Head 4 hours south and finish your North Island leg of the journey in New Zealand’s waterfront capital city, Wellington. This vibrant and creative little city is known for its great food, wine, craft beer, and creative culture. Delve into the cities many museums, art galleries, and ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views over the city.
From here, you will need to drive your campervan onto a ferry to cross over to the South Island. There are 2 ferry companies that operate the Wellington to Picton route, and the duration of sailing is about 3.5 hours.
Sightseeing #1: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
When you visit Wellington, make sure to explore the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. This fascinating museum, whose name in Māori means “Our Container of Treasured Things and People from Mother Earth,” attracts countless tourists with its impressive cultural exhibits. Established in 1992 as a merger between The National Art Gallery and The National Museum, it now welcomes over 1.5 million visitors annually, making it the 17th most-visited art destination in New Zealand. Te Papa proudly embraces a bicultural philosophy throughout its displays, ensuring that the stories behind the showcased items are vividly brought to life with purpose and emphasis.
Sightseeing #2: Wellington Cable Car
Don’t miss the chance to experience the iconic Wellington Cable Car during your stay. This unique attraction has been enchanting visitors since 1902. As an engineering marvel of its time, the cable car takes just five minutes to whisk you up and over the hillside terraced houses of Kelburn, offering breathtaking views of the city below. Along the way, you’ll pass through three tunnels and bridges, taking in stunning panoramas of Wellington’s rolling hills and waterfront areas. Be sure to add this must-do journey to your itinerary for a complete overview of what makes Wellington so special.