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Wellington Outdoor sports

Our most recommended Wellington Outdoor sports

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. 

Zealandia Twilight Ecosanctuary Tour

2. 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.

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.

Wellington: Remutaka Rail Trail Cycle Tour

4. Wellington: Remutaka Rail Trail Cycle Tour

Ride through the Remutaka Mountains and discover the history of the railway on this cycle tour from Wellington. Get picked up at your accommodation in Wellington. Drive to Kaitoke for an easier ride (18-28 km) or go up to Maymorn for a more challenging tour (25-35 km). Ride up a gradual incline and admire the natural scenery. Turn on the provided headlights and pass through the rail tunnels and across bridges. Stop at the information boards to learn about the rich history of railway construction in the area. Enjoy a picnic or cold drink at the summit. Feel the wind in your hair on your controlled descent down the mountain and take in views of the scenic farmland around Cross Creek. Take a shuttle back to your hotel from Cross Creek or catch it 10 km down the road at Featherston for a longer ride.

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.

Wellington: Scenic South Coast Discovery Helicopter Flight

7. 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.

From Wellington: Abel Tasman & Golden Bay Fly-Cruise Trip

8. From Wellington: Abel Tasman & Golden Bay Fly-Cruise Trip

Departing Wellington’s main airport terminal, start the day with a spectacular scenic flight to Takaka over the Wellington Coast, Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park. During your flight, you will be wearing a headset so you can talk to others and the pilot, and listen to the pilot's commentary about the places you fly over. On arrival into Golden Bay, relax and take in the scenery as you travel the limestone coastline to Totaranui Beach aboard a 50-minute scenic shuttle tour – learning about the history and environment of Golden Bay along the way. You’ve got time for a quick bite of lunch (provided) before boarding your boat for a 90-minute scenic cruise along the Abel Tasman coastline to Kaiteriteri, keep a look out for seals and dolphins along the way! Leaving Kaiteriteri you’ll travel the 60 minutes by shuttle over ‘Marble Mountain’ back to Takaka for your return scenic flight to Wellington.

Frequently asked questions about Wellington

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Wellington?

The best day trips and excursions from Wellington are:

Martinborough

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Other Sightseeing Options in Wellington

Want to discover all there is to do in Wellington? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Wellington

We went on the twilight tour on Jan 1st 2023. A very knowledgeable guide walked us through the forest pointing out every type of bird, weta and tuatara. The scenery is reminiscent of something out of Jurassic Park. I found the tour a very gentle activity. We were told that quite often on the night tour they see kiwis!

We did a guided tour which was really worthwhile. We saw things we would never have seen otherwise - takeha, kaka, tuatara, saddleback etc. All the guides are volunteers so the entire cost of the tour goes towards the maintenance of this wonderful facility so close to a major city. A brilliant afternoon.

Definitely opt for the guided walk if you want to get the most out of your Zealandia visit! My guide, Claire, was friendly and knowledgeable and her passion for Zealandia and its inhabitants was quite infectious. I would’ve missed a lot of amazing birds and reptiles if I had just ventured on my own.

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

Day tour is so recommended. Educational and fun. An amazing 2 hours!!