Wellington Cable Car, a symbol of the city.

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington has a historic cable car that still takes passengers up the hill from the central shopping street. It's a quaint and rather fun thing to do if you're a tourist. The ride up the hill takes about 5 minutes. It departs from Cable Car Lane off Lambton Quays, the main shopping area and goes up the hill to the hillside suburb of Kelburn. A short walk from the Kelburn stop is the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

At the end of the 19th century, Wellington was expanding and with its hilly terrain the idea was put forward that a funicular train could take passengers up to the steeper areas and that land was opened up for housing. The cable car was officially opened in February 1902. The cars are slanted, with steps inside them to connect the internal horizontal areas.

The track is a single track, except for this one location where it divides into 2 and the ascending and descending cable cars pass each other. The passengers from each car wave! The tunnels are lit with colourful lights which flash in different patterns so passengers get a quick light show!

At the top of the hill, there are restaurants and shops, a cable car museum and lookout areas. Although the restaurant has the best views!