7 Things To Do In Wellington 2024

things to do in wellington

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Like so many others before me, I was itching to explore all the smaller towns around Cape Town during my several stays there. Eventually, on one of my free days, I decided to venture out to Wellington and see what it had to offer. Since then, I’ve been back a handful of times to try new things and find new ways to explore.

While I was exploring, it dawned on me that I had a pretty decent idea of the best things to do around town. And that’s what brought me here, to my guide on the best things to do in Wellington. I decided to share my travel stories with you to help you fill your travel itinerary or just get some inspiration for your next trip.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a history buff, or just someone looking to soak in the local culture, there’s something here for everyone.

1. Best For Mountain Biking: Welvanpas Family Vineyards

Welvanpas Family Vineyards in Wellington is a wine lover's paradise, where generations of winemaking expertise meet the scenic beauty of the Bainskloof Valley
  • Operating hours: Tues-Fri: 09:00-16:00, Sat: 08:00-15:00
  • Address: Bovlei Rd, Wellington

If you’re planning a trip to the little town of Wellington, there’s a hidden gem you simply can’t miss: Welvanpas Family Vineyards. Nestled amidst the breathtaking Boland mountains, this family-run vineyard was a great stop on my miniature tour of Wellington.

From the moment I stepped onto the estate, I could smell the delicious scent of ripening grapes that instantly made me think of high-quality wines. After all, if they smelled that delicious, surely they’d taste just as good, right?

I’ve spoken to plenty of other travellers who have said that their experience with Welvanpas wines has been nothing short of amazing. So, if you’re looking for somewhere to go wine tasting in Wellington, I reckon this would be a good pick (or you can check out the next activity on my list instead…).

Since I wasn’t in the mood for wine, I decided against heading into the winery for a taste. Instead, I had to check out the mountain biking trails (since they’re said to be some of the best in the world).

As I pedalled through, the panoramic views of vineyards, olive groves, and the majestic Groenberg mountains were a sight to behold. And if biking isn’t your thing, the hiking trails are equally mesmerizing.

After an adventurous morning, I settled down at their quaint coffee shop, ‘Die Ou Meul’. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingling was absolute heaven and I had my go-to order – a strong black coffee – before heading back to Cape Town.

2. Best For Wine Tasting: Bosman Wines

Bosman Wines in Wellington is a renowned wine estate with a rich heritage
  • Cost: R100-R200 for wine tasting
  • Operating hours: Mon-Thurs: 09:00 – 17:00, Fri: 09:00-16:30, Sat: 10:00-16:00
  • Address: Hexberg Rd, Wellington

So right before I stopped drinking wine, I made a trip down to one of the most beautiful vineyards in Wellington: Bosman Wines. I grabbed my partner and rounded up a bunch of friends and we all booked for the wine tasting.

Let me tell you, we were not disappointed. Firstly, the vibes here are immaculate. There is a huge garden out front where kids can play during the day or you can sit and enjoy the sun. But, since we arrived in the late afternoon, there wasn’t much chance to sunbathe.

Instead, we headed inside where there was a warm fire going (thank goodness, since we were here in the dead of winter). The staff were incredibly friendly, and we settled in to get our hands on some wine!

Their collection is a symphony of flavours, with each bottle having a unique twist on traditional wines. My personal favourite? The Adama Red. It’s a rich, full-bodied blend that I couldn’t get enough of.

3. Best For Scenery: Bainskloof Pass

  • Address: On the R301 regional road between Wellington and Ceres

If you’re looking for things to do in and around Wellington and you’re also itching for a drive that’ll leave you breathless, let me share one of my guilty pleasures: Bainskloof Pass. I know not everyone thinks that a drive is exciting, but I’m a sucker for a relaxing car ride – especially when it has views like these.

The first time I did the drive, I revved up the engine of my rental car and headed off without really knowing what I was in for. Bainskloof Pass winds its way through rugged mountain terrain and stretches for around 18 kilometres.

But it’s not just about the drive. There are spots along the way where you can pull over, stretch your legs, and soak in the sights and sounds. Insider tip? Pack a picnic. I wish I had done this since there are some perfect spots to lay out a blanket, munch on some snacks, and just lose yourself in the beauty.

4. Best For Couples: Bartholomeus Klip

Bartholomeus Klip in Wellington is a luxurious retreat, where a historic Victorian homestead is surrounded by a private nature reserve and working farm
  • Cost: R500 – R890 per person for game drives
  • Address: Elandsberg Farms, Bo Hermon Road, Hermon

The next time you’ve got a day to spare in Wellington, and you’re looking for an experience that blends nature, great food, and local charm, Bartholomeus Klip is the perfect spot for you. It’s also just half an hour’s drive from the centre of the town.

Right at the foot of the Swartberg mountains, this gem offers more than just stunning views. When I visited with my partner, we started the day with a nature drive, led by incredibly knowledgeable guides. The sights and sounds of the local wildlife were really unforgettable, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be reaching for your camera every few minutes!

After our adventure, we were both feeling a little peckish so we sat down for lunch at the on-site restaurant, The Conservatory. The char-grilled fillet and pumpkin fritters were so good that I still daydream about the food we had (in fact, just the thought is making me drool as I’m writing this).

If you can, I’d recommend ending your day trip with a sunset view from the farm. The hues of orange and pink against the backdrop of the mountains were pure magic, and – you guessed it – we couldn’t help but snap a few more photos before heading back to our hotel.

5. Best For Art Lovers: Breytenbach Centre

The Breytenbach Centre in Wellington is a cultural hub housed in a beautifully restored historic building
  • Operating hours: Mon-Fri: 09:00-17:00, Sat: 09:00-13:00
  • Address: 14 Burger St, Wellington

Sometimes you just can’t beat wandering around small towns. They’re usually full of arts and culture that can be hard to find anywhere else. And Wellington is no exception. When I was planning my trip here, the Breytenbach Sentrum (or ‘Centre’) wasn’t on my list of things to do in Wellington. It was actually just a happy accident that led me here. But I’m really glad it did.

Located right in the heart of Wellington, the centre is a vibrant space that celebrates the arts in all its forms. My first stop here was the art gallery or ‘Kunsgalery’. As I wandered through, I was captivated by the diverse artworks and felt more relaxed than I had in a long time. It was quiet and there were only a few other people walking around, so it felt like I had the place to myself.

My fellow bibliophiles, this one is for you: the bookshop (called the ‘Boekwinkel’) is a reader’s dream come true. There were rows upon rows of books, with that unmistakable smell of paper and ink. And really, is there anything better than the smell of a book?

When you visit, be sure to take a moment to relax in their garden. It’s a great way to unwind after a day of exploring before you head back to your hotel.

6. Best For Foodies: The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Country Estate

The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Country Estate in Wellington is a culinary gem, where farm-to-table dining meets the scenic beauty of the Bovlei Valley
  • Operating hours: Mon-Wed&Fri: 08:30-21:00; Thurs, Sat, Sun: 08:30-17:00
  • Address: Bovlei Road, Bovlei, Wellington

If you’re roaming the streets of Wellington, and your stomach starts to rumble, then there’s one spot you have to try, and that’s The Stone Kitchen. The Dunstone Country Estate is less than a 10-minute drive from the centre of Wellington, so it’s easy enough to get to with a rental car.

What I love about The Stone Kitchen is that it’s all about fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. I remember walking in and being greeted by the most delicious smell (the staff later told me that it was the freshly baked croissants that were hot out of the oven).

Let me tell you, waiting those 18-20 minutes for a croissant baked on order? Totally worth it. The flaky layers, the buttery aftertaste, and the melt-in-your-mouth pastry got me hooked. I’ve been back a few times just to grab a few more.

For the main course, I chose the Dunstone burger. A juicy 200g lamb patty topped with goat cheese and merlot-onion marmalade, it was nothing short of incredible! It put a whole new spin on a classic dish.

But if you plan on wolfing down your lunch like I did, just remember to save room for dessert. Their baked cheesecake is out of this world.

7. Best For Families: Wellington Museum

  • Cost: R5 per adult, R2 per child
  • Operating hours: Mon-Fri: 08:00-16:00, Sat: 09:00-12:00
  • Address: 60 Church St, Wellington

In the heart of Wellington, you’ll find the Wellington Museum, which is a great place to take the kids for some educational fun (and for a load-off for mom and dad after wrangling the kids all morning!). It’s also fantastic if you’re travelling on a budget since the entry fee is so low it feels practically free.

The Wellington Museum isn’t your typical snooze-fest museum, either – it’s genuinely a fun dive into the town’s history.

But here’s the kicker for the kiddos: they’ve got an entire section dedicated to Andrew Murray and his holistic approach towards education. It’s also interactive, so the little ones can play around and learn stuff without even realising it. And for us adults? It’s a cool throwback to the importance of learning and dreaming big, which I still find crucial in my everyday life.

When I visited, I noticed that the museum has these fun quizzes that challenge the kids (and let’s be honest, us too!). It’s a blast, and you might just outscore your kids. Or not. No judgment!

So, if you’re scratching your head thinking of where to take the family next, give the Wellington Museum a shot.


What’s the best time to visit Wellington?

Having spent a considerable amount of time in Wellington, I’d say the best time truly depends on your preferences.

If you love warm weather and outdoor activities, the summer months (December to mid-March) are perfect. The vineyards are lush, and it’s prime time for wine tasting. But remember, it’s also peak tourist season, so some places can get a bit crowded.

But if you prefer cooler temperatures and a more relaxed vibe, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (March to May and September to November). The weather is mild, the landscapes are still stunning, and there are fewer tourists.

How can I get around Wellington?

Wellington is a really small town, so it’s relatively easy to get around. Here’s how I usually do it:

  1. Walking: The town centre is compact, and you can easily walk to many attractions, cafes, and shops.
  2. Car rentals: If you plan to visit vineyards and other attractions outside the town or if you want to explore nearby areas, renting a car is a great option.
  3. Tours: There are organised tours, especially for wine tasting, which handle transportation for you. You can usually arrange tour shuttles with your hotel or when you’re planning your trip.

Can I visit Wellington on a day trip from Cape Town?

Absolutely! I’ve done this a couple of times. It’s around a 1-hour drive from Cape Town to Wellington, making it perfectly doable for a day trip. You can leave Cape Town in the morning, spend your day wine tasting, exploring, and perhaps having a leisurely lunch and then head back by evening. However, with so much to see and do in Wellington, you might find yourself wishing you had more time!

Are there any other locations worth visiting nearby?

There are plenty of nearby areas that are worth a trip. Some of the best areas include:

  1. Paarl (13 km): Just a short drive from Wellington, Paarl is another wine lover’s paradise. The Paarl Rock alone is worth a visit.
  2. Franschhoek (45.1 km): Known as the “food and wine capital” of South Africa, this charming town is famous for its gourmet dining and beautiful vineyards. The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a unique and fun way to explore the wine estates.
  3. Stellenbosch (42.9 km): A bit further south, Stellenbosch is yet another renowned wine-producing region with a rich history and stunning landscapes.
  4. Bainskloof Pass (20.4 km): For those who love scenic drives, this is a must. The mountain views and picturesque spots along the way are breathtaking.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! My hand-picked list of some of the most memorable things to do in Wellington. From the rolling vineyards to the captivating museums, Wellington truly offers a slice of South Africa that’s both authentic and enchanting. But when you plan your trip, just remember to leave some time out to explore for yourself. You never know what small-town gems you might uncover!

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