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Wellington City Guide

The capital of New Zealand, Wellington is located between a beautiful harbour and rolling green hills. It is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city rich in culture and the arts and offers a relaxed, urban lifestyle.

Whether Wellington is your intended destination or just a brief stopover on the way to your new home, we have compiled this guide to help you get your bearings on arrival. To obtain more details about the city check out the websites listed at the end of this profile.


Wellington is New Zealand’s second largest city and has a population of 423,765. The population mix consists of 80.9% European, 12.5% Maori, 7.9% Pacific Island, 6.8% Asian and 0.9% other (2001 census).


The Wellington region covers the southern tip of the North Island. Visually stunning, the city is nestled between a magnificent harbour and forest-clad hills, creating an intimate downtown area with easy access to stunning natural scenery and wild coastlines.


Along with the other regions in New Zealand, Wellington has seen a boom in the housing market and although a slowing in the market is predicted Wellington house prices are still expected to out perform the national average over the next two years.


The Wellington region has profited from a population which on average, is better educated, has a higher income and is more skilled than the New Zealand population as a whole. The local economy is robust and one of the most affluent in the country and in 2003 Wellington was the second largest regional economy in the country, despite having just 11% of the population. The city itself is largely service based but financial institutions, information communications technology companies, business service providers, government departments and education also play a vital role in the local economy.

Dining Out

Wellington is recognised as the home of New Zealand’s liveliest cafe and restaurant culture. With so many restaurants and cafes to enjoy - more per capita than in any city in the world; eating out, entertaining and night clubbing are favourite regional pastimes. Eating out in the city reflects the effect of new cultures on the Kiwi palate but the New Zealand cuisine also has its own unique style which is becoming known as 'the food of the Pacific Basin', highlighting a lot of the distinctive flavours and produce of the region.

Local Transport

All roads lead to Wellington as it is at the Southern tip of the North Island and it is the departure point for the South Island with regular daily scheduled ferries. Getting around the city is easy because it is so compact. There is a good public transport system, with regular buses and trains throughout the city and outer regions. Wellington International Airport is only ten minutes drive from the city centre.

Performing Arts

The Wellington region is rightly regarded as the cultural capital of New Zealand. It supports three professional theatres and an opera company, it is home to the National Ballet Company, The National Drama School, the Film Archive, the National Symphony Orcheestra and the crowing treasure, Te Papa - the internationally acclaimed National Museum of New Zealand. Every two years the region stages the New Zealand International  Festival of the Arts, which is a two week long arts extravaganza of international shows ranging from the wacky to the wonderful.

Lifestyle and Outdoor Recreation

For anyone wishing to participate in sport, the opportunities are enormous in the Wellington Region. The rugged hills surrounding the region provide excellent mountain biking, hiking and off-roading, and the natural harbour is popular for windsurfers, yachties and jet skiers. The coastline also provides many opportunities for diving and fishing.


Wellington has two universities and a technical institute as well as a range of private and state secondary and primary schools.

Wellington on the Net

For Jobs In Wellington

For Information about Living and Working in Wellington

Positively Wellington Tourism


Average maximum temperature in Summer

Average maximum temperature in Winter

Bright sunshine hours per year

Mean annual rainfall

20.8 Degrees Celsius

11.2 Degrees Celsius




Wellington time is GMT +12 Hours. From September to March one hour of daylight saving time applies.

We acknowledge that some of the photos on this page are the property of Wellington City Council.



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