The Wellington Cable Car

No visit to Wellington is complete without a ride up to Kelburn in the iconic red Cable Car. You’ll find the terminal right in the middle of Lambton Quay, and the ride itself takes just a few minutes, passing up under the corporate Terrace, through Kelburn park and past the University of Wellington before arriving at the top where you’ll find the Cable Car Museum.

Now a hybrid cable car and funicular railway, the car was originally planned to be powered by a water balanced system, like the existing Lynton and Lynmouth railway in Devon, but due to numerous drawbacks, it was decided that a steam driven power source would be used. In 1933, however, this was switched to an electric motor which is how the cable cars run today.

After visiting the museum you and enjoying the views from the lookout which stretch over to Eastbourne and across to the Hutt valley you can either take a return cable car back down or wander down through the Botanic Gardens.

The gardens are made up of over 25 hectares of unique landscape with colourful floral displays and protected native forest and were established way back in 1868.

As well as the fascinating flora of the gardens, you’ll also find the Carter Observatory housed here, well worth a stop off on your way down to go on a journey from Wellington to the outer region of our solar system and beyond! Multimedia galleries, exhibits and a planetarium tell stories of the skies and give lots of opportunity for interactive adventure.

What our travellers enjoyed about The Wellington Cable Car…

  • The museum at the top where you’ll still find the original winding mechanism in working order, and can learn the story of how this well-loved attraction came to be back in the 1900’s.
  • The great views from the top watching the boats come and go in the harbour below
  • The Illuminated tunnels, they definitely add to the experience!