Cheap Tours and Activities in Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island's southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbor, and colorful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname "Windy Wellington." The multilayered city streets are jam-packed with treats. For starters it's lovely to look at: gorgeous Victorian timber architecture laces the bushy hillsides above the harbor. It has hill-top lookouts and craggy shorelines to the south. Downtown, the compact center vibrates with museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques, and bars. The look here is artsy-yet-a-tad-depleted like you've been up all night creating something. These vibes are fueled by a caffeine and craft-beer scene. With so much to see, do, and taste, Wellington is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting activities and tours in or near the area to help you make the most of your time here.
After pickup from your hotel or cruise port, explore the cosmopolitan capital of Wellington and its surroundings by luxury mini-coach on a 4-hour or 8-hour tour. A knowledgeable guide transports your small group along the south coast for a glimpse of the South Island from lookout points perched on steep cliffs. See the ruins of the Wahine maritime disaster of 1968, when 51 people lost their lives in Wellington Harbor, and enjoy views of Matiu/Somes Island, a scientific reserve and nature sanctuary. Learn about the island's history as a quarantine station for immigrant ships to New Zealand as well as an enemy internment camp during World War I and II. If you selected the full-day tour, enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach or at one of Wellington's trendy cafes. A unique ride aboard the Wellington Cable Car takes you to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic views of the city and harbor; this charming transport is one of the few remaining of its kind in the world. On a visit to Thorndon, New Zealand's oldest suburb, you'll visit the New Zealand Parliament Buildings and its domelike Beehive, the government seat. Step inside Old St Paul's Cathedral for a look at the Gothic Revival architecture. Conclude your sightseeing tour with a visit to the Te Papa national museum where interactive exhibits delve into New Zealand's Maori and European cultural heritage. Afterward, relax with a convenient drop-off at your starting point.
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Start your half-day LOTR tour with hotel pickup in Wellington. Your guide is well-versed in The Lord of the Rings and shares insider knowledge about the Wellington film industry. Your first stop is in the city's nightlife district of Courtenay Place, site of the Embassy Movie Theatre. Stroll down the red carpet like a movie star and imagine watching the world premiere screenings of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with 100,000 Bilbo, Frodo and Gandalf fans. After a coach stop at Mt Victoria to soak up the views of Wellington's city center and harbor, continue into the heart of Middle-earth at the 'Green Belt,' where you may recognize forest scenes such as 'Get off the Road', 'Race to the Ferry' and 'Shortcut to Mushrooms.' Next up is a tour of director Peter Jackson's production facilities at Weta Studios, located in 'Wellywood,' the center of Wellington's movie industry. With an expert guide leading the way, see the 'Windows into Workshop' exhibition, visit the Weta Cave and learn about props and make-up, before watching a short film about the extraordinary digital special effects featured in the movies. Don't miss the studio's mini-museum and souvenir shop before concluding your tour in Wellington with drop-off at your hotel.
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Discover New Zealand's natural history on a nighttime visit to Zealandia, an eco-restoration facility just 10 minutes from downtown Wellington. Find your way there for a 2.5-hour guided tour that includes Zealandia: The Exhibition and Sanctuary Valley. Get a firsthand look at prehistoric beasts and other endemic native animals that once roamed the islands. At the state-of-the-art exhibit, you can interact with lifelike models of the now-extinct moa (giant flightless birds) and a fearsome predator: the Haast's eagle. After learning about these long-lost giants of the bird world, be riveted by a light and sound show that takes you through at least 1,000 years of change. Then walk through a predator-proof fence into the Sanctuary Valley, listening for birdsong in the 550-acre eco-sanctuary. Follow your guide in search of nocturnal creatures such as the kaka, weta, tuatara and the elusive kiwi as you make your way by flashlight.
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The Great War Exhibition brings the ordeals of this pivotal time in history into the modern day, melting away 100 years, helping us to understand the hardships endured by those who served and those who stayed behind. This exhibition is truly world-class, acclaimed by international visitors and New Zealanders alike. It tells the global story as well as New Zealand's role in the war, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of the Kiwi spirit in times of great adversity. You will see challenges faced by brave young soldiers. Experience the gritty hardship and the horror of the battlefields as seen by those caught in the conflict. This is a great way to honor those who lost their lives in the Great War.
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