My whanau and I just returned from our 2 day trip to Wellington and I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice on activities, playgrounds etc.
For a start the weather couldn't have been more perfect. I can't imagine you could get nicer days than that in the middle of winter.
We stayed in the Amora which was lovely and modern, well-located, and had a good family package whih included breakfast and zoo passes.
We did end up hiring a car which I'm pleased we did as it gave us a lot of flexibility outside of hotel check-in hours. It also gave us a chance to go for a tiki-touring drive out to the suburbs and even out to the wind turbines near Makara (I don't recommend these roads for a nervous driver). However, I can also understand why some people recommended we walk and use public transport - Wellington roads and parking are a bit of a nightmare. With cars parked alongside the curb, many hillside roads are dropped down to one narrow lane.
We also did a lot of walking including a lap of the hilly botanical gardens, Zealandia, Te Papa, the Waterfront and town centre, and the Zoo. All were wonderful, but the zoo was a favourite. Not a huge number of animals, but the themeing and the gardens are just beautiful. Also there are lots of cute babies at present.
Our favourite meal was in the Picnic cafe in the gardens. Everything was free-range and my husband said it was one of the best big breakfasts he'd ever had. The Larder cafe near the Weta Cave was also lovely.
We got to two of the playgrounds suggested - the botanical gardens and Frank Kitts Park - and my son loved both. Thanks again everyone for your advice.