Family Fun in Wellington

New Zealand is rated as the second safest country in the world (after Japan) and, as such, makes a fantastic family holiday destination, with a range of family-friendly activities available in all the major cities, from museums, art galleries, national parks, fantastic restaurants and interesting architecture filling the cities. Wellington is no different, located in the heart of New Zealand at the bottom of the North Island. 

Wellington Zoo

Start off your trip to Wellington with the world-class Wellington Zoo, located close to the bay below Newtown and just west of Wellington International Airport. It is home to a diverse range of both native and exotic animals, from cheetahs, chimpanzees, giraffes, tigers, and many more other animals - you can see over 100 different species and 500 individual animals. See keeper talks, engage in close animal encounters and the unique opportunity for a zoo sleepover. The sleepover offers a behind the scenes look at the zoo after everyone else has gone home. See the zoo as it opens up for the day the next morning. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag and warm clothes with a sleeping roll provided, but you can bring your own blow-up mattress if you prefer. 

Weta Workshop

Famous for its special and practical effects in the film industry, in particular the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Weta Workshop is where the movie magic happens—located just north of Wellington Airport on Camperdown Road by the bay. Weta Workshop is where the practical effects are crafted for movies, from armour to costumes, masks, and much more. It is an Academy Award-winning workshop and has worked on other films such as Blade Runner 2049, Avatar, Ghost in the Shell, Alita: Battle Angel, and Mad Max Fury Road. Book a tour ranging from a 45-minute run through to a full day experience. See the artists at work, famous props, the retail store on-site, as well as larger than life statues of some famous figures.

Rimutaka Forest Park
Rimutaka Forest Park

Wellington is surrounded by nature, so why not get some quality family bonding done in some of the most beautiful surroundings you’ve ever seen. Head out into nature as part of a tour or with your own rental car on a self-driving tour. Located across the bay is the Rimutaka Forest Park. The park extends across 22,000 hectares and is easily accessible from Wellington. Head down the popular Orongorongo Track, a comfortable 2-hour one-way hike. With picnic areas, campgrounds, toilets, showers and BBQ's, it has more facilities than most outdoor areas. Enjoy trickling streams, lush nature and native animals, including the recently reintroduced brown kiwi, as well as freshwater fish, reptiles and birds. The park is suited to all ages, and if a day trip from Wellington isn’t enough, spend the night in a campground or a cabin. Make sure to book a cabin in advance to guarantee a position.

See the seals

One of New Zealand’s iconic animals is the New Zealand furseal, and Wellington is one of the best places to see them. Wellington’s south coast is home to a fur seal colony. Take an eco trek out to see them in Wilton Bush, with coastal views, interesting beaches and strange landscapes. 

People paddle-boating near the Museum of New Zealand.
The Museum of New Zealand

Discover a little more about Wellington through one of its fascinating museums. The Museum of New Zealand is just minutes from the city centre located by the wharf and Lambton Harbour. Known for its interactive nature, it is fun for all ages. With collections spanning human history and further back, the six-storey building is cutting edge. Learn about local Māori culture at the Mana Whenua exhibition. The museum ranks in the top 25 TripAdvisor museums in the world. See national art, European art and fossils. The museum is free entry, so it fits into any travel budget. Spend the money you save on free entry in the museum shop with interesting ceramics and gift ideas. The museum is one of those must-visits if you’re in Wellington, with constantly rotating exhibitions; even if you’ve been, you’re bound to have a different experience upon return.

Wellington is the perfect place to take a family holiday. With fun activities both in the city and the surrounding region, you’ll never be caught with nothing to do, unless relaxing and doing nothing around the city is exactly what you want. See animals, landscapes, museums, art galleries and more in this beautiful coastal city. 

To explore everything that Wellington has to offer, hire a car from Wellington Airport or Wellington Downtown.

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