Cable Car

Located in the original winding house for the cable car system and set over two floors, the museum houses the winding mechanism operational from 1902 until 1978. It’s also home to two of the original grip cars that operated on the line.
Step back in time to see how Wellington’s most iconic transport system has developed.

Grip Car No. 3
‘Grip Car No. 3’ was used in the early 1900s. It’s unique because the grip man’s cabin with the main controls and brakes is located right in the middle. Despite this seemingly awkward configuration, it’s an elegant piece of machinery. Beautifully restored, it evokes an earlier time of technological progress and late Victorian innovation.

Original Winding Machine
Past the grip car you’ll enter the winding machine room, which was fully operational from 1930 to 1978. This was the nerve centre of the cable car system, and here you’ll see the machinery once used to haul the cable cars up the hill to the summit. The engineering skill, innovation and technology that was used to transport many Wellingtonians and visitors for over a century is simply fascinating.

The Relentless Red Rattler
See one of the red cable cars that were used from the 1950s to the late 1970s. Take a seat on the ‘Relentless Red Rattler’ – so called because of the rattling noise it produced when going up and down the steep incline and through the tunnels. Follow the history of the cable car and see a short film about the evolution of Wellington’s iconic transport system from the 1900s to the present day.

The Cable Car Museum is located next to the Kelburn terminus of the cable car, with its breathtaking views of Wellington city and its harbour as well as access to the Botanic Garden.

Cable Car History
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Kia ora. Due to staff absence relating to COVID-19, please check our Facebook page @wellingtonmuseum for information on COVID-19-related closures.


Our Summer hours are 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.


Free General Admission.

Bookings are essential for all school groups, tour groups and commercial operators. Charges may apply.


T: +64 4 475 3578


1A Upland Road, Kelburn

The Museum is located at the top of the Cable Car, a ten minute ride from Lambton Quay.

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