Despite being known as the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand summers are filled with hot sand, warm water and the blazing sun. However, there are inevitably some days when the grey clouds roll in and send would-be beach-goers running for the hills.
While the country’s capital is an exceptional sight to see on a sunny day, there is still plenty to do when the weather turns bad. Rather than hiding in your Wellington hotel room, here are three fun activities you can do with your family on a rainy day.
Learn about the world in Te Papa Museum
Starting with the tried and true, the best place to while away a rainy day in Wellington is perhaps the Te Papa museum. Filled with educational and exciting exhibits for the whole family to enjoy, this world-class museum is conveniently located along the waterfront in the city centre.
Head on in to visit the giant squid, experience an authentic earthquake, ride the 4-D simulator or just learn more about New Zealand history. This bold and innovative national museum is a must-see for any visitor to New Zealand, and you can easily fill an entire day immersing yourself in the art, history and culture that makes this country unique.
Admission to the museum is free, though a charge may apply for some temporary exhibits. So wander down to Cable Street and visit one of the world’s best museums.
Explore the solar system at Carter Observatory
When the weather turns, take the famous Wellington Cable Car to the top of the Botanic Gardens to find the Carter Observatory. Even on a cloudy day, there is plenty to see in this observatory, with multimedia exhibits, a planetarium and a space-themed gift shop.
If the rain does clear while you are visiting the capital, make sure you head back on a Saturday evening for some late-night stargazing.
Discover government in the Beehive
The distinctively shaped Beehive Building houses the New Zealand Parliament and is open to the public for guided tours. Whether you are interested in politics or just want to explore the unique structure, these tours offer something for everyone. Learn how the New Zealand government works, see the earthquake strengthening in the foundations of the buildings or listen to a house debate from the public gallery.
Entry into the Beehive is completely free, and tours leave on the hour from opening every day. With this activity, Te Papa and the observatory on your itinerary, you’ll be hard-pressed to fit everything in on one of Wellington’s rare rainy days.