Leap into Wellington’s outdoor playground and take advantage of the city’s most prized summer locations. The vast landscape of Wellington’s green belt and blue belt provides the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. All you need is your hiking boots.
Set around a picturesque reservoir, Zealandia is home to some of New Zealand’s most rare and extraordinary wildlife – all thriving wild in a not-for-profit, protected sanctuary.
Venture into Zealandia and pick from a selection of outdoor walks that take you through beautiful native bush. Keep an eye out for saddleback springing mechanically from branch to branch, tuatara lizards scuttling in and out of their burrows and T2 and Puffin the takahē browsing for food.
On Wellington’s jaw-droppingly photogenic south coast, amazing rock formations await. Red Rocks was formed around 200 million years ago, as a result of undersea volcanic eruptions. If you’re here between May and October, keep going around the coast to admire the New Zealand fur seal colony that makes its temporary home here. Join the Seal Coast Safari, a wildly fun off-road adventure, which traverses some of Wellington’s picturesque farmland and coast.
Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre
Meet Manukura, an incredibly rare, pure white kiwi, at the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre. If you assumed Manukura was an albino, you’d be wrong – she’s actually the product of two parents carrying the extremely uncommon white feather gene. Local iwi (tribes) consider her to be a taonga (blessing); she’s the headline act and most famous resident at this natural attraction and conservation project.
Staglands Wildlife Reserve
Head to the scenic Akatarawa Valley, north of Wellington, for Staglands Wildlife Reserve: you’ll get to encounter an amazing array of native birds and fish, plus plenty of cute and cuddly farm animals. Grab some animal feed to charm the residents with, then explore the reserve; visitors are encouraged to feed, pet and interact with the rabbits, guinea pigs, deer, goats, horses and other animals.
Wellington has some stunning walking trails, whatever your level of fitness. Stroll down Wellington waterfront or test your limit on the Skyline Walkway; the city has an impressive range of walks to keep you on your toes. Tramping is the name given to overnight hiking in New Zealand: if you’re feeling adventurous, sign up for a tramping trip and spend a few days and nights exploring Wellington’s unforgettable great outdoors.
Very few places in the world are able to match Wellington’s aptitude for providing an exhilarating assortment of riding trails. From the grade-three Peak Flow track at Makara to the grade-five V track at Mount Victoria, there’s certainly no shortage of options for thrill-seekers. If you’re after a slower journey, the region of Wellington boasts one of New Zealand’s greatest rides: the Rimutaka Cycle Trail.
Wellington city enjoys a prime location, hugged by the green and bushy hills of the Town Belt. There are around 360 kilometres of walking and mountain biking trails across the region, plus plenty of easy-to-reach lookouts with stunning views across the city and harbour. You can also gad about the great outdoors without worrying about bites – the trails are free from nasty snakes or spiders.