Wellington Cable Car
One of Wellington’s most popular tourist attractions, the historic Wellington Cable Car runs from downtown Wellington to the picturesque suburb of Kelburn and Wellington Botanic Garden. After a good bit of time spent exploring Cuba Street, and the surroundings, we walked towards Lambton Quay. This is the main shopping street in Wellington. Starting here, in the city center, and departing every 10 minutes, the short journey begins finishes in the charming suburb of Kelburn. The cable car rises 120 meters over a length of 612 meters, and a one-way trip takes approximately five minutes.
The Wellington Cable Car is widely recognised as a symbol of Wellington.
Along the way, you’ll travel under the corporate towers of The Terrace, past Kelburn Park and Victoria University of Wellington. When we emerged at the top, we checked out the lookout and the Cable Car Museum. We also squeezed in a short walk through the Wellington Botanic Garden. Since it was getting late, we took the return option. If you like, you can take a leisurely walk through Wellington Botanic Garden and historic Bolton Street Cemetery, to Parliament.
The Cable Car is used by slightly under a million people each year. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t merely a tourist attraction! In the mornings and evenings, it is used by commuters traveling between Kelburn and the city. At other times of the day, it is used by people traveling between the city and the Wellington Botanic Garden. Students of Victoria University who live in nearby student hostels often use the cable car, and of course, especially in the summer, many tourists use it too.
The Cable Car Museum
The Cable Car Museum was opened in December 2000. Located in the original winding house, and with a new extension completed in 2006, it houses original grip cars 1 and 3, with the electric winding gear still in working order. Car 1 is in red 1970s livery, including contemporary advertising. Car 3 was restored in 2005 to a green livery dating from about 1905, and a bell from the San Francisco Cable Car was added. The winding gear is still in working order and runs a loop of cable, but the cable no longer leaves the building.
Eli really enjoyed climbing onto the red cable car.
The view from the lookout takes in the city’s central business district, Mount Victoria and out across the harbour to the Hutt Valley and Eastbourne. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Blue skies, sunny and bright. Perhaps a little too bright…
Check out some of our the pictures from Wellington HERE! This post wraps up out time on New Zealand’s North Island. After our city explorations, we were up early the following morning to catch the ferry to the South Island. We paid extra to have our car taken on the ferry too because leaving our car, and hiring another one when we got down south, seemed like too much trouble. This option also turned out to be more affordable, and convenient, that renting two cars, with TWO different drop-off points. Besides that, by this point our car was almost a part of us.
Funny how attached you get to a rental when you’re doing a road trip!
Wellington Cable Car
– Cable Car Lane, 280 Lambton Quay, Wellington
– OPEN: M-Friday 7am – 10pm, Sat 8:30am-10pm,
– Sunday and public holidays 8.30am-9pm
– Wheelchair accessible