Getting Around Wellington

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#1
Mackay
31 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Hi everyone,

My parents will be in Wellington in November & I will be there in January & I'm looking at options for getting around.

Been looking at the Wellington Hop on/Hop off bus to suggest to my parents as Dad had a knee reconstruction a few years ago.

Looking for opinions & experiences about hopping on the bus as opposed to just walking around the town.

Is there any other similar things in Wellington besides this one? The reviews on Trip Advisor are very mixed ... saying it is just a man in a minivan.
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#2
Brisbane Australia
1,827 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by swirlidz
Hi everyone,

My parents will be in Wellington in November & I will be there in January & I'm looking at options for getting around.

Been looking at the Wellington Hop on/Hop off bus to suggest to my parents as Dad had a knee reconstruction a few years ago.

Looking for opinions & experiences about hopping on the bus as opposed to just walking around the town.

Is there any other similar things in Wellington besides this one? The reviews on Trip Advisor are very mixed ... saying it is just a man in a minivan.
I haven't done the hop on hop off tour (but I have done others) and for our visit to Wellington in December I have done a fair bit of research.

The HOHO service used to be called John's Hopon Hopoff City Tour, but I understand the business was recently sold, and I now note that the web site refers to themselves simply as Wellington HOHO City tour.

http://www.hoponhopoff.co.nz/wellington/


They do use smaller people mover type vans, because these are better for some of the streets they go through and in all they make 18 stops.

The option I have been looking at however is their Cruise Ship special. Its not all that obvious on the web site (at least not now) but if you go to the booking page it shows up there. This option does not provide the HoHo facility but does provides a pick up from the ship, is cheaper, and does pretty much the same itinerary as the HoHo but you have to stay on board. I understand that it is also in a larger bus.

This could be ideal for someone with a mobility problem.

cheers
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Flipper




Previous Cruises:

SS Australis 1974 (Shirley to Aust as 10pound Pom)
P&O UK 1986 -2001 - Many times
Sapphire Princess Auk-Syd - Jan 05
Sapphire Princess Syd-Auk - Feb 07
Murray Princess - Murray River - Nov 07
Sun Princess (Northern Explorer) - Apr 09
Sun Princess - Bne - NZ RT NYE Cruise Dec 11/Jan 12
Sun Princess Syd - Bne 22-24 Oct 2012 (a quickie)
Celebrity Solstice Perth-Syd (via Bali) Feb/Mar 013
Carnival Spirit - Syd-Tas-Syd Feb 2014 (with GD Katrina)
Celebrity Solstice Auk - Syd Dec 2014 (with 2 x Grandkids !)
#3
Wellington
92 Posts
Joined May 2008
Your parents may find something like the HoHo service a good way of getting around all the main highlights. When you get here, you'll see that operating a double decker bus service would be particularly challenging in Wellington's tight downtown area! As it's a popular option on cruise days, booking in advance is a good idea. 17& 18 Nov are double dcruise ship days in Wellington so pre-booking is a very good idea for any particular tour.

If you have full mobility, the easiest thing to do is walk. From the Embassy Theatre in Courtenay Place at the south end of the downtown to the Parliament Buildings at the other end through the downtown shopping and business district will take less than 30 minutes if you're of average fitness - and don't stop! Take a shuttle to downtown Lambton Quay or the i-SITE, about 20 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, and then Te Papa, the Cable Car, the Botanic Gardens, Carter Observatory and then the Parliament precinct and Old St Paul's all lie north in the direction back to the cruise terminal.

Things to do will depend on your interests, but film tours, food tours, Te Papa, and Zealandia nature area are all popular excursions. You can get a lot more ideas at WellingtonNZ.com.
#4
Mackay
31 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Thanks Flipper, I hadn't even noticed the cruise special! I will show it to my parents as another option for them.
The one thing I did like is that it went to WETA which is not obviously in walking distance (WETA is for me, not for my parents).

Thanks for your expertise too KiwiJo, sounds like the distance between the main sites will be fine for Dad!

Someone who had been there a few years back said the public buses could be another good option. Any insight there?
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#5
California
47 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by kiwijo
Your parents may find something like the HoHo service a good way of getting around all the main highlights. When you get here, you'll see that operating a double decker bus service would be particularly challenging in Wellington's tight downtown area! As it's a popular option on cruise days, booking in advance is a good idea. 17& 18 Nov are double dcruise ship days in Wellington so pre-booking is a very good idea for any particular tour.

If you have full mobility, the easiest thing to do is walk. From the Embassy Theatre in Courtenay Place at the south end of the downtown to the Parliament Buildings at the other end through the downtown shopping and business district will take less than 30 minutes if you're of average fitness - and don't stop! Take a shuttle to downtown Lambton Quay or the i-SITE, about 20 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, and then Te Papa, the Cable Car, the Botanic Gardens, Carter Observatory and then the Parliament precinct and Old St Paul's all lie north in the direction back to the cruise terminal.

Things to do will depend on your interests, but film tours, food tours, Te Papa, and Zealandia nature area are all popular excursions. You can get a lot more ideas at WellingtonNZ.com.
We are thinking of walking to the Cable car from the port, then on top of the Cable car museum, take a shuttle to Zealandia. Then back the same way, is it doable time wise? We can walk, we hiked the 7 miles from Fira to Oia without much problem.
#6
Wellington
92 Posts
Joined May 2008
It's a good plan and absolutely do-able. From port to Cable Car would take an average walker around 20-25 minutes. Cable Car is $4.50 one way, or $7 return. The shuttle to Zealandia leaves at 10 to and 10 past the hour (i.e. 1050, 1110) and I think you're better to take the shuttle and expend your legs walking within Zealandia.

If the weather isn't so great, leap on a shuttle and head up to the information centre. The Zealandia shuttle leaves from there also and the exhibition area does a great job of explaining why NZ's environment is so unique and there's a café with lovely lake views. It's usually quite sheltered in the valley, so you should be able to enjoy walking in there in most conditions. Then you could get the shuttle back to the Cable Car top terminus, and just take a one way trip down. It only takes 5 minutes to get back down to Lambton Quay, the main shopping street.

Tip for those taking the Cable Car - it's always busier in the morning. The later you can leave it, the better!
#7
California
47 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by kiwijo
It's a good plan and absolutely do-able. From port to Cable Car would take an average walker around 20-25 minutes. Cable Car is $4.50 one way, or $7 return. The shuttle to Zealandia leaves at 10 to and 10 past the hour (i.e. 1050, 1110) and I think you're better to take the shuttle and expend your legs walking within Zealandia.

If the weather isn't so great, leap on a shuttle and head up to the information centre. The Zealandia shuttle leaves from there also and the exhibition area does a great job of explaining why NZ's environment is so unique and there's a café with lovely lake views. It's usually quite sheltered in the valley, so you should be able to enjoy walking in there in most conditions. Then you could get the shuttle back to the Cable Car top terminus, and just take a one way trip down. It only takes 5 minutes to get back down to Lambton Quay, the main shopping street.

Tip for those taking the Cable Car - it's always busier in the morning. The later you can leave it, the better!
Thanks so much for the confirmation, we so look forward to it. We are bird lovers and wonder should we take the guided tour or just go off on our own in Zealandia?
#8
Sydney, Australia
7,567 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by rayho94066
Thanks so much for the confirmation, we so look forward to it. We are bird lovers and wonder should we take the guided tour or just go off on our own in Zealandia?
Are you going to be spending any time in Auckland on your trip to NZ? If so, I highly recommend a day trip to TiriTiri Matangi island, which is an open bird sanctuary. You'll see some very rare NZ birds there.
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#9
California
47 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by OzKiwiJJ
Are you going to be spending any time in Auckland on your trip to NZ? If so, I highly recommend a day trip to TiriTiri Matangi island, which is an open bird sanctuary. You'll see some very rare NZ birds there.
Tiri is number one on my list, but we will be arriving Auckland on a Sunday morning and the ferry leaves at 9:00am, I've had some email exchanges with 360 and they confirmed that their ferry does not operate on Monday, also Sunday in December would be pretty much booked in advance so a last minute attempt to get on is out of the question. So I am thinking of getting to Auckland on Saturday and book Sunday to Tiri in advance, but now I am trying to find out what is there to do in Auckland all day Saturday and Monday.
#10
Sydney, Australia
7,567 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
- Day trip to Waikeke Island - great beaches, wineries.
- Auckland has a very good Art Gallery.
- The area around the waterfront (Viaduct Basin) is great to walk around and has excellent restaurants and cafes.
- You could do a day trip to Hobbiton.
- Rent a car and go for a drive through the Waitakeres, even out to one of the West Coast beaches - Pihi or Bethells Beach.
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Sep 2017 - Royal Princess - Mediterranean

Feb 2017 - Celebrity Solstice - Auckland to Sydney
Nov 2016 - Carnival Legend - South Pacific
Sep 2016 - Sun Princess - Papua New Guinea
Apr 2016 - Golden Princess - Sydney to Hong Kong
Dec 2015 - Celebrity Solstice - Auckland to Sydney
Aug 2015 - Dawn Princess - Top End Fremantle to Sydney
Mar 2015 - Rhapsody of the Seas - South Pacific
Dec 2014 - Sun Princess - South Pacific
Sep 2008 - Avalon Tapestry - Rhine Cruise
#11
Wellington
92 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by rayho94066
Thanks so much for the confirmation, we so look forward to it. We are bird lovers and wonder should we take the guided tour or just go off on our own in Zealandia?
Well, I always take the tour! I think having a guide offers so much more to just ambling around on my own. The guides at Zealandia are usually volunteers and share the 500-year vision for the restoration of the valley; plus New Zealand's wildlife evolved (or not) in splendid isolation to the rest of the world. Having someone explain how different our environment and animals are to the rest of the world adds real value, I think. If you want to linger after the tour, there's plenty of Valley to explore on your own afterwards. This amazing place is less than a 15 minute cab ride from the cruise terminal, so it's not hard to stay and play.

As a footnote, I live very near Zealandia, and every morning get the benefit of their conservation work in my garden as well. The kaka parrots are noisy tree-shredding ratbags while the tuis are one of the NZ songbirds and great mimics - there's one that sounds like someone's cellphone and that's always an entertaining start to the day!
#12
California
47 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by kiwijo
Well, I always take the tour! I think having a guide offers so much more to just ambling around on my own. The guides at Zealandia are usually volunteers and share the 500-year vision for the restoration of the valley; plus New Zealand's wildlife evolved (or not) in splendid isolation to the rest of the world. Having someone explain how different our environment and animals are to the rest of the world adds real value, I think. If you want to linger after the tour, there's plenty of Valley to explore on your own afterwards. This amazing place is less than a 15 minute cab ride from the cruise terminal, so it's not hard to stay and play.

As a footnote, I live very near Zealandia, and every morning get the benefit of their conservation work in my garden as well. The kaka parrots are noisy tree-shredding ratbags while the tuis are one of the NZ songbirds and great mimics - there's one that sounds like someone's cellphone and that's always an entertaining start to the day!
Thanks for the tip, we will take the guided tour, it's free anyway. Do they always have cabs outside Zealandia? I guess we can always take the cab back to the cruise terminal if we are running late.
#13
California
47 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by OzKiwiJJ
- Day trip to Waikeke Island - great beaches, wineries.
- Auckland has a very good Art Gallery.
- The area around the waterfront (Viaduct Basin) is great to walk around and has excellent restaurants and cafes.
- You could do a day trip to Hobbiton.
- Rent a car and go for a drive through the Waitakeres, even out to one of the West Coast beaches - Pihi or Bethells Beach.
Beaches and wineries are nice, we are from California so we are kind of used to them, though our beaches are not as nice, but besides Tira, we are thinking of driving to Waitomo for the glow worm caves, Naked bus is cheap and nice too but seems like they take twice as long as driving ourselves.
#14
Gold Coast
59 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by kiwijo
Your parents may find something like the HoHo service a good way of getting around all the main highlights. When you get here, you'll see that operating a double decker bus service would be particularly challenging in Wellington's tight downtown area! As it's a popular option on cruise days, booking in advance is a good idea. 17& 18 Nov are double dcruise ship days in Wellington so pre-booking is a very good idea for any particular tour.

If you have full mobility, the easiest thing to do is walk. From the Embassy Theatre in Courtenay Place at the south end of the downtown to the Parliament Buildings at the other end through the downtown shopping and business district will take less than 30 minutes if you're of average fitness - and don't stop! Take a shuttle to downtown Lambton Quay or the i-SITE, about 20 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, and then Te Papa, the Cable Car, the Botanic Gardens, Carter Observatory and then the Parliament precinct and Old St Paul's all lie north in the direction back to the cruise terminal.

Things to do will depend on your interests, but film tours, food tours, Te Papa, and Zealandia nature area are all popular excursions. You can get a lot more ideas at WellingtonNZ.com.
If i got off the cruise ship,which way do i start to walk if i want to see Te papa and the cable car, Thank you for your help
#15
Orewa , Auckland , N.Z.
18,889 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by cruising nan
If i got off the cruise ship,which way do i start to walk if i want to see Te papa and the cable car, Thank you for your help
Just walk towards the City . You can really only head one way as the other is a motorway. Just a tip if walking back....use the waterfront side rather than the Stadium side as if you do not cross with the traffic lights you will end up in a no exit and will not be able to cross to the ship due to the motorway and its median barriers.
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#16
Ontario Canada
3 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
We are in Wellington from 8 am to 4 pm on Nov 2nd. We would like to go to the Weta Studios. Do you recommend taking a cab from the port or going into Wellington Center and taking a tour such as Viator or the Weta Caves own transportation included tour?
#17
Wellington
92 Posts
Joined May 2008
Prebook, prebook, prebook!!! This is a hugely popular attraction in Wellington, not just with cruise passengers! I'd highly recommend the There & Back Again tour which leaves from the i-SITE Information Centre in the centre of town. Don't leave it until the day - you could easily miss out.