Hello, Australians! Here’s some quick bites on Wellington, so you’ll be seasoned pros on what’s what by the time you get to our fabulous city.
Wellington is right in the centre of New Zealand, as far south as you can possibly get on the North Island. And it’s really pretty here. In some parts of the city, you can even see the South Island! Wellington’s downtown is very compact (read: no taxis needed) and wraps around a beautiful harbour, with our suburbs stretching out around the hills and the coastline.
Check out more maps and information on Wellington.
Typical summer daytime maximum air temperatures range from 19°C to 24°C, and in winter from 10°C to 14°C. So Northern Territory we are not, but you weren’t coming here for the weather anyway right? Wellington’s annual average sunshine hours are about 2000 hours, more than lots of the other major centres. In fact, we get more sunshine than Auckland, Melbourne and London. Due to our exposure to the Tasman Sea, we can have a feisty north-westerly, or “charming sea breeze” primarily along the coast. It always pays to bring a waterproof or windproof jacket for colder days, but don’t forget your sunscreen for hitting our beaches over summer.
Currently, Air New Zealand, Qantas, and Pacific Blue fly direct to Wellington from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It’s less than a 3.5 hour flight from the east coast of Australia. All major roads (there’s, wait for it, two!) in the North Island lead to Wellington and there are inter-island ferries connecting Wellington with the South Island.
The time is the same all over NZ, which makes things nice and easy. We’re two hours ahead of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, 2.5 hours ahead of South Australia, and four hours ahead of Western Australia.
Citizens and permanent residents of Australia (who do not have certain criminal convictions) can visit New Zealand as often as they like. If you like us too much, you can even move here too!
Central Wellington city is home to around 200,000 people, and if you count all our regional friends (which is everyone who lives anywhere up to the Wairarapa, 90 minutes drive away – hey we’re a friendly bunch), this stretches to 450,000.
Wellington’s a boutique city where excellent shopping, exciting galleries, great restaurants, cafes and bars are all within easy walking distance. We’re home to some of the slickest cocktail lounges, hippest party bars, best NZ fashion labels, theatres and beaches. And not that we like to name drop, but famous faces such as Peter Jackson, Anna Paquin, and the boys from Flight of the Conchords also hail from our fine city.
It’s approximately 10 kms/15 minutes from Wellington Airport to the city centre. A taxi will cost approximately $25. A shuttle can be taken into the city for $15. The orange Airport Flyer bus service is only $9, regularly leaving from the airport to as far as Lower Hutt. You can check your emails on board too- they’ve got free WiFi, sweet!
No, the beauty of exploring Wellington is that everything in the downtown is within walking distance. From Parliament to Te Papa it’s about 20 minutes walk. For venturing further out there is a regular bus, train and ferry service. See our transport section for tips and details on venturing out beyond our fine city.
If you hold a valid Australian driver's licence, or an international driving permit, you can drive in New Zealand for up to a year. So you can pick up a rental car and go adventuring around the beautiful wine region of Wairarapa, or head further north to Taranaki, renowned for its mountain and fine surf, or drive aboard the Interislander ferry and head across the Cook Strait to the scenic region of Marlborough at the top of the South Island.
Wellington is the events capital of New Zealand, and there’s something on pretty much every night of the year, from theatre to major events, from international sports games to arts and music festivals. Check out our Events section for what’s on while you’re here, or a show you absolutely can’t miss!
Wellington is full of award-winning restaurants, cafes and eateries. In fact, we’ve won the Cuisine Restaurant of the Year for four out of the last five years, so you’re in the best culinary hands in the country. Head to the Cuba, Courtenay and Waterfront precincts for dozens of fabulous local offerings and taste the “Wellington flavour”. Check out our Bars & Restaurants search page.
Wellington is a very family-friendly city. The capital has many things to see and do for children of all ages, so your wee ones can have a ball here too. Search our Sights & Activities database under Activity Type 'Children' for the most current information.
You could swim, but it’ll take a while. It’s a three hour ferry ride through the Cook Strait and scenic Marlborough Sounds, the Interislander ferries make the trip a treat with full restaurant, entertainment, theatre and relaxation options onboard. Or if time is of the essence, a flight across the Strait with Air New Zealand is just 25 minutes.
Because now you’re all over the key facts, here’s some fun stuff you can pull out to impress the locals when you arrive in Wellington: