EDITORIAL

10 Fun Family Activities In Wellington For All Ages

By Paul Johnson | 19 November 2020

From high octane adventures in nature to something more cerebral and cultural indoors, Wellington offers a range of activities that children, teens and big-kids will love.

Already explored Wellington's trails? Enjoyed an ice-cream on the waterfront? Or got close to nature at Wellington Zoo? Browse our ten recommendations for both kids and teenagers, plus some bonus activities for the big kids amongst us.

For the kids
1) Take the Wellington Cable Car to Space! 

 

The five-minute journey from Lambton Quay on the iconic Wellington Cable Car now has a new intergalactic destination! Take a short stroll from the Cable Car terminus and lookout to Space Place, home to Wellington's stunning digital planetarium, interactive galleries and the Thomas Cooke Telescope.

Between 16th November - 20th December 2020 and 8th February - 16th April 2021 enjoy 20% off your return trip on the Cable Car and admission to Space Place with a combo ticket. 

 

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2) Explore the Wellington Botanic Garden

 

From the top of the Cable Car, take the leisurely winding walkways downhill through Wellington's Botanic Garden. Young children can let off steam at the playground, popular with generations of Wellingtonians and discover the surprising uses of plants in the Discovery Garden, a living classroom. If they're not too tired come sundown, take the kids to see the glow-worms alongside Pukatea Stream. 

 

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3) Connect with nature at Staglands

 

A short drive from the city to the scenic Akatarawa Valley near Upper Hutt sits the family-favourite Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Café. The whole family can feed and freely interact with a range of native & exotic birds, animals, trout and eels across forest wetland, aviaries, walkways and native forest. Take a picnic, BBQ or visit their cosy café.

 

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4) Visit Te Papa  

 

New Zealand's history, cultural treasures and art and natural environment are all explored through a host of interactive exhibits in our national museum. From the giant squid to the Quake House, there's something to capture everyone's attention. Keep an eye on their events page for holiday activities for the kids.

 

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5) See Manukura, the rare white kiwi at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

 

Just under 2 hours drive from Wellington you'll find the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre and Mount Bruce Reserve, home to the only white kiwi in captivity and a host of endangered wildlife. The gentle tracks are ideal for young children and the bravest amongst them can even feed the tuna (eels) during the daily tours.

 

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For the teens
1) Take a dip in Wellington's bays

 

As summer hits the capital, Wellingtonian's flock to the beaches and bays to cool off. The city centre Oriental Bay being the busiest with countless swimmers flocking to the pontoons. A short drive around the bays is Scorching Bay, sheltered from the northerly wind it's ideal for swimming and the popular café Scorch-O-Rama keeps visitors well nourished.

Should the weather take a turn for the worse, our heated indoor lap pool and spa-pool are available for the family to take a dip.

 

2) Take in some culture at Wellington City Gallery

 

For the artistic members of the family, a visit to the capital's gallery is a must. With an ever-changing roster of exhibitions, there's something to capture everyone's imagination. Visit their events page for details of regular tours and special events.

 

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3) Feel the breeze and not the burn with electric bike hire

 

Hire an electric bike from Switched On Bikes on the waterfront and take a trip around Wellington's bays, taking in the sights of the coastline, the Zephyrometer, and Wellington Sign. Don't forget to stop and refuel at the popular Chocolate Fish Café in Shelly Bay. With the power of motorised assistance, the whole family can keep up regardless of ability. 

 

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For the more energetic, take the East By West ferry across the harbour to Eastbourne, hire a bike from Wildfinder and set out along the rugged coastline to Pencarrow lighthouse.

 

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4) Experience some movie magic with Weta Workshop  

 

Nestled in Wellington's Miramar Peninsula, the whole family can go behind-the-scenes and learn a host of movie magic tricks with a tour at Weta Workshop.

 

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5) Take a Ship 'n' Chip tour to Matiu/Somes Island

 

Begin your day with a guided tour of Wellington Museum and discover the capital's unique and quirky history before embarking on a ferry ride to Matiu/Somes Island in the centre of Wellington Harbour while enjoying a classic lunch of fish & chips. Disembark and explore the island with its native flora and fauna before returning to the mainland.

 

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FOR THE BIG KIDS

Have an alternative night out at Zealandia

 

Forego the typical dinner and drinks for a chance to spot a kiwi as you explore the world's first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary. Your guide will lead you by torchlight through the unique sanctuary on the hunt for sightings of our unique native species such as wētā, glow worms and tuatara.

 

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Visit Upper Hutt's Grown-up amusement park

 

A short train ride to Upper Hutt you'll find Brewtown, Wellington's craft beer village, home to five award-winning breweries and taprooms. Not just a grown-ups playground, Brewtown is also home to a huge entertainment complex, complete with ten-pin bowling, trampoline park, and indoor paintball field making it the ideal family escape.

 

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