A superb introduction to Wellington, this tour presents the historical and scenic highlights of New Zealand's center of government and culture, known as the "Capital of Cool."
Depart from the pier and begin a picturesque drive along lovely Oriental Bay toward Mount Victoria, which offers a spectacular 360 view of Wellington and its well-protected harbor. During the descent from Mount Victoria, enjoy the scenery along the capital's southern side before visiting the Wellington Botanical Garden, which was established in the 1860s.
Strolling through this wonderland of exotic and indigenous plants, you'll see rare specimens of begonias, heritage roses, aromatic herbs and a slice of old-growth forest. The lily pond is also worth noting because of its enormous water lilies and the carnivorous plants nearby.
Then, history takes center stage as you drive down Bowen Street, home to New Zealand's Parliament, which has been meeting here since 1865. The most iconic building within this sprawling government complex is the Executive Wing, known as "The Beehive" for its distinctive shape. It provides quite an architectural contrast to the Parliament House, an Edwardian neo-classical building.
Continuing on, you'll pass the contemporary Wellington Cathedral before arriving at Old Paul's, the city's former cathedral. Constructed entirely of native timbers, the interior is absolutely stunning, especially the wooden rafters and stained-glass windows. Although no longer a parish church, the cathedral remains a place of great spiritual significance. After visiting, you'll drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of easy walking. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary. This tour may not operate with a separate guide, but rather with a driver/guide.