Grace’s Great Tours for the Wellington Region

Grace MacCormick looks at great outings in the Wellington Region as home-grown activities are promoted by Tourism NZ.

Grace says there’s plenty for people looking to do something out of the ordinary. 

The background to this is a move to Alert Level 1 soon, with Tourism New Zealand aiming at Kiwis instead of overseas tourists. 

It’s released a video titled ‘Do Something New New Zealand’ which reminds Kiwis that tourism starts at home. 

‘Something out of the ordinary’

With this in mind, I decided to look at some activities in and around Wellington that would be great experiences for people looking to do something out of the ordinary. 

Whether you are a family that likes to get out and experience the world, or experience art and culture, there are plenty of things to do: 

Seal safari

The Seal Coast Safari – Wellington Tour, located on 145 Wakefield Street Te Aro Wellington is rated as one of Wellington’s best tours taking people to see some of Wellington’s most wild residents, New Zealand fur seals. 

(Source: Seal Coast Safari – Wellington Tours)

The driver and tour guides will teach you about the local flora and fauna as they take you up to the Wellington Wind Turbine before adventuring across farmland towards the South Coast.

Check out the Seal Cost Safari page: https://www.sealcoast.com/ 

Kapiti Island Nature Tours

Then there’s the Kapiti Island Nature Tours at the Kapiti Boating Club in Paraparaumu. The island is an internationally-renowned nature reserve and bird sanctuary.

Either take a day trip or spend the night surrounded by the stunning native bush and some of the rarest native birds. Night-time guided tours are also available which is your best chance at spotting kiwi. https://www.kapitiisland.com/library/lookout.jpg

(Source: Kapiti Island Nature Tours)

If you are looking to book a tour in the future online bookings are open from the 1st September so check out their website for more information: https://www.kapitiisland.com/

The home of movie making

Another classic experience is the Weta Workshop tours and Weta Cave where you can visit the home of movie-making in the heart of Wellington.https://tours.wetaworkshop.com/assets/Website-Images/Wellington-/Gallery-images/UGC-Weta-Cave/andrei-diomidov-troll-slayer-photo__FitWzEwMDAsMTAwMF0.jpg

Located in Miramar, a short drive from the city centre, knowledgeable guys will take you on a detailed tour through the Workshop’s amazing props and models from New Zealand’s biggest films and television shows. 

I thought this tour very informative for movie lovers, with knowledgeable guides leaving you feeling quite changed by the experience. 

The Weta cave is open from Tuesday to Sunday during alert level 2; have a look at their website for more information: https://tours.wetaworkshop.com/

Staglands wildlife

Finally, the Staglands Wildlife Reserve and Café is great for visitors of all ages, who can feed and interact with wildlife including rabbits, guinea pigs, deer, goats and horses. It’s a safe and fun environment. 
https://dbijapkm3o6fj.cloudfront.net/resources/47,122/-2216-/20141216112210/thenivorotator.jpeg

(Source: Staglands Wildlife Reserve)

Located in Akatarawa Valley in Upper Hutt, the reserve also has streams, ponds, hills and gullies for visitors to explore. 

If you are looking to take your family on a fun day out, this provides a beautiful, natural environment. 

Check out their website: https://www.staglands.co.nz/

If you are looking for a full range of venues, check out https://www.wellingtonnz.com/ 

Now is the time to show our community spirit by getting out, playing it safe and supporting local activities. 


Note: Under the present alert level 2, domestic travel is allowed. It’s being encouraged by the Government to revive the tourism sector which was hit badly by the pandemic. 

Between $7 billion and $9 billion was spent by New Zealanders on overseas trips in 2019 and with no international travel available soon, Tourism NZ hopes to capture some of this spending. 

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