We began our day in Wellington at the first pick up on the new Wellington City Sights hop on hop off bus outside the i-site on Wakefield St. Our driver, Collin greeted us and on we hopped.
As we made our way to the first stop on the 60 minute loop, Te Papa Museum, Collin commentated on our journey over the microphone (we were sitting at the back with an elderly couple and they could hear everything).
Te Papa is a must for anyone in Wellington, it’s the national Museum of Wellington and you could spend at least a couple of hours here, don’t miss the colossal squid! Te Papa is free although a donation is encouraged and constantly has new and exciting exhibitions on throughout the year.
We decided to get off at the Basin Reserve, unfortunately the Cricket Museum was closed! Only open on weekends until summer kicks in. We had a 10 Minute stop here while the bus continued onto Wellington Zoo, On the way back Collin picked us up again.
The drive up to the top of the cable car gives some great views over Wellington, we decided not to get off here and carried on to visit the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary and Zealandia.
The Sanctuary is a 225 Hectare area surrounded by an 8.6 km predator-proof fence allowing native New Zealand wildlife such as the little spotted kiwi, tuatara, giant weta and hihi to thrive. Get a chance to see the little spotted kiwi on a Zealandia by night tour!
We had an hour until the next bus, if we had the whole day we could have stayed here much longer!
Our final choice of the day was the New Zealand Parliament buildings which are known as the BeeHive (see the picture below and you’ll see why), they do an hourly tour, putting on extra tours when demand is high, around the Parliament buildings giving information on the daily lives and activities of Parliament and a history into the architecture and refurbishments of the buildings.
We decided to walk back around the water to make the most of such a great day, one of the best things about this bus is once you jump on for the first time the pass lasts for 24 hours so its basically a 2 day pass, giving you plenty of time to explore the great sights Wellington has to offer!
So, the next day WE, Uona and Mieke, jumped on the bus! We knew that Niel and Ella stayed on the bus at the cable car. So that was our first stop. It was one of the most beautiful days since I (Mieke) moved from The Netherlands to Wellington. A walk through the Botanical Gardens was a great choice!
Our first stop was the Cable Car Museum and it’s a Freebee! We all love freebees right?! It’s nice to have a look around. Did you know that the Wellington Cable Car is the last Cable Car system still working in New Zealand?
Besides the spectacular views during the day, you can go to New Zealand’s ‘place for space’! It’s a state of the art digital planetarium where you can see the beautiful Southern Skies via the oldest operational telescope of it’s kind in NZ! On Tuesdays and Saturdays they are open till 9.30pm. So enough time to do some star gazing on a bright evening, maybe you can see the International Space Station! But also during the day it’s also worth to have a look in Carter Observatory. They have Planetarium theatre shows every day!
We continued our trip into the gardens. It was really lovely! A real “must do” when you are here in spring and during summer. Soon the rose garden will start to blossom. You can find a lot of native trees as well. Just bring walking shoes our your book and enjoy! Because the day was so beautiful, we decided to walk to the visitor centre in the Botanical Gardens. In the visitor centre you can read more about the history and ask everything what you want to know!
As it was such a beautiful day, we decided to walk from the Botanical Gardens to the Government buildings. The free tour you can do there is definitely worth it! It’s all about the architecture inside the buildings and the library. You can see some stunning pictures of the Maori Art which can be found everywhere through the building. Of course we had a lot of fun together!
**Please note that the Wellington CitySights Tour no longer runs – however there is a fantastic alternative – check out the Wellington Hop on Hop Off Tour (here) which visits many of the same places and is actually a 2 hour tour – there are 17 hop off stops or if you don’t have time to wait for the next bus then the 2 hour tour does have 3 photos stops.***
Book your accommodation at our Nomads Wellington Hostel.