Exploring Wellington for free? Easy as.

Before travelling from New Zealand’s brilliant North Island to it’s beautiful South, I spent two days in Wellington – New Zealand’s capital city. Now, I’m a student on a tight budget and I didn’t want to spend ANYTHING other than on food and accommodation. Yet I still wanted to see what this city had to offer. Here’s a few things I did for free (well, almost).

1. Climb up Mount Victoria.

It’s not a difficult walk to this hill, but it is rewarding. I got some brilliant views over the whole of the city and harbour.

2. Take the Cable Car to the Botanic Gardens.

The Cable Car between Lambton Quay and the suburb of Kelburn is an iconic feature of Wellington. It’s only $3.50 for a ticket too. So while it’s not practically free, it didn’t exactly break my bank.

3. Walk through the Botanic Gardens.

Once I got off the Cable Car I had to get back to the city. How? Well, a walk through the botanic gardens was a pretty damn good way. Here’s some photos.

4. Visit the Te Papa Museum.

This is, without a doubt, the BEST museum I’ve ever been to. And I probably only saw about a tenth of what it had to offer. Being a self-confessed geology nerd I spent pretty much all my time in the section devoted to the changing geology of New Zealand. It was fascinating. From the history of volcanoes and tsunamis to the house which re-creates a historic New Zealand earthquake (it shakes while listening to a news report), it’s all great. My FAVOURITE exhibition in the whole museum (the parts of it that I saw) was a film featuring several New Zealanders showing their use of the land. There was a base jumper, musician, photographer, etc. It was really interesting and inspirational. I could go back to the museum every day for a week and still not see everything. I would if I could. This was one of the canons dropped of Captain Cooks ship when it run onto a reef, being discovered a couple of hundred years later. The theory was if they dropped all the heavy stuff overboard that they’d be able to float off the reef. It worked. A Maori house. Built and surrounded by earth so that the only way into the doorway was to crawl. Why? So the man of the house could kill anyone that tried to get in. And for insulation. But mainly the first reason.

5. Walk round Wellington waterfront.

It’s nice here. You can watch people learning (or failing to learn) how to sail, windsurfers or just the world going by. I saw a HUGE stingray swimming about – but I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo.

So yeah. That’s Wellington. I was there about four days before The Hobbit premièred so it was pretty cool. Lord of the Rings stuff was everywhere. It’s a really nice city. And all this was free.


  1. Great post! We are heading to Wellington for a few days over New Year (our first time!) and will be sure to use your recommendations! :)

    1. Anthony Braybrooke · · Reply

      You’ll love it! It’s so nice and relaxed and everyone is energetic and it just seems to rub off. Loads of places to eat and drink too (those are the times I wish I wasn’t a budget traveller). Cuba Street is brilliant, loads of buskers and that.

      1. Excellent – it sounds great (especially the food and drink – it will be New Year!) :)

  2. Great pictures! We’re heading to Wellington in a few weeks and will check out some of these sites.

    1. Anthony Braybrooke · · Reply

      Cheers! And thanks for the comment. Hope you have a great time in Wellington.

  3. Great post – will be keen to hop over to Wellington when i arrive in Melbourne!

    That cable car looks very quaint and would have a great view of the cricket below on match day… (or was it a race track?) :)



    1. Anthony Braybrooke · · Reply

      Yah, you should deffo do that man. NZ is the fucking bomb – I love it. Um, I think it’s probably a Cricket ground. But I’m not 100% sure, haha.

      Cheers for the comment x

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