We love Wellington, but sometimes, it is nice to get out of the city and explore something new and exciting nearby. Wonderfully, the North Island offers some iconic gems to discover on one of the greatest New Zealand day trips. From scenic mountain drives to indulging in fine wine and shared boards…we’ve found something for everyone to enjoy.
This Wairarapa town is just one hour from Wellington surrounded by farmland. It’s the perfect quick day trip where you can shop at boutiques, dine on authentic cuisine or even take part in a rare Beekeeping experience at The Honey Stables.
Treat yourself to an educational wine tour this season in the picturesque countryside of Martinborough. Visit attractions like Cape Palliser Lighthouse and the Putangirua Pinnacles along the way. Foodies will adore this day out because you can gorge on plenty of scrumptious local cuisine, such as cheese platters from the unique cheese shop, chocolate treats from the chocolate shop, just to name a few. Certainly, one of the best day trips from Wellington.
With a strong sense of community, Wairarapa is one of the friendliest spots in the country. Just one hour drive from Wellington, prepare for a unique charm and diverse experience. Start off by exploring a stunning vineyard and chowing down gourmet food, then finish off your road trip by trekking another hour to create magical moments at the famous Castlepoint Lighthouse. Definitely, this spot is a must-visit in Wairarapa.
Just a short 45-minute drive from Wellington, this little gem is full of natural beauty as well as cool art galleries and museums. Be brave and take on the Fly By Wire, which is a bungy jump adventure in the forest. Alternatively, experience Paekakariki Escarpment Track, a hiking enthusiasts dreamland along the coast. It offers picture-perfect views of the coastal surroundings, making the 3–4-hour expedition worth it. Pack a picnic and reward yourself when you reach the top. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest day trips from Wellington.
Just 25 minutes’ drive from Wellington, discover a gorgeous walk or cycle on Makara Beach or the Peak. It’s the perfect day trip for adventure lovers. Likewise, Makara Beach is one of the best beaches to visit in Wellington. The sunsets here are phenomenal too.
6. Kapiti Island
As one of our favourite things to do, hop on the ferry to explore one of New Zealand’s oldest tranquil nature reserves. Wonderfully, immerse yourself in natural wonders by trekking through the forest or climbing the 521 m peak for stunning views. Get booking via Kapiti Island Nature Tours.
7. Somes Island
Why not discover this historic island just a 20-minute boat ride from Wellington Harbour? Perfect for any ages that enjoy nature, learning about wildlife such as penguins and trekking through glorious walking tracks. Certainly, one of the best quick day trips.
Grab your hiking boots and start your Taranaki adventure! This terrific destination offers countless outdoor explorations, from the mind-blowing volcanic peak of Mount Taranaki, to sublime underwater adventures. It is an excellent day trip for people of all ages. For the greatest experience, pack some camping gear and pitch a tent on route. Indeed, one of the most instagrammable places in New Zealand.
Just two hours and 40 minutes’ drive from Wellington, this beautiful city is one of the oldest in New Zealand, built on a river, offering plenty of watersports for enthusiasts. Full of history, culture and beauty…you won’t be bored.
If you’re feeling extra spontaneous, why not take a three-hour ferry ride at dawn to this South Island port city? Set in the stunning Marlborough Sounds, visit the historic Edwin Fox Museum, see marine wildlife at the Eco-world Aquarium, hike the picturesque Tirohanga Track, to name a few things.