Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, offers lots to those on a limited budget. From museums to mountains you won’t find yourself sifting through a load of expensive activities struggling to come up with something that you can afford to do. It’s no secret to those who live or have visited Wellington that it is known for it’s wind and rain but on a nice day it really is a special city.
Te Papa: The national art gallery and museum of New Zealand. There are six floors to discover and content ranging from wildlife, natural disasters, World War history, Māori culture and much much more. The museum is free and gives you something to do on a very wet and windy day in Wellington!
Mount Victoria: Maybe I didn’t read the guide books correctly but this is definitely an under sung thing to do in Wellington. A relatively short but steep walk from the city centre (a number of routes can be taken) and you can get some stunning 360 views of Wellington. We were fortunate enough to go up on a clear day and were blown away (it was a little blustery) by the beautiful views of Wellington harbour as well as being able to watch the aeroplanes taking off from Wellington airport. LOTR FANS: I am a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut so toured the forest to find the path where the Hobbits hide from the Ringwraith in the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’. There is a sign at either point of the path (Hobbits hideaway) where this scene was filmed but it is a little tricky to find. To find the path we navigated close to the point shown in the screenshot below and then wandered around a little before stumbling upon it! (FYI: the tree that the Hobbits hid under isn’t actually there, it is just a forest path BUT STILL COOL).
Farmers Market Wellington: Harbourside Farmers Market is on every Sunday morning. Times vary depending on what time of year you visit Wellington but in Summer it is open till 2pm. There is a huge variety of stalls including: fresh fruit,BBQ food, cheese, meat, coffee, crepes and the list continues. There are also a number of acts busking making for a vibrant and fun atmosphere as you wander around the different stalls.
During our stay in Wellington we slept at an Airbnb sharing the kitchen with 8 others meaning it could get pretty busy while cooking. On a couple of our nights in the city we went on the hunt for affordable places to eat. Cuba Street is the best place for this.
Laundry: Situated at the far end of Cuba St, from the Harbour, Laundry is a lively and well decorated restaurant to grab something to eat. Their menu isn’t huge, mostly offering gourmet burgers from around $10-15 but their food is fantastic. I would recommend their Jamaican chicken thigh burger.
Fidel’s: The best pizza I have ever eaten! Fidel’s also has a great atmosphere and friendly staff. Their menu isn’t particularly cheap but their large pizza ($20) is big enough to share with a friend and not still be hungry. I fell in love with their chicken and apricot pizza and stuffed mozzarella jalapeños!
Wellington was a great city to explore but of course our trip did dramatically change once the 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Wellington. See here for our experience of the earthquake.