car terminal, and you can even see the original cable car used on the tracks.

Wellington Botanic Gardens

Nature lovers would not want to miss this beautiful garden in the middle of the city. This is a lush oasis that sprawls across 25 hectares on the city hillside, and is full of blooming flower displays and native fauna. Feast your eyes on the 110 rose beds boasting a kaleidoscope of different colours and varieties in the Lady Norwood Rose Gardens, one of the botanic garden’s finest attractions, and look out for the Begonia House which showcases some very unique tropical flower displays. Don’t forget also to visit the Carter Observatory in the eastern section of the gardens, near the Wellington Cable Car Kelburn Terminal – the observatory has its own planetarium show that’s quite a visual treat.

Wellington Zoo

Established in 1906, Wellington Zoo is the oldest zoo in New Zealand, and is also well known for its conservation efforts. This particular tourist attraction is the top of the list for most tour groups with young children. The zoo is an excellent opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s wildlife up close, especially shy animals like the kiwi bird, which is the country’s national emblem, and the tuatara reptile. Aside from local species of animals which are indeed hard to find in any other country’s zoo, the Wellington Zoo also houses animals from all over the world – visit the Malayan sun bear, the giraffe, meerkat, monkey, chimpanzee, and lions! It is also worthwhile to stop by The Nest, which is the zoo’s animal hospital, to see the work that the zoo’s veterinarians do.

Museum of Wellington City and Sea

While you’re in the city district, do drop by this small but impressive museum. Housed in a preserved historic building, which was once an early department store, this museum is extremely modern on the inside, with state of the art multimedia displays that help to bring Wellington’s history to life. You can expect to see several informative exhibitions and film presentations that trace Wellington’s maritime history, as well as the evolution of the city. In particular, the exhibits on the Wahine disaster in 1968, where the Wahine ferry near Wellington harbour sank during a storm and claimed 51 lives, is a powerful and sobering reminder of the intricate connection Wellington has with the sea, and the importance of respecting the sea, which is a strong Maori belief. You can see more about Maori myths and legends in another gallery in the museum.


For the uninitiated, Zealandia is a massive, 225 hectare urban eco-sanctuary, just two kilometres out from the central city district. The sanctuary is dedicated to protecting New Zealand’s unique nature and wildlife, and you can see many of the country’s native birds, including endangered species such as the stitchbird, takahe and saddleback birds. If you’re lucky, you can even try to spot some kiwi birds during a guided night tour, and even the famous tuatara reptile of New Zealand. There are many walking trails for visitors to explore all throughout the reserve, and there is also a museum within the grounds, documenting New Zealand’s rich natural history.

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