The Best Free Things to do in Wellington
I’m a proud Wellingtonian and having seen my fair share of cities I’m still pretty confident in saying that it’s one of the best little cities in the world. One of the best things about it is the huge amount of free things to do in Wellington which make it enjoyable even when you’re on a budget.
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t beat Wellington on a good day’ and when the sun is shining it really doesn’t get much better than a day exploring Wellington. This cool capital is certainly small by international standards but it packs a lot of punch. It’s definitely a must-see for anyone travelling New Zealand.
Price-wise this city isn’t exactly a backpackers dream destination. But if you manage to catch some decent weather (or bring a warm jacket) there are plenty of awesome, free things to do in Wellington.
Public transport in Wellington is decent enough but can be pretty expensive. Luckily, the central city is quite compact and lots of sights are within walking distance. As well as these free activities, it wouldn’t be a trip to Wellington without a coffee stop at one of the many cafes. So make sure you save a few dollars as there are a lot worth trying.
Where to Stay in Wellington
Assuming you’re on a budget if you’re looking for free things to do Wellington, you’ll be looking for the best value budget accommodation in Wellington.
The Marion Hostel comes highly recommended and is in an excellent location for exploring the city on foot. They have everything from double rooms with ensuites to 10-bed dorms which are reasonably priced and includes cooking facilities, TV lounge and rooftop terrace
U Botique is a little more pricey but has slick private rooms and a funky street-art exterior. The on-site cafe provides breakfast and barista coffee and there is even a room complete with private terrace and spa bath.
If you prefer to have your own place there are plenty of Airbnb options throughout the city.
The Best Free Things to Do in Wellington
This area stretches from Oriental Bay right around to the main train station and makes for a great stroll on a nice day. The beaches at Oriental Bay are man-made but now form a popular spot for picnics, beach volleyball and brave swimmers. The pedestrianised area follows around past Te Papa towards Frank Kitts Park where you’ll find a Saturday market full of local artisans selling their wares.
The waterfront continues on with wide walkways ideal for cycling, rollerblading or scootering. Further on there are some restaurants and cafes as well as the ferry going to Somes Island and Days Bay, which makes an excellent (but not free) day trip.
Houses of Parliament
At the far end of town is the New Zealand parliament building, known as ‘The Beehive’ (you can see why). The building has some nice grounds and the Parliamentary Library building is worth a look too.
Entrance to Parliament is free and there is a range of tours including a general tour, art tour and women in parliament tour. New Zealand was the first country in the world to allow all women to vote and the tour follows the history since those pioneering steps in 1893.