Blog » Wellington Freebies
Spending time in a capital city anywhere in the world inevitably involves spending money. So what is there to do in Wellington (declared the coolest little capital in the world for 2010 by Lonely Planet) without spending a cent?
Top 5 cool things to do in New Zealand's capital that just happen to be free....
An exquisite vintage dress, a rare LP, a delectable coconut meringue, some Pasifika art, whatever you are looking for you will more than likely find it at Cuba Street. From the fabulous range of eateries, cafes, music venues and bars to the specialist and retro shops, Cuba Street has it all. Even the infamous bucket fountain, that (if we are honest) isn’t particularly attractive, but there would be blood on the streets if the council had it removed. It is quintessential Cuba Street.
A stroll up Cuba Street is free with the bonus of the city’s best people watching spots dotted along the way.
For a panoramic view of Wellington head to the Mt Vic lookout. There are several lookouts that overlook the natural amphitheatre of downtown Wellington and Mt Vic provides one of the best spots. Walking up to Mt Victoria doesn’t take too long, but if you are pressed for time you can hire a mountain bike or simply jump on a bus. The lookout is actually a part of a longer walk, 'The Southern Walkway' that takes you from the city centre to the south coast of Wellington at Island Bay.
New Zealand’s national museum and art gallery (Te Papa) roughly translates as "the place of treasures of this land". It was officially opened in February 1998. Building it on the waterfront on reclaimed land next to one of the country’s main fault lines has drawn some controversy. As has the interactive nature of the exhibition spaces, with some art critics describing it having a funfair ambience. However, for those of us who are not art for art's sake types, Te Papa is well worth a visit. Outstanding exhibits on all aspects of New Zealand’s geographical, historical and cultural make-up mix with temporary exhibitions from around the world.
How about a million dollar view while you catch up on email, facebook or your travel blogs? The Wellington City Council recently enabled hotspots for free WIFI around the Wellington Waterfront between Frank Kitts Park and the railway station. The spots give free internet access for 60 minutes and then an option to pay $5 for the rest of the day.
25 hectares of beautiful landscape including protected native forest and specialised flower and plant collections make up the Wellington Botanic Garden. Established in 1868 it features some of New Zealand's oldest exotic trees and offers fantastic views looking over Wellington. It is easy to get to from downtown Wellington by walking from The Terrace through to the Bolton Street Memorial Park. The main entrance is on Glenmore Street. This is the ideal place if you're in need of some chilling out time in tranquil surroundings.
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