A woman posing for a picture standing in front of 'Wellington
A high-angle cityscape shot of Wellington near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Wellington Attractions

Explore Fantastic Tourist Places in Wellington

Experience the many splendours of Wellington, New Zealand - the “Coolest Little Capital in the World.” Nestled in the heart of the Wellington Central Business District, the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor is the perfect gateway to New Zealand’s political and cultural capital.

Image of a Red-crowned parakeet seen at ZEALANDIA eco-sanctuary near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

ZEALANDIA Eco-Sanctuary

With $2 from every night spent at the James Cook booked through our website going towards ZEALANDIA’s conservation efforts, we recommend heading up to see the eco-sanctuary and its native wildlife yourself.

Learn more
Cable car on ride on a hill to explore the city view near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Cable Car

The Cable Car is New Zealand’s only funicular railway, and it’s just a few minutes’ walk from James Cook. Take a ride on the Cable Car, and you’ll pass by murals, through the tunnels of lights, and arrive at the top to stunning views by the Botanic Gardens.

Learn more
Gazebo at The Duck Pond of Wellington Botanic Gardens near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wander through the Wellington Botanic Gardens and enjoy an array of gorgeous gardens and flowers throughout the year. With a children’s playground, duck ponds, native bush walks, amphitheatre, treehouse, and cafe.

Learn more
People gathered in Sky Stadium near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Sky Stadium

Concerts, sports events, exhibitions - Sky Stadium has an event for every crowd. Unofficially known as the Cake Tin, the stadium offers a great viewer experience and is a short walk from waterfront restaurants and bars.

Learn more
Image of colorful street art and fancy restaurant on Hannah’s Laneway near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Hannah’s Laneway

Get amongst the capital’s quirkiness, vibrancy, and foodie culture with a stroll down Hannah’s Laneway. Full of colourful street art and home to several local Wellington businesses including Fix and Fogg Peanut Butter, The Wellington Chocolate Factory, and Leeds Street Bakery.

Learn more
Exterior view of Te Papa Museum in the evening near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Te Papa

Whether you’re visiting our fine city from overseas, or you’re just keen to get to know your home country a little better, the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor offers comfortable, contemporary accommodation close to Te Papa Museum (Te Papa Tongarewa).

Learn more
Ladies Percussion band entertaining the crowd in TSB Arena near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

TSB Arena

Whether you’re cheering on your favourite team, attending an awards night, dancing at a concert or exploring Wellington’s cultural and art exhibitions, stay close to all the action with James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor’s accommodation near TSB Arena.

Learn more
Weta Workshop in Miramar is home to the creations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit near James Cook Grand Chancellor

Weta Workshop

Located in Miramar - a short ride from the city centre - Weta Workshop is home to the creations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (and more!).

Learn more
The shopping experience at Lambton Quay and Suba Street near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Shopping on Lambton Quay and Cuba Street

Just 15 minutes apart, Lambton Quay and Suba Street offer two very different shopping experiences. Coined as the ‘Golden Mile’, Lambton Quay boasts a high-fashion shopping experience with several branded stores.

Learn more
Lighthouse Cuba boutique cinemas offer food and films near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Boutique Cinemas

Add a visit to one of Wellington’s boutique cinemas to your list. Located in the city centre, Lighthouse Cuba offers couch-style seating and plays a mix of classic and modern films.

Learn more
Harbourside Market for fresh vegetables and fruits near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Harbourside Market

Join the locals on a Sunday morning at the Harbourside Market. If you’re after a warm coffee, fresh bread, or some delicious fruit and veg, then this is the place to be.

Learn more
Image of various local breweries of Wellington offers near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Craft Beer

A trip to Wellington wouldn’t be complete without tastings at one of the many local breweries.

Learn more
Two ladies relaxing looking at city view near James Cook Grand Chancellor

The Terrace

Our hotel is centrally located on The Terrace, with easy access direct from the motorway so you can enjoy a hassle-free arrival. Simply check-in, unpack your bags, and start exploring everything Wellington has to offer.

Learn more
People listening to music while eating at the Left Bank alleyway, Cuba Street near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Left Bank Night Market

Tucked just off Cuba Street, follow the sound of local bands on Friday night down the Left Bank alleyway. It’s here that you’ll find live music as well as international flavours, cuisines, and aromas.

Learn more
Image of different culinary wonders offers at BRUNCH near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor


Wellington is renowned for its coffee and brunch culture, so head out on the weekend for a taste of the capital at one of the many cafes along Cuba Street.

Learn more
Second-hand and novelty bookstores on the streets of Wellington near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Browse Book Stores

Get lost in the world of fiction, fantasy, and beyond amongst the plethora of second-hand and novelty book stores that line the streets of Wellington.

Learn more
Rooftop bars with live DJ on Taranaki Street near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Rooftop Bars

If you’ve checked all of Wellington’s usual viewpoints off your list, why not check the city out from a different spot with a glass in hand? Dirty Little Secret is a rooftop bar that sits above Taranaki Street, offering a fantastic view over Courtenay Place below. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the live DJ!

Learn more

Mount Kaukau

This track is most definitely worth the climb! We are just adding to the list of amazing viewpoints that Wellington has to offer but this one has to be near the top of the list.

Learn more

Makara Track, Beach and Walkway

Whether you are a keen beach babe, mountain biker or walker, Makara has something for everyone. Sitting on Wellington’s west coast, Makara feels a long way from the city with its stunning views

Learn more

Seals at Red Rocks

What better way to get the kids walking than the promise of seals. Located South of the city, Red Rocks is a flat walk that weaves around the wild and beautiful coast.

Learn more

Oriental Bay

Fancy sinking your toes into golden sand and soaking up the sunshine? Wander down to Oriental Bay for your daily dose of Vitamin D, a dip in the ocean, and that fresh sea breeze.

Learn more

Days Bay

For a slower pace, cruise on over to Days Bay on the other side of the harbour. You’ll be greeted with artsy galleries, cute cafes and sunny beaches.

Learn more

Moore Wilsons

Craving local wines, freshly baked croissants and the finest delicatessen goodies? Moore Wilson’s is one of the best places to visit in Wellington for local delicacies.

Learn more


Martinborough is located a leisurely 1 hour drive through scenic countryside it's the perfect place to visit for a day trip from Wellington. Stunning wineries dot the countryside and the towns are made up with quaint cafes, bookshops, eateries and bars.

Learn more

Cocktails at The Library

No, it’s not a library. It’s a bar that looks and feels like a library! Whether you are after a pre-dinner drink or a cheeky nightcap, The Library has a large section of delicious cocktails and to-die-for desserts.

Learn more
Exterior view of the New Zealand Parliament near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Tour of the Beehive

It’s not every day you get to visit a parliament shaped like a beehive! Or where women were first given the vote! So stop in at the Beehive while you are in Wellington.

Learn more
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa place to study New Zealand’s history near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Explore New Zealand’s history, art collections, the natural world, and much more at the country’s national museum. A trip to Te Papa is ideal for a rainy day, or if you’re looking to learn a little something new.

Learn more
Wellington’s Bucket Fountain on Cuba Street near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Bucket Fountain

Its name doesn’t deceive. Wellington’s Bucket Fountain is an iconic feature of Cuba Street. Its colourful buckets brighten up the street and make for a great photo opportunity.

Learn more

Mount Victoria Lookout

High up on the hill overlooking the city, Mount Victoria offers stunning 360-degree views of the capital.

Learn more
A family near the Giraf cage at Wellington Zoo near James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Wellington Zoo

Plan a fun day out for all at the Wellington Zoo where the lions, monkeys, and otters await!

Learn more

Wellington Museum

Another must-do for a rainy day or the history buffs among us, the Wellington Museum will appeal to all maritime lovers.

Learn more

Old Bank Arcade

Rich with history, the Old Bank Arcade is a significant historical building located on Lambton Quay. The National Bank once used the building, but these days it houses boutique stores and cafes.

Learn more

Matiu/Somes Island

Just a short boat ride from the city, Matiu/Somes Island is located in Wellington Harbour is a great day trip to visit if you want an escape from the city.

Learn more

Paekakariki Escarpment Track

For those ready to adventure a little further afield this walk, also referred to as the ‘stairway to heaven’, reaps amazing views of Kapiti Island and over towards the South Island.

Learn more

Brooklyn Wind Turbine

Although most of us try to avoid Wellington’s wind, the Brooklyn Wind Turbine is one place where it is more than welcome! Challenge yourself by walking up to the turbine from Aro Valley or cruise up in the car to a spot with epic views over the Wellington harbour and some history on Wellington’s electricity.

Learn more

Space Place at Carter Observatory

A 20-minute stroll up the hill from the James Cook, Carter Observatory’s Space Place is the perfect night time or rainy day activity.

Learn more

Riding E-Bikes to Scorching Bay

If you’re in search of an outdoor adventure, e-biking in Wellington could be for you! Hire e-bikes on Wellington’s waterfront from Switched on Bikes and set off towards Scorching Bay beach for a day of fun activities.

Learn more

Lyall Bay

Head over to Wellington’s rugged south coast to get a prime view of Wellington’s infamous windy plane landings. Lyall Bay is also home to a thriving surf community, so park up at Spruce Goose or Maranui Cafe and enjoy coffee, brunch, or a beer and take in the view of the surf.

Learn more

Relax in the sun on the beanbags by the Waterfront

They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and nothing typifies this more than relaxing on bean bags at Karaka Cafe or St Johns Bar and Eatery on the waterfront with a cold beverage in your hand.

Learn more

Army Bunkers

For something a little off the beaten track, delve into New Zealand’s wartime history through the army bunkers dotted around the city.

Learn more

Carlucci Land Mini-Golf

It’s mini-golf with a twist at Carlucci Land. Putt in amongst the sculptures and metal creations for a mini-putt experience like you’ve never seen before! The course requires some extra steady concentration and is perfect for the whole family.

Learn more

Geo-caching on the South Coast

Grab your phone, download the Geocaching app, and be prepared for a treasure hunt on a large scale! Fun for all ages, Geocaching will have you solving brain teasers, hunting high and low for clues and putting your mapping skills to the test.

Learn more


Got a need for speed? Flamingo and Lime e-scooters will have you zooming around the city in no time. Unlocking a scooter is as easy as pressing a few buttons on your phone, and then you’re away!

Learn more
Landscape view of the dock with yots at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

From the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to the thriving nightlife of The Waterfront and Courtney Place to fashionable shopping and art galleries, the “Harbour City” has something for every visitor. The James Cook is ideally situated on the doorstep of Lambton Quay's shopping golden mile, Parliament, the Cable Car and Queens Wharf including the TSB Bank Arena & Shed 6. Sky Stadium is also nearby and easily accessible when organising your weekend getaway to Wellington.

Wellington and its neighbouring regions are home to plenty of cycle trails to keep you busy. Take a journey into New Zealand's past along the Rimutaka Cycle Trail and leisurely pedal through rural landscapes. Start your Wellington region cycleway adventure at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor. We can securely store your bike before and after your ride.

Evening aerial view of the city & bay at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

When planning your holiday in New Zealand, please consult our Concierge for sightseeing recommendations and assistance with tour arrangements.