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Top 10 things to see and do

A quick guide to our big backyard of waterfalls, beaches, trails, lighthouses and outdoor fun for the family.

Petone Settlers Museum
Petone Settlers Museum
Jumping off wharf
Jumping off Days Bay Wharf

Discover where Wellington began

Discover the origins of modern Wellington and other New Zealand firsts at the Petone Settlers Museum and stroll along historic Jackson Street, Petone – a bustling heritage precinct full of boutique and specialty shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Fill up your water bottle at Te Puna Wai Ora - the spring of life then discover woven wool treasures, plus The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie costumes at the historic Stansborough mill.

Cruise the bays

Ferry across Wellington harbour to the upmarket Eastern Bay villages; with a stop on the wildlife sanctuary of Matiu/Somes Island - an historic quarantine and wartime bunker site now home to New Zealand’s unique reptile, the tuatara and little blue penguins. 

Pedal along the Eastern bays or  wander the lush bush trails and enjoy harbour vistas. Explore the spectacular Pencarrow Coast and three lighthouses at the entrance to Wellington Harbour including New Zealand’s first, lit in 1859. Or just relax on the beach!

Join in the summer tradition of jumping off the wharf too and stay the night at The Gatehouse luxury cottage.

Remutaka Rail Trail Tunnel
Remutaka Rail Trail
Percy Scenic Reserve Waterfall
Percy Scenic Reserve

Blaze a trail

Explore a day out with a hike, bike and beer. Hire a bike or simply wander along any part of the 28km of Hutt River Trail, past the working steam locomotive at Silver Stream Railway and on to the historic Remutaka Rail Trail. Stay on track and loop back around the Remutaka ranges on the 115km Remutaka Cycle Trail. 

Wander to a waterfall

Let the city fall away as you explore waterfalls nestled in lush native bush, just minutes away. Explore all six waterfalls - local favourites are New Zealand's first dam at Korokoro and Birchville Dam, and Percy Scenic Reserve.

Te Marua Golf Club
Te Marua Golf Club

Get wild in nature

Enjoy our region’s natural treasures at Staglands Wildlife Reserve, spend time looking at New Zealand’s wildlife, heritage and beauty. Interact with animals and pack a picnic to make a day of it! Or wander among wild kiwi in the lush Remutaka Forest Park valleys.

Tee off at one of 9 golf courses

Test your handicap on the same courses played by some of the world’s greatest golfers. Play a round or nine at riverside courses including the Royal Wellington, Manor Park, Boulcott’s Farm and Te Marua Golf Clubs.

Wellington Quad Bike Adventures Wainuiomata
Wellington Quad Bike Adventures
Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre
Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre

Race up in the hills

Wellington Adventures quad bike expeditions offer exhilarating rides over rugged coastline, spectacular hilltop views and through lush native bush to the Turakirae Head seal colony.

Feed your mind

Gaze at contemporary art in The Dowse Art Museum or Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre with diverse and exciting exhibitions and events, a delicious café, well-stocked shop and an engaging family lounge. Best of all – it’s free to visit.

Kereru Brewery Brewtown beer in glasses
Kereru Brewery
Kaitoke Regional Park Rivendell
Kaitoke Regional Park

Taste our brews

Craft beer lovers can sample three award-winning craft breweries; Panhead, Kererū and Baylands. All brewers use fresh, local ingredients to deliver beers full of character and bursting with flavour.

Have a Middle-earth adventure

Take a journey of your own to Middle-earth and relive the cinematic magic of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Visit the set locations of Rivendell, Helm’s Deep, Isengard and the Great River Anduin. Kaitoke Regional Park is a highlight.