Live in Wellington

If it’s quality of life you’re after, live your best life in Wellington

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There’s a reason why Wellington often ranks highly as one of the most liveable cities in the world. It offers an exciting mix of exhilarating and easy going, a compact city with a big heart.

Described as a culinary and creative capital, Wellington is all about lifestyle, a place to work to live, not live to work.

Weather watch

The weather in Wellington varies greatly due to our proximity to the sea. It’s not uncommon to experience four seasons in one day, which means most Wellingtonians wear layers and invest in a good raincoat, not an umbrella.

When it comes to sunshine Wellington basks in about 2110 hours of sunshine each year. That’s more than Melbourne, London and even a little more than Auckland. If you enjoy the heat, February is usually the hottest month, July the coldest and June and July the wettest.

Wild wind is just part of our culture — at certain times of the year things can get a little more gusty which is good for our wind turbines, kite surfers and our health. In fact Wellington is the world's least polluted capital city, according to a recent World Air Quality Report.

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Get around with ease

Trains, buses, roads, ferries and trails connect the region, making living in one area and commuting to another an easy choice. Being a compact city, you can take advantage of biking, walking or scootering to work, or to your next meeting. Metlink is your go-to for public transport.

With Wellington Airport just a 15-minute drive from the heart of the city, you're never more than an hour’s flight away from all the main centres.

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Life’s good

Wellingtonians top the charts when it comes to quality of life, and they think it’s a great place to live too for that matter.

The latest Nielsen Quality of Life survey shows 89 percent of those questioned perceive the Wellington region (Wellington city, Hutt Valley and Porirua) as a great place to live, and 89 percent rate their overall quality of life as “very good”.

Wellingtonians know their city is a super cool small city with a big heart - it’s so compact that 18,000 of the city’s residents walk or jog to work.

Seaside goodness is a given, with almost all Wellingtonians within 3km of the sea which means easy access to our 497km of coastline. Then there’s the added bonus of Wellington’s 363km of mountain bike and walking tracks around the city.

Cost of living

What you consider a reasonable cost of living will largely depend on where you come from and what your take home pay is. Income varies widely according to what you do, how much experience you have and where you live but the best way to predict your likely income is to look at current job listings online.

The cost of living in Wellington is comparable to other OECD countries, and we're rated as more affordable than the country's largest city, Auckland. Mercer's 2019 Cost of Living survey ranked Wellington 114th in the world in terms of its cost of living, making Wellington a reasonably affordable city by world rankings.

If you are lucky to have a job already lined up, and are planning to make a budget, Immigration New Zealand has a robust cost of living calculator to help you navigate the obstacles.

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Housing options aplenty

Wellington city, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua and all of the suburbs in between feature a mix of homeowners and renters, families and retired couples, students and young professionals living in townhouses, apartments, beachfront properties. Rural areas in nearby Kapiti and the Wairarapa also include a mix of housing opportunities with commuter links into the city.

Like anywhere in the world, renting in the capital can vary dramatically and change from year to ‘year. The median weekly rent comes in at about $640, though the wider Wellington region can be slightly cheaper. Rent and housing prices differ, often depending on how close you live to the CBD or the coastline.

You can browse house prices for sale and rent on Trade Me or realestate.co.nz to assess your housing options.

Education facilities top notch

Ensuring a good education for all is part of the Kiwi concept of 'giving everyone a fair go'. New Zealand is comfortably in the world’s top 20 nations for the quality of our schools according to the OECD in 2016. All eight of our universities are ranked in the top 500 QS World University Rankings 2016/17.

From early childhood, primary and secondary schools, through to world-ranked universities and technical institutes, Wellington provides a full range of education facilities.

If you’re looking for high quality public and private schools then you’re also spoilt for choice. Both co-ed and single sex schools for boys and girls throughout the region offer wonderful learning environments and provide a range of academic and co-curricular activities for students.

There are several options for tertiary education, including Massey University, Victoria University, University of Otago Medical School and Weltec Institute of Technology. Whitirea Community Polytechnic has a number of campuses, as does Te Wananga o Aotearoa. There is also Te Wānanga o Raukawa, based in Otaki. 

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Quality healthcare

Living in Wellington you'll have access to quality modern healthcare for all your family's needs. There are four public hospitals in the wider Wellington region – Wellington (Newtown), Kenepuru (Porirua), Hutt Valley and Wairarapa. There are also four private hospitals, Boulcott in the Hutt Valley, and Bowen, Southern Cross and Wakefield in Wellington city.

Free basic dental treatment is available for children in the region, from birth to 18 years old, through the Bee Healthy Regional Dental Service. For adults, all dentists are registered with the Dental Council of New Zealand.

Enrol with a local doctor, or GP, to help keep you and your family healthy – they’ll also refer you for further tests or specialist treatment if needed.

There are two mental health services for the region - Mental health, Addiction and Intellectual Disability service and Hutt Valley and Wairarapa mental health services.