Wellington is a city steeped in history, in between the hustle and bustle of the modern day capital there can be found countless places of local, and
even national historic significance. Whether you’re a visitor looking to immerse yourself in the beautiful locale or a seasoned long-time resident,
there are always plentiful opportunities to delve into the city’s past. Numerous HiAtlas properties are positioned perfectly for experiencing Wellington’s history; here are but a few historic Wellington sites that are not to be missed.
#1. Katherine Mansfield Birthplace
Katherine Mansfield was a modernist New Zealand writer and poet, who contributed hugely to English literature in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She is now regarded as one of, if not the most, famous New Zealand authors. Her birthplace and childhood home still stands in the Wellington suburb of Thorndon, an ideal day trip for anyone staying in the area . The house and garden are not to be missed by anyone wishing to learn about the life of this extraordinary woman. Visitor information can be found here.
#2. National Archives
The New Zealand National Archives contain a comprehensive collection of art works, documents, photographs, maps and film collected throughout the country’s colourful past. The collection includes several founding colonial artefacts, including Te Tiriti O Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). The Archives are a treasure trove, guaranteed to provide hours of immersion for any curious history buffs. Find out how you can visit here.
#3. Nairn Street Cottage
“Beautifully presented and rich with history, Nairn Street Cottage was built in 1858 by William Wallis and is believed to be the oldest house in
Wellington” - Museums Wellington. Built by pioneers in 1858, the Nairn Street Cottage site offers a window into the lives of Wellingtonians who lived over 100 years ago. The Cottage is walking distance from the CBD and a convenient trip for those based out of Mt. Cook.
#4. Rimutaka Rail Trail
For those willing to venture a little further afield, the old Rimutaka Rail Trail is a track that meanders through the beautiful Rimutaka Forest Park.
Enjoyable on a bike or on foot, the Trail follows the path of the now retired Fell engines that would transport goods and passengers to and from the Wairarapa on the other side of the hill. Follow the trail through old train tunnels and beautiful New Zealand bush to the summit, and read all about the locations you pass on the way. For more information visit the website.
#5. Richard Byrd Memorial on Mt. Victoria
Perched atop the beautifully preserved Mt. Victoria, a visit to the Richard Byrd Memorial is as much about the journey as it is the destination.
Those based out of the Courtenay quarter can choose their path up the beautiful bush tracks that wind around the hill and stop for lunch at one of the many picnic areas. The memorial commemorates American explorer and naval officer Richard E. Byrd, who came to call Wellington his second home between his trips to Antarctica. Visit here for more information.
#6. Oruaiti Reserve
Situated at one of the southern-most points of the North Island, Oruaiti Reserve overlooks Breaker Bay and the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Take a walk around the cliffs and visit the old war bunkers dotted along the path. This is a perfect walk for a family, and is dog-friendly. At the
end of the path is a waka sculpture marking the site of Oruaiti Pā, an old Māori fort. Read more here.
#7. Wellington Botanic Gardens
In 1844, around five hectares was set aside by the New Zealand Company to become a botanic garden. Now, the gardens cover over 21 hectares across the hill overlooking the CBD, providing a beautiful way to spend a day in the sun. Get a coffee or a bite to eat and admire the roses at the greenhouse cafe, or ride to the top of the hill in the iconic Wellington Cable Car and work your way down. HiAtlas tenants based out of the Lambton quarter enjoy close proximity to this beautiful public place. The Gardens have something for everyone, and are a must-do for anyone looking to see Wellington at its best. See here to read more.