All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Wellington – Perfect for a Rainy Day!
What can we say? It’s Wellington. It rains a lot. But that doesn’t have to stop you from having a blast in the world’s coolest little capital. Being a city, there are plenty of indoor attractions to keep you occupied while the rain is pounding down. So here’s an all-helpful list of things to do in Wellington on a rainy day.
Most of Wellington’s main attractions just happen to also keep you out of the rain, such as the Te Papa Museum, New Zealand’s national museum. Make use of the food scene in Wellington by checking out our recommended cafes and craft beer bars. To end it all, do a classic Parliament tour. All the activities listed below are in Wellington’s city centre with the exception of the Weta Workshop in Miramar and a few of the boutique cinemas. (They are only a bus ride away from the city centre though).
1. Check Out the Te Papa Museum
It comes as no surprise that the Te Papa Museum graces the top of our things to do in Wellington on a rainy day list. You can spend hours and hours in this interactive museum covering all things New Zealand. Learn about New Zealand earthquakes, volcanoes, wildlife, culture and more! While the museum is free to visit and graces our 12 Free Art Galleries & Museums in Wellington, you can get more out of the experience by joining an affordable paid tour available to book on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.
Location: 55 Cable Street, Wellington city centre.
2. Take a Tour of the Weta Cave & Weta Workshop
Where sci-fi and fantasy come to life! Take a trip out to the Miramar Peninsula, nicknamed Wellywood, to see behind-the-scenes of some of cinema’s biggest blockbusters. Weta is the company behind the special effects, props and costumes of The Lord of the Rings, The Avengers, District 9, Avatar, King King and so much more. Visit the free-entry Weta Cave with a mini-museum and documentary. Additionally, there is the affordable Weta Workshop Tour (more info on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor) and the Miniature Effects Tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Check out more Guide to The Lord of the Rings in Wellington.
Location: 1 Weka Street, Miramar, approximately 7km (4.3 miles) from Wellington city centre.
3. Have an Extended Coffee or Lunch Break
It’s a stereotypical city tourist thing to do, but a Wellington cafe is a great place to relax on a rainy day. Check out Cuba Street for the likes of Fidel’s Cafe, Grill Meats Beer, Southern Cross, Olive and Le Café Plum. We also like Enigma Cafe on Courtenay Place that is open until late! Get some inspiration on where to go with our 5 Cool Cafes With the Best Coffee in Wellington.
Location: Cuba Street and/or Courtenay Place.
4. Do the Wellington Chocolate Factory Tour
Ever wondered how a cacao bean is turned into chocolate? Well, wonder no more, because the Wellington Chocolate Factory is running tours on Saturdays! Learn how freshly-roasted cacao beans are transformed into artisan chocolates on this chocolate factory tour, which, of course, includes tastings! Public tours run on Saturdays at 10.30am, 1.30am and 3pm and private tours are also available by booking. See more experiences like this in the 9 Things to Do in Wellington for Foodies.
Location: 5 Eva Street, Wellington city centre.
5. Visit Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Watch a movie for free – any movie (well, anything within the 150,000 titles they have at the Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, formerly known as the Film Archive). The venue has a cafe, gallery, cinema and an extensive media library.
Location: 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, just north of the city centre.
6. Check Out the City Gallery
When it’s too wet to look at the Wellington street art, check out the contemporary exhibitions in the City Gallery Wellington. The free-entry gallery has ever-changing exhibitions from New Zealand and around the world. Check out more of the 14 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Wellington.
Location: Civic Square, Wellington city centre.
7. Taste Some Craft Beer
If you like all things hoppy, then you are in for a treat in Wellington. Stay out of the rain and drink your sorrows away in one of the many craft beer specialist bars. To name a few, there is The Malthouse, Golding’s Free Dive, Rogue and Vagabond, Hashigo Zake, The Hop Garden, Little Beer Quarter and D4 on Featherston. Phew! If that sounds like a lot to get through, why not join a guided beer tour with transport included? Tours are available with Craft Beer Tours NZ (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Zozo Travel (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Location: All over Wellington city – see specific locations in the 14 Best Breweries & Craft Beer Bars in Wellington.
8. Visit the Wellington Museum
While Te Papa tends to take all of the limelight when it comes to museums in Wellington, a rainy day is a good excuse to check out the other cool museum, simply called the “Wellington Museum“. In an 1892 heritage building, explore three floors of exhibitions, films and stories showing the history of Wellington and the surrounding region.
Location: 3 Jervois Quay, Wellington city centre.
9. Discover Your New Favourite Hobby at a Board Game Cafe
Board games were made for rainy days! Make them part of your rainy day in Wellington by challenging your partner, travel buddies or family to a game in one of Wellington’s board game cafes. Counter Culture on Victoria Street has more than 600 board games to enjoy with burgers, sandwiches, sweets and sharing plates. Alternatively, check out Caffeinated Dragon Games for specially designed in-house drinks with a game of your choice. You never know, this interactive activity could be the start of a new hobby?
Location: Counter Culture – 211 Victoria Street, Wellington city centre. Caffeinated Dragon Games – 70 Victoria Street, Wellington city centre.
10. Grab a Cheap Eat at the Capital Market
Food stalls! Food stalls everywhere! The best thing about the Capital Market on a rainy day is that it is all under cover. There is a variety of oriental food, as well as a bar and a gluten-free joint. Plus, most of the food is quite cheap with some meals being around NZ$8. Check out more venues like this in The Top Cheap Eats in Wellington.
Location: 151 Willis Street, Wellington city centre.
11. Catch a Comedy Gig
Ok, so this is more of a rainy “night” activity, rather than the day. Wellington is famous for always having something going on, especially with comedy. Have some laughs, have a beer… You know how these things work! Comedy gigs are usually pretty affordable at The Fringe Bar and the Cavern Club. See more ways to make your nights out epic by checking out The Guide to Wellington Nightlife.
Location: The Fringe Bar and Cavern Club are both on Allen Street, Wellington city centre.
12. Do the Parliament Tour
You’re in the capital city so why not visit New Zealand’s government? New Zealand Parliament put on free tours around the Parliament buildings, showing you its grand architecture, earthquake proofing methods, and how a democracy works in New Zealand. There is no filming, photography or phones allowed but you can store your belongings in a locker before the tour. The tour lasts about 1 hour.
Location: Molesworth Street, Wellington city centre.
13. Solve Puzzles at the Escape Room
Fast becoming as easy to find as a museum or art gallery in a city, escape rooms are also present in Wellington for some rainy day relief. Grab a group of mates, your family or partner and head down to Escape Mate. Spread across two city-centre locations, Escape Mate offers three exciting escape rooms where you and your team must find clues, solve puzzles and crack codes to escape the room before the time runs out. There are rooms suitable for groups of two to 16 players with something for all ages. Book your escape room on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Location: Atlantis-themed room – 195 Victoria Street. Other rooms – 12 Johnston Street, Wellington city centre.
14. Enjoy a Boutique Cinema Experience
As we’ve already touched on, Wellington does love the movies. With that, the capital is brimming with boutique cinemas promising to make your movie experience extra special. Cosy up on a comfy couch with a New Zealand wine or Wellington craft beer and watch the latest blockbuster or arthouse film. Some of our favourite cinemas include the Roxy Cinema in Miramar, the Penthouse Cinema and Cafe in Brooklyn, Light House Cinemas on Cuba Street and Petone, Empire Cinema & Eatery in Island Bay and the Time Cinema in Lyall Bay.
Location: Roxy Cinema – 5 Park Road, Miramar. Penthouse Cinema and Cafe – 205 Ohiro Rd, Brooklyn. Light House Cinemas – 29 Wigan Street (off Cuba Street, city centre) and 52 Beach Street, Petone. Empire Cinema & Eatery – 214 The Parade, Island Bay. Time Cinema – 191 Sutherland Road, Lyall Bay.
15. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand
Finally, get your YouTube binge-watching session on with New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year! Find some inspiration for your next New Zealand activity as you watch this intrepid pair take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure you subscribe!
More Things to Do in Wellington
That’s it for the things to do in Wellington on a rainy day. Now, get more activity inspiration from the following guides: