So I have had a few people ask me what’s Wellington like to live in? I figured I would let you all know in this post! Lonely Planet named Wellington the coolest little capital in the world!
Before I start I will get this out of the way… yes, Wellington is a windy city!
Wellington is compact and very easy to get around the city center just by walking which I love. You can be at the other end of the CBD in just a few minutes by walking along the waterfront or through the central streets.
It is also very easy to walk from a suburb into the city, it really doesn’t take very long and it’s good exercise!
Wellington buses come every 10 minutes and in the weekend roughly every 20 minutes.
There are lots of different suburbs, some are quite hilly but lots are on the flat. I prefer to live on the flat. Every suburb has a supermarket which is great.
Wellington has a couple of Universities here as well as WelTec which is another education facility.
Things To Do
Wellington has lots of places to explore in the weekends and lots of activities to do. You will never be bored!
This city offers museums, a zoo, you could ride the cable car to the botanical gardens or go star gazing at the Carter Observatory. There are a number of beaches to soak up the sun at, over 100 parks, movie theaters, swimming pools and lots of walking trails. You could go people watch on the water front, go shopping, see a show at the opera house, walk around the coast and see the seals or go watch football, rugby or cricket at the stadiums.
There is always something to see or do here like go to an open day, see a live band, go to a festival or fair!
Go kayaking, try indoor rock climbing, go bowling, axe throwing, go play paintball with a group of friends or go karting, ride the Croc Bikes on the waterfront or go for a stroll at the Botanical Gardens!
Wellington is also famous for Peter Jackson’s Weta Studios and the Weta Cave. So if you are a Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan, then going there is a must! Some tourists come to Wellington especially just for that!
The weather can be strange. You can wake up in the morning, look out your window and there’s a beautiful sunny day so you put on your skirt and a light tee shirt….and then…in the afternoon there’s gales force winds and it’s raining! It’s so hard to decide how to dress here because you just don’t know what the weather will be like! Oh and by the way, don’t bother buying an umbrella here, it will break. Trust me.
It can really be 4 seasons in one day here sometimes!
Summer temperatures are normally around 17°C to 22°C but sometimes they can get to above 25°C. The hottest month here is February.
Autumn is still quite nice with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 19°C.
In the winter, the temperature is normally around 6°C to 10°C, but it doesn’t snow here…well, except for that one time it actually did!
In Spring, temperatures are around 14°C to 17°C. Daylight Savings here starts in October which I absolutely love!
Sometimes it can be hard to sleep with the sound of the wind during the night!
Transport in Wellington
The traffic is pretty crazy in the morning till about 9.30am with everyone going to work, Uni or school.
Public transport is pretty good. It’s easy to get around the city on buses or trains to the Hutt Valley.
Snapper bus cards which are a prepaid travel card, will save you money, it is cheaper to use than cash. These cards are available from local dairies or Lotto shops and can be easily topped up by downloading the Snapper app on your phone.
You can also buy daily Metlink Explorer tickets for $20 which you can get as many buses and trains as you like between 9am and midnight. There are four different type of day passes depending on which area zones you are travelling around. There is also a day pass which you can travel all the way out to the Wairarapa on and back for $25. That’s a great deal! You can buy these passes from bus drivers. Each time you get on a new bus or train, you need to show the driver you day pass ticket.
There are also lots and lots of taxis and Ubers here.
Beer and Coffee
Wellington has an amazing café culture! We have more cafes per capita than New York City with over 300 eateries and places to drink here. There are always new cafes and restaurants popping up everywhere. You will never not know what to have for dinner!
There are lots of craft beer breweries in this city with all of them putting their unique spin on it like Garage Project’s Dark Chocolate beer or their Pickle Beer, Parrot Dog’s Coconut Hazy IPA or Whistling Sister’s Ginger Rush. If you love craft beer, you could even go on a craft beer tour!
Like I mentioned before, there are lots of restaurants and cafes here. There are so many options like Italian, Indian, Thai, American, Chinese and Japanese restaurants to name a few. Quite a few restaurants offer BYO, bring your own beer or wine and they just charge you a small fee.
There are also quite a few dumpling places which I am quite liking at the moment. I actually only tried dumplings for the first time a few months ago and instantly regretted not trying them sooner because they were so good!
Sushi and bubble tea places are growing here too.
Be sure to go down to the street food market on Willis Street one night, you won’t be disappointed.
There are also some amazing fish and chips shops around this city.
In the weekends head down to one of the vege markets, either in Newtown on Saturdays or in the CBD on Sundays and pick yourself up fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farms and orchards. I normally take $25 with me, and I can get quite alot for that! So much cheaper than in the supermarkets.
Go shopping up the famous Cuba Street, down Lambton Quay or Lyall Bay or head out to Lower Hutt and shop till you drop at Westfield shopping mall. I’m sure you will find a great bargain somewhere. Petone has some very unique shops in the famous Jackson Street.
There are quite a few famous department stores here as well as designer fashion stores and unique boutiques.
Wellington’s main nightlife area is Courtney Place. With a range of night clubs, cocktail bars, sports bars, Irish and Welsh pubs, craft beer bars, karaoke bars, comedy show bars, backpacker bars and live band bars, there is something for everyone here. Make sure you take photo ID with you as the bars are quite strict on that.
Most bars close around 4am here and once you are done drinking and those hunger pains come on, there are lots of nearby eateries for you to eat at or take some food home with you.
There are always lots of taxis and Ubers in Courtney Place waiting to take you home .
I think Wellington is a great city to live in, it just has a feel good vibe about it! It’s quick and easy to get around, there’s lots of things to do here, the people are friendly, everyone seems to know each other and there is always something to do!
Check out my post about some family friendly things to do here https://travelwellingtonwithme.com/9-family-friendly-things-to-do-in-wellington/
Do you think you would like to visit Wellington one day?
I hope I covered the basics for you but feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them!