Wellington Cable Car – Wellington, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington Cable Car

New Zealand's only running funicular railway. 

Completed in 1902, the charming red cable car in the heart of Wellington proved an instant success, running over 425,000 passenger trips up and down the hill in the first year alone.

The historic incline railway has now been operating for over 100 years and is the last running funicular in New Zealand. It consists of just two cars, which start at opposite ends and pass in the middle.

The small tram carries passengers uphill on a short but steep five-minute trip, climbing nearly 400 feet to Kelburn, the hilltop neighborhood home to the Victoria University of Wellington. From the top you can take in postcard-perfect views of the city below and the surrounding harbor landscape.

You can then take the car back down to the city center, or there are several walks around the hillside Botanic Gardens that border Kelburn. One lovely 40-minute stroll back down to Lambton Quay takes you through the historic Bolton Street Cemetery and past the distinctive looking “Beehive,” the preferred name for the New Zealand Parliament’s iconic executive wing building.