CHEAP CAR RENTAL WELLINGTON AIRPORT
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Cheap Car Hire Wellington Airport
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Booking your Wellington rental car with Discount Car Rental is quick and painless. And saves you money!
A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Wellington and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around the capital you might like to consider checking out. The letters on the map match those below, where you'll find information about each attraction. For more ideas, check out the Wellington Tourism website.
A. Weta Cave
Practically synonymous with our very own Sir Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop is perhaps most famous for its work on the Lord of the Rings and Tolkien film franchises. The Weta Cave is the shopfront for Weta Workshop and it’s here that punters can see props, buy collector’s items and even catch an exclusive film screening in the mini theatre here.
Movie buffs should absolutely make it a point to visit the Weta Cave while in Wellington for a glimpse into the creativity that goes on here. Learn about how the iconic displays and characters from your favourite films were brought to life by the talented artistic minds here.
You can take a guided tour and see just how the work gets done! The Weta Cave Workshop Tour will show off models and props created by the brilliant team here and the processes involved. Tours should be booked in advance. And for those super fans for whom money is no object, a small private tour with a Weta technician is a custom option.
Visitors can also watch behind the scenes videos with the founders of Weta - that’s Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk. These are screened every 30 minutes.
Don’t leave without picking up a little something as a keepsake to commemorate your visit with. There’s a wide range of nifty Weta film and TV related merchandise available to buy. A handcrafted sculpture would be a memorable memento, as would a piece of jewellery, clothing, poster or DVD. There are also a variety of broader pop culture items for sale such as graphic novels, art and other collectibles.
The Weta Cave is based in Miramar, an easy drive around the peninsula of Evans Bay. The drive takes just 15-20 minutes in your rental car.
Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience is a unique and visionary eco-attraction, a sanctuary away from the city! (You may also hear it referred to as Te Māra a Tāne: The garden of Tāne.) Here you can delve into the history of conservation in New Zealand; a groundbreaking exhibition covers 80 million years of our natural history, complete with film and interactive features. So Zealandia plays an educational role; there’s a community of hundreds of keen volunteers and it’s run by a charitable trust.
Zealandia has actively helped endangered wildlife thrive in a world-first way, as in the past people had to travel out to islands in order to see the likes of tuatara and kiwi. Now you can view them in a natural reserve on the mainland, practically next door to the city (10 minutes’ drive in your rental car). Rare native species you may get to see while at Zealandia include birds (40 different species), insects and reptiles. Among them are the saddleback, kaka, bellbird, fantail, takahe, brown teal, kereru and gecko.
The key to this is maintaining a pest free zone, achieved successfully by an innovative fence design. In this sense, Zealandia has managed to create an environment reminiscent of the days predating the earliest human settlement! Hundreds of plant species are flourishing here as the habitat for these creatures.
The sanctuary grounds themselves span 225 hectares. It’s a paradise for nature lovers. Opt for a guided tour, help feed the wildlife, or roam around on your own steam through the valley. You don’t need to be an intrepid tramper, the paths are even wheelchair friendly. Zealandia also offers night tours, which offer a totally new perspective and the chance to see nocturnal residents like the little spotted kiwi.
C. Wellington Zoo
Award-winning Wellington Zoo is unique in a number of different ways. It was the first zoo to open in New Zealand, and is the first Carbon Zero certified zoo to boot. It’s home to the only bears in the country, along with hundreds of other animals!
Enjoy the daily keeper talks and regular feeding times, or a close encounter with a lion, giraffe, meerkat or even a cheetah. There are plenty of fascinating Australian animals represented, including emu, dingos, wallabies and kangaroos. And along with the international contingent, there are of course native species like kea, kiwi and tuatara.
How does spending a night at the zoo sound? Overnight tours are a unique offering at Wellington Zoo. Once everyone has gone home, you can see what happens after hours, then tuck in for an unforgettable sleepover alongside your favourite animals.
The newest experience at Wellington Zoo is called Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha, a tribute to the native creatures that set New Zealand apart. It’s a special precinct that takes you on a journey from marine creatures like penguins through to farm animals such as sheep, pigs and bees, as well as lesser known fauna like skinks and frogs. Plus you can explore the worm tunnel, veggie gardens and even build a fort.
Conservation is a huge focus of Wellington Zoo too, with the staff vets also involved in research work. There is an onsite wildlife hospital that cares for wild animals as well as well as treating its own residents.
Wellington Zoo is close to car rental depots, being just a few minutes from the heart of the city.
D. Red Rocks
The Red Rocks walkway is just a 20 minute trip south of central Wellington, a quick drive in your rental car. This rugged part of the coast is rich in Maori folklore; it was once a popular fishing spot and legend has it that the rocks were stained by blood. The Red Rocks (known as Pariwhero in Maori) were formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions, and iron oxide is in fact responsible for their outstanding colour. A reserve was formed in the 1970s following concern about quarrying in the area.
An easy coastal walk runs from Owhiro Bay to the Red Rocks and takes about half an hour. The walkway continues on to Sinclair Head, where there is a colony of New Zealand fur seals. If you visit in winter you may see seals between about May to October, but do keep your distance to avoid disturbing them. We recommend planning to spend half a day on the walk, which leaves plenty of time for picnicking and sightseeing along the way. Just past Red Rocks lies a different track that heads up towards the nearby Te Kopahau Reserve. This enormous reserve houses a network of walking and biking tracks, as well as diving and surfcasting areas.
There are a number of historic sites around Red Rocks, from lookouts to gun emplacements. There are four historic baches (holiday beach houses) close by, which have been designated by the New Zealand Historic Place Trust and retained in their original condition by their owners. Meanwhile, the visitor centre and entry to the reserve was named the supreme winner at the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects’ awards in 2015.
E. Mt Victoria
Hoping to snap some 360 degree panoramic views of Wellington? Head straight for Mt Victoria. Towering nearly 200 metres above the city, the Mt Victoria Lookout is a top Wellington must-do and very near to the heart of the CBD. Either drive up in your rental car, or lace up your shoes and take the leafy walkway. It can be a little arduous on foot - leave an hour or two to get up there to the summit.
At the top of the hillside lookout you’ll be rewarded with vistas in every direction that the eye can see, from the Brooklyn wind turbine to the Hutt Valley, Lyall Bay to Oriental Bay, out to Matiu/Somes Island and of course, over the built landscapes of Wellington city itself.
Make the most of a trip up Mt Victoria by packing a picnic basket and taking it with you. Find a comfortable spot on the slopes and settle in to soak up the surroundings as ferries and cruise ships sail in and out and passengers disembark below. You can even see over to Wellington Airport, and the hub of activity there as planes depart and arrive.
Mt Victoria has a number of trails winding through the bush and forest, and for the adventurous, biking is a great way to explore. All the paths are shared with the likes of runners and dog owners as well as casual walkers, so common courtesy is key.
You can’t go past a sunset (or sunrise, for the early birds among you) on Mt Victoria. If you can fit it in at the beginning or end of your day, you’re guaranteed an extra special travel memory of your time in the capital city.
Great value - thanks! Definitely will recommend you to my friends.
Jack Webber (Australia)
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Excellent value, We got what you promised. No hidden costs like the rip off we had in Cairns!
Mike Smith (UK)
Great for backpackers like us on a tight budget. Got to do more of the amazing things NZ offers with the money we saved. Awesome!
Sue White (UK)