Living in Wellington

Living In Wellington New Zealand


Wellington is a city rich in diversity, talent and is the leading centre of arts and culture.

Situated within a scenic harbour, Wellington is New Zealand’s political and creative capital. Spanning only two kilometres in diameter, the city is one which can be easily navigated around (most of which can be done on foot). Rich in history Wellington is fast becoming the place to live in New Zealand and with its countless opportunities and beautiful scenery it is not surprising more and more people are choosing to live here.

For detailed information on Wellington, please see

For additional information on living in Wellington, please see the NZ Immigration site:



The New Zealand property market has been in a period of sustained growth for the past few years, as has the New Zealand economy within a low interest rate environment.

Currently in Wellington you can find a tidy 3 bedroom home in suburbs relatively near the Capital for around NZ$358-560,000*.  Two Bedroom inner-city apartments sell from around NZ$250,000* upwards (*based on January 2016 figures).

Mortgage rates are competitive and there are a number of options available for the house buyer. The lending banks and financial institutions offer flexibility in terms as well as rates. Mortgage brokers are ‘free’ and are a good avenue if you are unfamiliar with the NZ banking environment.

See for a comparison of current interest rates offered by major lending institutions in NZ.


The cheapest form of renting is to share a flat (apartment) with other people. As can be expected, the prices vary greatly depending on the size of the house, the number of occupants and location. In general, you would pay NZ$140 – $200 for inner city, and about NZ$120 – $140 for anything in the city fringes or outer suburbs (per person per week, excluding expenses).  If you have a family or wish to rent an entire house or apartment, you’ll be looking at approximately NZ$400 upwards for 3 bedrooms+ and around NZ$290 – $370+ for a 1-2bedroom(s).

NZ Tenancy Services website offers detailed information if you are wanting to rent in NZ Getting Ready to Rent and Market Rent via suburb are a great starting point.

Popular websites to source properties for sale or to rent are: Real Estate NZ or Trade Me Property

For up-to-date information regarding property trends and values go to: QV Trends or QV Value by Suburb


Wellington offers accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. There are a variety of places to stay ranging from central hotels, serviced apartments to hostels and backpackers.

Below is a listing of various Wellington accommodation alternatives and the cost of staying in NZ$.

Hotel/Hostel Location Daily charge *
Ibis Hotel CBD $110.00 – $149.00
Museum Hotel de Wheels 1km of CBD $149.00 – $239.00
Quest On Johnson(Apartment Hotel) CBD $129.00 – $280.00
YHA Wellington City Backpackers 1.5kms of CBD Backpackers $22.00
Standard $25.00 – $88.00

* Varies dependent on day of the week and room size

For more information about where to stay in Wellington visit

Working in Wellington

If you are thinking of working in Wellington visit the following sites for more information:

This provides you with further links to NZ’s job finding sites and how to go about gaining work in Wellington, NZ.

This is what working life in Wellington is like, and what you can expect.


Driver licences from certain countries are valid in New Zealand for either 12 months or until their expiry date (whichever one comes first). An international driving permit is required for those countries not covered. After 12 months either option must be replaced by a New Zealand drivers license. For further details, go to the NZ Transport Agency site

The public transport system in Wellington is reliable, extensive and relatively inexpensive. There are a variety of forms of transport, buses (frequent, inexpensive and covering most areas in Wellington) and trains if you need to travel outside the central city (again both frequent and inexpensive).

For bus and train routes, timetable and fares – see Metlink (Greater Wellington’s Public Transport Network).

Entertainment and Shopping

Wellington is blessed with an abundance of entertainment and shopping, we have listed a few different options, for a comprehensive list of what Wellington has to offer go to:


Unique to Wellington is the ability to walk on foot around the four main shopping areas. Lambton Quay is an area central to most businesses and is bursting at the seams in terms of shop selection.  At the end of Lambton Quay is Willis Street, which again offers a large selection of retail stores. Cuba Mall is the creative centre where you can find unique and distinct offerings and last but certainly not least is Courtenay Place, the entertainment and nightclub capital. However, if you feel like the city is not your scene, you can catch a bus or a train out to Wellington’s regional areas where there is a variety of shopping complexes available.

Restaurants and Cafés

Wellington has a broad range of eateries to satisfy any taste buds, having the most restaurants and cafes per capita than any other city. With over 300 restaurants and cafes on offer there is an endless amount of food to discover.  In fact, Wellington is well known as the ‘Café Capital’ of New Zealand boasting a wide variety of cosmopolitan cafes and bars. The cost of dining out can vary from NZ$50- $100 per couple, up to NZ$200+ (excluding wine). Coffee and hot drinks will cost you somewhere between $3-$5.


Readings Cinema is situated in the middle of Courtenay Place and has all the latest blockbuster films on offer. However, if you are in the mood for an art house film or perhaps a play then you have plenty of selection, with Wellington having the highest concentration of theatres in the country (and most within a short distance of each other). The Film Festival also features strongly in Wellington and has a variety of films to stimulate any film buff’s mind.

Visual and Performing Arts

Wellington is home to the ever popular New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, always a favourite for adults and kids alike. Wellington also has on offer the National Art Gallery, Te Papa (the country’s national museum), the Royal NZ Ballet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.


You are never short of something to do in Wellington, with exploration of the city and the greater region both a joy and a breeze. Wellington’s walkways offer you the chance to hike or bike through scenic landscape, and depending on your level of fitness there are a variety of tracks to choose from.

A walk around the harbour provides you with many interesting sites, and for those keen on the beach Oriental Parade offers a quaint and popular bathing area. A quick trip across the harbour will allow you to indulge in another central beach area, Eastbourne (an extremely popular spot in the summertime).

Outside of the city in the greater regional areas there are vineyards, golf courses, bush walks and bird sanctuaries to keep you entertained for hours.  If you are feeling even more adventurous, you can travel further North the central North Island and experience the best of New Zealand’s tourism destinations.


Wellington is home to sporting arenas for both parts of the year. From cricket at the Basin Reserve in summer to winter at the Westpac Stadium, which is packed full of Wellington Lions and Super Rugby Hurricane supporters. To experience the crowds and enthusiasm of rugby supporters in NZ is something not to be missed. If you are not an All Blacks fan when you arrive in New Zealand you most certainly will be by the time you leave


Where to eat and buy food.

As previously mentioned there are many places to dine and eat out, however if a home cooked meal sounds more tempting then there are plenty of places to purchase fresh, good quality foods.

Supermarkets such as New World are situated around the city, with a mini supermarket situated on Willis Street – in the middle of Wellington’s CBD.

If you are one of these early risers, in the weekends some good deals can be found at the food markets around various Wellington suburbs.

Further Information

The following websites may also provide valuable information to you.

Cost of Living Calculator:

Immigration NZ Skills Shortage List:

Inland Revenue Department: