Wellington Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Wellington Nature & adventure

Zealandia by Day Tour

1. Zealandia by Day Tour

Discover New Zealand’s native wildlife on an immersive 2-hour guided walking tour at Zealandia Ecosanctuary. Located 10-minutes from Wellington CBD, the fully-fenced, predator-free ecosanctuary is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary and vulnerable animals.  Zealandia can be easily reached by car, free shuttle, or cable car from Wellington CBD. Check in at the vistor center ticket desk where you will meet your guide. Begin with introduction in the ecosanctuary’s exhibition. You will complete a short bio-security bag check before you can enter the sanctuary. This is to prevent any predators from entering the sanctuary with you. Then, venture out into the sanctuary to discovery the riches of our native flora and fauna at its very best.  Make the most of your visit with your expert guide, who will share with you the history, sights and sounds of the forest and its secrets. Witness the highly intelligent kākā (bush parrot), kakariki, tūī and bellbirds at feeding stations positioned along the sanctuary’s walkways. After 2 hours exploring the vast parklands, you will return to the visitor center. Relax after your tour with a coffee or meal at Cafe Rata. 

Wellington: Guided Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

2. Wellington: Guided Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike

Get to know Wellington like a local on this electric bike tour. Your guide will take you off the beaten path and show you the best places to snack and shop. Glide along the beach and enjoy panoramic views from a lookout point. Meet your guide at Queens Wharf in Central Wellington for a morning departure. After listening to the safety briefing, learn how to operate your electric bike and enjoy time practicing in a safe area before heading out. Once you’re feeling comfortable, saddle up for a fun bike tour of Wellington, and follow your guide along the Wellington Waterfront. Glide along the seafront, passing the lively port and harbor, and the beaches of Oriental Bay. Continue along the Miramar Peninsula and leave the bustle of the city behind as you cycle along the scenic coast. Pause along the way at a local café, where you’ll have the chance to enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee, and purchase sandwiches and cakes at your own expense. Afterward, loop back towards the city. Finally, climb up to the lookout point for an unforgettable view over Wellington, the Miramar Peninsula, and the ocean. Your tour ends in the early afternoon back in central Wellington.

Wellington: 9-Minute Scenic Flight Ride

3. Wellington: 9-Minute Scenic Flight Ride

Soar high and get a birds-eye perspective with land and ocean views from all angles. Enjoy a scenic flight over Wellington and discover the city from a unique aerial perspective. Moments after boarding your helicopter, ascend from the heart of New Zealand's capital city on a short 9-minute exhilarating flight. In an instant, the Wellington landscape will be brought into perspective before your eyes. Marvel at the unique birds-eye views of the skyline below you, dotted with iconic buildings such as Te Papa, the Beehive, and the Cake Tin. You may even get to see the Marlborough Sounds and upper South Island on clear days.

Zealandia Twilight Ecosanctuary Tour

4. Zealandia Twilight Ecosanctuary Tour

Experience Zealandia as it transforms from daylight to twilight during this special guided experience. The fully-fenced, urban eco-sanctuary is located 10-minutes from Wellington central business district.   Begin your tour with the highlights of Zealandia's interactive exhibition. Your guide will then lead you through the sanctuary valley. See birds returning to the sanctuary to settle into their nests and marvel at the sight of the evening sky and hear the changing sounds of birds from day to night.  Encounter unique species such as wētā, takahē, tuatara and more. You may even experience the first sounds of the nocturnal birds, such as kiwi and ruru (morepork) as they wake.

Zealandia by Night Tour

5. Zealandia by Night Tour

Experience Zealandia by night on a guided tour by torchlight. The fully-fenced, urban eco-sanctuary is located 10-minutes from Wellington central business district.   Your guide will lead you in search of the distinctive sights and sounds of New Zealand’s native forest. Experience many of the rare and endangered species. See those that only come out at night. Observe unique species such as wētā, glow worms, tuatara, and takahē.  Sightings of kiwi are common on these tours (around 80% of the time), though are not guaranteed. Gain insights into New Zealand’s natural history. Learn about the significance of unique species within Māori culture. Your tour will end with a replenishing cup of hot kawakawa (bushman’s tea) in the Visitors Centre.

Wellington: Scenic Harbour Helicopter Flight

6. Wellington: Scenic Harbour Helicopter Flight

Start your scenic flight adventure in the heart of New Zealand's capital city. Get a safety briefing before taking off to explore the boundaries of Wellington Harbour. Hear about the city's highlights as you fly over them, and discover suburbs perched in the surrounding hills and the tectonic landscape that encompasses the city. Wellington was shaped by a massive earthquake in 1855 and you can see the full extent of these changes from above. Take in aerial views of Zealandia, Matiu/Somes Island, and Cook Strait, the highway for the ferries that shuttle between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. See houses growing more sparse as you fly along the Pencarrow coastline with its famous lighthouse marking the entrance to the harbor. On return to the city, glimpse famous landmarks such as the parliament buildings and Te Papa, the national museum, before landing back on the waterfront helipad.

From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

7. From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

Set off on an adventure-filled 11-day tour to discover and explore New Zealand's South Island. Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, explore Queenstown, and create your own Greenstone jewelry. Day 1: Wellington to Kaikoura Meet your driver in Wellington and begin your adventure across the South Island. Board a ferry to travel across the Cook Strait. After disembarking, go for a wine tasting in the Marlborough region and visit the Kaikoura Seal colony. Day 2: Kaikoura to Christchurch Begin your day with a hike along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Enjoy panoramic views of Kaikoura before heading to Christchurch to discover hidden gems on a city street art trail. Day 3: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Drive to Lake Tekapo to marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project. Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most-photographed places in New Zealand. Finish the day with a hike up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Day 4: Mount Cook Spend the day at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park under the shadow of Mt. Cook, the country's highest mountain. Hike the Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake, enjoying the scenery, before returning to Lake Tekapo. Day 5: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown Travel to Queenstown to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant (not included). Day 6: Queenstown Spend the day exploring Queenstown on your own. Visit the sights, go shopping, or relax at a cafe. Day 7: Glenorchy Head out to Glenorchy on a day trip from Queenstown. Cruise past the late, soaking up the views, and onto Glenorchy. Enjoy several short walks, taking in the scenery, before returning to Queenstown. Day 8: Queenstown to Wanaka Head to Wanaka to enjoy panoramic hikes. From November to May, hike Roys Peak, a 6-hour roundtrip trek, for breathtaking views over Lake Wānaka. For the rest of the year, enjoy the Mt. Iron hike with 360-degree views of The Pisa range. After your hike, visit the famous Wanaka tree. Day 9: Wanaka to Franz Josef Visit Thunder Creek Falls in Mt. Aspiring National Park. Next, head to Lake Matheson to enjoy its famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Spend the night in Franz Josef. Day 10: Franz Josef Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop (included) before enjoying the Glacier Valley Walk in Franz Josef. Day 11: Franz Josef to Christchurch Take a scenic hike across Arthurs Pass, and enjoy stunning views. Walk the Castle Hill track and admire the Devil's Punchbowl waterfalls before finishing your tour in Christchurch.

Wellington: Scenic South Coast Discovery Helicopter Flight

8. Wellington: Scenic South Coast Discovery Helicopter Flight

Explore what lies beyond the city with a spectacular 22-minute helicopter flight over Wellington's pristine southern coastline. After making your way to the meeting point, take to the skies and pass closely by the majestic Makara Wind Farm. Admire a fantastic view of the giant windmills, remarkable examples of modern engineering and sustainable energy. Next, head south to the wild, dramatic coastline where numerous seal colonies hug the rugged shores as waves batter into the towering cliffs. See Karori Rock Lighthouse, an enduring testament to the shipping dangers of the Cook Strait, one of the world's most notorious stretches of water. On a clear day, you may be treated to views of the Marlborough Sounds, the top of the South Island. On returning to Wellington Harbour, enjoy a great overview of the capital city, its impressive landmark buildings, and the surrounding landscape.

Martinborough Winery and South Wairarapa Wild Coast Tour

9. Martinborough Winery and South Wairarapa Wild Coast Tour

Enjoy a 10-hour guided tour heading north from Wellington around the western edge of the beautiful Wellington Harbor and up the Hutt Valley following the Hutt River. A scenic drive over the Remutaka Ranges includes a sightseeing stop at the summit before you arrive in the rural Wairarapa where you will enjoy a wine tasting and tapas lunch at a Martinborough vineyard and winery. Visit award winning wineries and enjoy their cellar door experiences and sample their world renowned wines before a sumptuous lunch at a vineyard restaurant. Next you head to the rugged south Wairarapa coast where you will experience epic sweeping views of Palliser Bay as you descend to the coast. Visit the rural fishing village of Ngawi, the North Island's largest permanent seal colony and the Cape Palliser Lighthouse at the most southern point of the North Island. For dinner, head to the Lake Ferry hotel before heading back over the Remutaka Ranges to Wellington. Book optional extra activities available throughout the tour including: a visit to Putangirua Pinnacles, a craft beer tasting, an olive oil tasting or a visit to the quaint town of Greytown and their famous chocolatier.

From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

10. From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

Unlock the beauty of the South Island with the convenience of a multi-day guided tour. All activities are included unless states otherwise. Day 1 - Wellington to Kaikoura Kick off the adventure with one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight. Arrive at the top of the South Island and journey through the Marlborough region, home to endless rolling vineyards. Stop for a tasting along the way to sample some local Kiwi cuisine. Day 2 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Choose between a lie-in, or, for the more adventurous, an ocean excursion (extra cost) to try your luck spotting dolphins, whales, albatrosses, and more. Around mid-morning, head up the Kaikoura Peninsula to walk among a large seal colony. Next up is the diverse city of Christchurch. Here, take a walking tour of the city to learn about its street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the city's recent history. Day 3 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Hit the road and cruise into Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Visit the stone Church of the Good Shepherd and admire Lake Tekapo's blue waters framed with colorful lupins. As night falls, visit the Dark Sky Project to learn about the importance of preserving dark skies and take a peek at all that lies above. Day 4 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Cruise past Lake Pukaki (you'll know how it got its nickname The Powerade Factory when you see it) and head for Mount Cook village. Take some scenic hikes in the National Park with stops to soak up the mountain views. Here choose to view the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Mt. Cook National Park. From mid-morning, continue to traverse through the National Park through Lindis Pass and on to Wanaka. Day 5 - Wanaka to Queenstown Have the morning to hike Wanaka's famous Roys Peak, snap "That Wanaka Tree," or climb Mount Iron. For the more daring in the group, there’s the option to experience a via Ferrata Wild Wire or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Later, sit back and relax on the bus while viewing the scenery of the Crown ranges on the way to the adrenaline-fuelled Queenstown. End the day with a trip up the Gondola for a dinner overlooking Queenstown. Day 6 - Queenstown free dayTake a day to explore the city with lunch and activities on your own. Day 7 - Queenstown to Glenorchy Day Trip Head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape.

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Martinborough

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What people are saying about Wellington

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 116 reviews

As an introduction to Zealandia, the tour was the best thing - this is an amazing place, so much thought and planning to reclaim nature, what a vision! The tour showed us only 20% of the entire valley but enough to get an idea of how successful the strategy was to regenerate the land. The tour consisted of walking along a variety of paths, up slopes, down steps, and through bush, visiting locations where once extinct birds and other creatures now live. The value of a guided tour was to be able to hear about how the project started and progressed - amazing.

Our guide was knowledgeable, informative and interesting. He was able to point out a lot of different birds and plants and was happy to wait while we photographed them. It was a slow amble in nature, rather than a rushed march. Totally enjoyable and I would recommend it.

Fantastic day. Really enjoyed the informative guide throughout. Got to see so many birds, native plants and trees and got up close to the Kaka, Takahei and Tuatara. Our guide John was the best

A great look into NZ native wildlife and plants. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we learnt things that we will remember forever.

Guide was very knowledgeable, we saw many birds we would not have seen otherwise.