Wellington Outdoor Activities

Looking for a taste of adventure? You came to the right place! With 300km of trails and epic nature tours, Wellington is the perfect place to get active. Here's our guide to planning a trip to outdoorsy Wellington.

With a sparkling harbour and bright green hills, Wellington is a bit of a show-off in the scenery department. This city is serious about protecting its natural beauty. The area is peppered with nature reserves where you can learn all about local conservation activities.

The city's most innovative nature reserve is ZEALANDIA, an urban ecosanctuary that aims to return the land to a pre-human state. Another special sanctuary is Kapiti Island, home to a an array of rare birds. Tours are available with Māori guides.

Make room for active adventures on your itinerary, too. You can go mountain biking, rock climbing or kayaking. Back in town, enjoy hiking, biking and save plenty of time for picnicking. Here's a guide to the best outdoor adventures in Wellington.

Image: Tourism Media

Water Activities

  • Kapiti Island is a renowned nature reserve. Hop on one of the cruises to spot rare birds like the little spotted kiwi, kōkako, saddleback and stitchbird.
  • To get a closer look at the New Zealand fur seals, take a Seal Coast Safari. Drive to the colony in a 'seal mobile' and walk among them in the waves.
  • For a more low-key adventure, rent a kayak and paddle along the harbour.

Image: Jay French for WellingtonNZ.com

Biking and Hiking

  • Are you ready to explore Wellington? The city has nearly 300km of mountain biking, walking and horse riding tracks.
  • Take a coastal walk for panoramic views. Or, get lost in nature with a walk through the forest.
  • ZEALANDIA is the first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary in the world. Book a tour with a guide to spot the native wildlife.

Image: Wellington Botanic Gardens

Urban Outdoor Activities

  • There's always something happening on the Wellington Waterfront. You can run, rollerblade or go for a walk while enjoying an ice cream cone.
  • Add some colour to your Instagram feed at Wellington Botanic Garden, one of the oldest and loveliest botanic gardens in New Zealand.
  • Need a break from all this adventure? Pack a sandwich and a bottle of local wine and set out for a picnic. Otari-Wilton's Bush is one of the prettiest parks in town.

Created in partnership with Discover Wellington