Beginning of main content

Cable Car Museum

This free museum tells the story of Wellington’s cable car since its beginnings at the turn of the 20th century.

At the Cable Car Museum, watch motors, wheels and gears whirr into action as you learn about the development of Wellington’s cable car system. The Cable Car Museum is inside the winding house that was once the control center for the cable cars. Here, a steam engine used to power the cable winding system that hauled the cars along the track.

As soon as you walk through the entrance you’ll see a red cable car in the Upper Gallery. It has been restored to its 1970s condition. That’s exactly how it would have appeared before the steam-powered system was retired in favor of today’s electrical process. Climb aboard and sit on the outside seats and imagine how people used to kick against tunnel walls as the car moved down the line.

In the museum’s cinema, watch three short films that focus on New Zealand’s trams, and private and public cable cars around Wellington. View photos and information panels that cover some of the cable car system’s history.

Head down the stairs to the lower floor and look at the fully restored winding gear with its huge wheels and levers. Although no longer used for the cable cars, you can see the machinery in action.

While you are on the lower floor go over to the museum’s other cable car. It has been restored to its original 1905 condition. In order to keep the cable car in a good state of preservation, visitors are not permitted to climb inside.

The Cable Car Museum is situated at the top of Wellington Botanic Garden, next to the lookout at Kelburn. The cable cars run every 10 minutes from Lambton Quay in the city center. If you are planning to drive, there is paid street parking nearby.

The museum is open every day except Christmas Day. Entry is free.


Guide to Exploring around Cable Car Museum


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Cable Car Museum

See all 113 Hotels near Cable Car Museum
$77
ibis Wellington

ibis Wellington

153 Featherston St, Wellington
4.2
of 5, from 2,323 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museum of Wellington City and Sea and Wellington Cable Car. Old Government Buildings and Beehive are also within 10 minutes.

$113
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

147 The Terrace, Wellington
4.4
of 5, from 4,567 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Cable Car, Beehive, and Old Government Buildings. Civic Square and St Paul's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

$124
Rydges Wellington

Rydges Wellington

75 Featherston St, Wellington
4.5
of 5, from 2,751 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Old Government Buildings and Beehive. St Paul's Cathedral and Old St Paul's are also within 10 minutes.

$62
Travelodge Hotel Wellington

Travelodge Hotel Wellington

2-6 Gilmer Terrace, Wellington
4.2
of 5, from 2,983 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Cable Car, Civic Square, and Cuba Street Mall. Beehive and Old Government Buildings are also within 15 minutes.

$56
Willis Wellington Hotel

Willis Wellington Hotel

355 Willis St, Wellington
3.5
of 5, from 1,466 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Wellington, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Colonial Cottage Museum and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$83
Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman

Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman

169 Willis St, Wellington
3.8
of 5, from 1,199 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cuba Street Mall, Civic Square, and Courtenay Place. Wellington Cable Car and Te Papa are also within 15 minutes.

$93
CityLife Wellington

CityLife Wellington

300 Lambton Quay, Wellington
4.4
of 5, from 925 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Cable Car, Civic Square, and Old Government Buildings. Beehive and Cuba Street Mall are also within 15 minutes.

$80
West Plaza Hotel

West Plaza Hotel

110 Wakefield Street, Wellington
4.1
of 5, from 1,542 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in The best-rated area in Wellington, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Wellington Town Hall, Michael Fowler Centre, and Civic Square. City Gallery Wellington and City-to-Sea Bridge are also within 5 minutes.