Wellington – ideas for free time

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As it’s a relatively small city Wellington is easy to get around, both on foot or by public transport, and for that reason it’s a great place to just wander without necessarily having too much of a plan. Explore the shops, cafés and waterfront, soak up some of the sights and sounds and visit a few points of interest along the way. The botanical gardens are a good place to start: aside from the beautiful floral displays and plant collections you will also find a splendid viewpoint over the city and harbour. You can walk up to the gardens in about 25 minutes, however, the iconic red funicular is a less energetic way of getting to the top.

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (better known as simply Te Papa), located on the waterfront, is New Zealand’s national museum and is home to a fantastic collections of historic artefacts, cultural displays and art exhibitions. It’s a one-stop-shop for a history of New Zealand and both group and private tours are available if you wish to delve a little deeper.

Just outside of the city, Zealandia is a predator free sanctuary and a great showcase for the country’s native flora and fauna. Allow a couple of hours here to lose yourself amongst the birdsong. Again, guided tours are also available and there is a free shuttle available from the Wellington information centre.

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