Great things to do with kids in Wellington

Day, weekend or week, Wellington has got plenty of activities to keep kids both big and small entertained. From relaxing tours at the zoo to burning off energy roller blading along the waterfront, here's our 8 must dos!

Wellington watching the cable car

Take a ride on Wellington’s Cable Car

Catch the historic Wellington Cable Car from Lambton Quay to the Wellington Botanical Gardens for great views and photos of the city.  At the top, head along to Space Place at Carter Observatory for their hands on exhibition area and the planetarium shows which occur each hour.

Spot a Kiwi with the kids at ZEALANDIA

New Zealand Kiwi
New Zealand Kiwi

ZEALANDIA is a beautiful conservation attraction set around a picturesque reservoir and home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered wildlife.  Enjoy the nocturnal sights, sounds and smells of the sanctuary valley on a night tour – you might get lucky and spot a kiwi!

Explore Wellington waterfront with the family

Stroll from Queens Wharf to Oriental Bay, or pick up the pace and hire some roller blades so you can glide around the waterfront!   Take a break and grab a coffee or gelato from one of the many local cafes so you can sit back to enjoy the beautiful views of Wellington harbour and city.  You might catch a glimpse of the Interislander ferry cruising in and out of the harbour!

Meet the animals at Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo
Feeding time at the zoo

Red pandas, lions, giraffes and cheetahs – just a few of the many animals you can see at Wellington Zoo. You can book a personal experience for you and your children to get up close with any of these furry friends or try spotting a kiwi in the nocturnal house.

Experience the magic of Weta Workshop

Inside Weta Cave Museum in Wellington
Weta Cave Museum

No visit to Wellywood is complete without a tour of Weta Studios.   Its home to heaps of props from big screen films like the infamous Lord of the Rings and Avatar.  If you’re a Thunderbirds fan, you can get up close to the huge miniatures and even jump on to the Thunderbirds are Go set!

Dig into New Zealand’s history at Te Papa

Kids at Te Papa Wellington
Exploring the wonders of Te Papa

Te Papa is undoubtedly the most entertaining way to find out about New Zealand’s rich history, and has is a fantastic interactive museum for kids.  They’ll love the colossal squid, uncovering dinosaur bones in Bush City and the earthquake house simulation.   The scale of the Gallipoli war exhibition which tells the story of WWI through the eyes of New Zealanders is a must-see for all ages.

Hit the mountain bike park

Up in the hills above the city at the base of Makara Peak is Wellington’s world class mountain bike park.  There are routes to suit all levels from nice easy short-loops through to extreme vertigo descents on over 250 hectares of native bush.   Hire a bike from Wellington’s leading mountain bike shop, Mud Cycles HQ located next door, and hit the trails.  If you and the family are the active types, this is a must-do!

Get revved at Southward Car Museum

Southward Car Museum
Discover the classic cars

Just an hour north of Wellington, visit the Southward Car Museum which is home to over 500 classic cars and bikes.  Even if none of the family are big petrol-heads, you’ll get revved up by the eclectic mix of auto-motives on display including a $4m Bugatti in mint condition.   There’s a grass area by a pond behind the museum which is great for picnics.  

Take the kids for a paddle at Oriental Parade

Kid playing at Oriental bay
Walk barefoot on the sand

If the weather heats up in the capital, grab your togs and take the kids to Oriental Bay beach for a paddle or swim if you’re feeling a little braver.  This is a wonderful sandy beach so worth bringing a bucket and spade for hours of sand sculpting family-fun.  Also located close by is a playground and cafes aplenty for an ice-cream treat!

Travel through time at Wellington Museum

Take your family on a journey through time as you explore the stories, events and people that took Wellington from the cargo hub of the 20th century to the cool little capital it is today.  All this is done in weird and wonderful ways including holographic special effects earned it the accolade of being named one of the 50 best museums in the world by the UK Times.

Wellington truly is an unforgettable city to visit with the kids – with a broad mix of sights, arts, food, drink and entertainment to enjoy, you and the family will want to come back again!

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