The Duck Pond at Wellington Botanic Gardens.


Wellington Botanic Gardens

Top choice in Wellington

These hilly, 25-hectare botanic gardens can be effortlessly visited via the Wellington Cable Car (nice bit of planning, eh?), although there are several other entrances hidden in the hillsides. The gardens boast a tract of original native forest, the beaut Lady Norwood Rose Garden, 25,000 spring tulips and various international plant collections. Add in fountains, a playground, sculptures, a duck pond, cafe, the Space Place observatory and the small-but-nifty Cable Car Museum and you’ve a busy day out.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Wellington attractions

1. Space Place


Inside the Carter Observatory at the top of the Botanic Gardens, this full-dome planetarium offers space-themed multimedia shows and stargazing sessions…

2. Cable Car Museum

0.18 MILES

The small-but-nifty Cable Car Museum tells the history of the Wellington cable car, arcing back to when it was built in 1902. Take the cable car back down…

3. Cable Car Lookout

0.19 MILES

There's a terrific vantage point at the top of Wellington's cable car tracks. Ride up the hill, ogle the view over the city and Cook Strait, then wander…

4. Bolton Street Cemetery

0.34 MILES

Lost beneath a canopy of oak and pohutukawa, between freeway off-ramps and apartment towers, this fabulously dank and atmospheric remnant dates back to…

5. Wellington Cable Car

0.43 MILES

One of Wellington’s big-ticket attractions is the little red cable car that clanks up the slope from Lambton Quay to Kelburn. At the top are the…

6. St Mary of the Angels

0.57 MILES

Closed for seismic strengthening and restoration from 2013 to 2017, this pretty Catholic parish church is looking downright heavenly. Built in 1922, it…

7. New Zealand Portrait Gallery


Housed in a heritage red-brick warehouse on the waterfront, this estimable gallery presents a diverse range of NZ portraiture and caricature from its own…

8. Academy Galleries


The showcase of the esteemed New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts (founded 1882), the Academy Galleries presents frequently changing exhibitions by NZ artists…