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Wellington Entertainment Guide - For fun, recreation, and relaxation

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As far as spread of attractions and entertainment options, Wellington is about the best city in New Zealand for the enjoyment factor. It is beautifully laid out, with busy city thoroughfares, a delectable waterfront and lush hills all within the city, making it an ideal destination for walkers.

Wellington has the best museums and theaters in New Zealand by a country mile and also boasts many high profile attractions and activities for kids. Capital E is particularly fun for children, as is Wellington Zoo, while golfers can seek out any number of courses near town. For nightlife, Wellington has more than enough bars and clubs.

Capital E

Capital E is a wonderful attraction the whole family can enjoy, with the focus firmly on kids. It is an educational facility that has children doing creative activities and also puts on fun live performances. It is all very hands on and offers a wide range of special events.

Lollipop's Playland

If you need somewhere to take your young children to, Lollipop's Playland is a contender. It is a huge place loaded up with kids' games and activities and is situated right in downtown Wellington. There are stairs, tubes and slides galore, as well as the obligatory section with plastic balls. Lollipop's Playland can be found at the Wellington Trade Center and also has a bowling alley and qualified day carers available. 

Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo is another good bet for the family. It features exotic and endangered species and has a variety of hands-on programs, including one that allows those 18 years and up to spend the day tending the animals with a zookeeper. Close Encounter also allows little kids to handle pandas and giraffes. Aim for the Kiwi House to see some of New Zealand's native birds and to the Tropical River Trail for the rainforest. 

Wrights Hill Fortress

Wellington has a maze of tunnels that were built during WWII and visitors can get down there and have a tour. Among the neat things to check out are long tunnels, gun emplacements and even operation rooms. Wrights Hill Fortress is not always open to the public so it is worth checking ahead of time. 


Wellington has some great walking. It is nice and compact so getting anywhere on foot is seldom a problem. You can amble along the Waterfront or Oriental Bay, or perhaps head up above the city to the Botanic Gardens or Mount Victoria. 


There are several decent courses in Wellington that allow visitors to have a knock and green fees and club hire are reasonable. One of the best courses is the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, which is rated right up there with the world's best. Green fees here are steep, however. 


Wellington has excellent nightlife options. It is really laid-back and there are several buzzing districts to head to, where you can find everything from backpacker hangouts and trendy bars to live music and top nightclubs. Courtenay Place in downtown has the best nightlife, while Cuba Street and Lambton Quay are also good.