When it comes to capital cities, rare are those that occupy such an attractive geographical location as Wellington does. Nestled between lush greenery, rolling hills, and sparkling turquoise waters, it’s a city with a perfect natural backdrop that many would like to call their home.
And that’s not the only great thing about Wellington. It is one of the world’s most livable cities and a jewel in the country’s crown of tourist hotspots. Bursting with entertainment venues, galleries, and restaurants, it’s one of New Zealand’s most thriving cultural centers and a city that has influenced the planet with its film, music, and comedy.
Population & Demographics
The capital city of New Zealand is actually comprised of four different cities. The Wellington City itself is situated between the Wellington Harbor and the Cook Strait and is home to around 50% of the total population. Other cities are Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, and Porirua, and each of these is administered by a separate city council.
Close to half a million people live in Wellington, or around 10% of the country’s entire population. It is home to a wide variety of different cultures – it is estimated that one-quarter of the city’s population was born overseas.
When it comes to ethnic variety, the City of Wind is second only to Auckland. A closer look at the 2006 national census tells us that it has the second-highest Asian population in New Zealand, as well as the second-highest number of people of Pacific Island descent. In 2013, more than 70% of the city’s population identified themselves as New Zealand Europeans.
The urban area of the Wellington Region contains 99% of the region’s population. The remaining area is sparsely farmed and mostly mountainous. Around 60,000 people work in the town’s central business district (CBD), which dominates the city’s life more than in other New Zealand city.
When it comes to unique New Zealand wildlife and nature, Wellington is one of the most stunning places in the country. With the city being nestled between the ocean and bush-clad hills, almost each of its suburbs offers brilliant nature walks.
The city’s wildlife attractions include wildlife sanctuaries in the capital and reserves on the nearby offshore islands. These allow one to experience a face-to-face encounter with a wide variety of the country’s unique animals, such as takahē birds, kiwis, and tuataras. There are also many regional parks and forests – the greenery is always just a step away.
The nickname “City of Wind” comes from the fact that Wellington frequently experiences strong, gusty Northerly winds. It is the windiest capital city on the planet – winds blowing at or above 63 km/h are there for almost 200 days every year. This is because of the mountainous landscape on both sides of the city – the wind has to go either around or over the mountains.
The city has not experienced severe earthquakes ever since the 1942 Wairarapa earthquakes. However, the area’s high seismic activity causes many smaller earthquakes during the year, but most citizens place their confidence in excellent building regulations.
Costs of Living
The cost of living in the City of Wind is similar to most of the world’s developed capitals. It is, in fact, significantly lower than in the New Zealand’s largest urban area – Auckland. However, Wellington’s thriving job market is the primary reason behind the fact that the salaries are higher than in any other region of the country.
The capital’s rent prices are lower than in many other cities of the world – 40.95% lower than Sydney’s, and 55.18% lower than London’s. The average price of a standard one-bedroom apartment in the downtown stands at around $1,330 per month.
It’s pretty safe to say that having a house of your own is the Kiwi dream. The rate of personal home ownership in the country is pretty high by international standards, as owning your own house is something that the majority of New Zealanders aspire to.
The current house prices in the capital range considerably across its many neighborhoods. For example, the average price of a standard one-bedroom house in the suburb of Johnsonville stands at around $250,000. On the other hand, if you’d like to purchase a home in the Eastern area, you will have to spend at least $557,000.
Upon arriving at Wellington, one of the first things you need to do is to find a GP (general practitioner) for your family. Most New Zealand families have family doctors, whom they turn to when it comes to health assistance and advice.
A general practitioner can perform an examination, diagnosis, and also write prescriptions for a wide range of various medical needs. When required, a GP can refer you to a medical specialist or directly to a hospital for treatment. The city’s main hospital is the Wellington Hospital. It is the region’s largest tertiary hospital and provides acute and complex specialist services.
Qualified immigrant workers will be pleased to know that Wellington offers well-paid career opportunities in both the public and private sectors. The city’s thriving economy employs more than 10% of New Zealand’s workforce and contributes around 13% of the national GDP.
The city offers various programs to assist the skilled newcomers with securing jobs in the field of their choice. The technology and IT sectors are particularly thriving, as is the Wellington’s art scene – there are many jobs available in the music, theatre, TV, and film industries. The same goes for traditional industries, such as construction, commerce, engineering, and banking.
Due to the city’s extensive train and bus network, getting around Wellington is extremely easy. In fact, the capital’s public transportation is quite well-developed when compared to other areas of the country. There are even a couple of surprises, like the historic cable car that transports the city’s residents to the lush, village-like suburb called Kelburn.
Wellington’s public transport services are marketed under the name Metlink, and are well-used by the locals. This system covers all areas of the town – Wellington City, Porirua, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wairarapa, as well as the Kapiti Coast. One of the best things about Metlink is that has a journey planner, which is very easy to use and can assist you in getting somewhere in Wellington by using trains, buses, or ferries.
Navigating to the downtown is very easy, with the area being very compact – transport options, attractions, hotels, cafes, and restaurants are all within walking distance. This means that exploring the City of Winds can be done on foot, or by hopping on a bike and using an extensive system of cycleways.
The airport is situated in the suburb of Rongotai and is the third busiest in the country. Passengers are transported between the airport and downtown Wellington via the Stagecoach Flyer Bus.
The capital city of New Zealand has a worldwide reputation for offering quality education and providing a wide variety of excellent schooling facilities. From outstanding early childhood, primary, and secondary schools to renowned technical institutes and universities, the City of Wind is undoubtedly one of the most attractive options for students from all over the planet.
New Zealand’s education system is responsive and modern, and its universities are well-ranked among those situated in other countries. For example, both Massey University and Victoria University are ranked among top 500 QS World Universities. Moreover, both of them offer programs that rank among the top 100 on the entire planet.
Wellington region has a number of tertiary institutions and each of them offers a full range of degrees in a vast choice of different subjects. The city also provides a couple of great options when it comes to adult community education.
The town’s libraries, on the other hand, allow one to connect with and explore a massive world of ideas and knowledge. It is, actually, a public service that serves the city and manages 12 branches that altogether house more than half a million books. The goal of Wellington City Libraries is to make as much information public as possible.
When it comes to attractions, there are a lot of things for one to see in the capital city of New Zealand. Although relatively small when compared to other capitals, the city has a lot to offer – from museums through botanical gardens to the beautiful waterfront area.
One of the city’s best attractions is undoubtedly the Museum of New Zealand, located on Cable Street. It offers its visitors a chance to engage on an immersive journey through the history of the Maori people and European settlers and see how they formed the today’s nation. The museum’s highlight is unquestionably the Mana Whenua exhibition, showing the finest collection of Maori treasures and art in the entire country.
Another museum worth paying a visit to is the Museum of Wellington City & Sea. As the name suggests, it’s a place that brings the city’s history to life with its film presentations and informative exhibits. It also houses an impressive gallery focused on various Maori legends and myths.
The city’s botanic gardens, on the other hand, are a lush, green oasis that covers 25 hectares of Wellington’s hillside. It is filled with a series of walking tracks that allow visitors to immerse themselves into beautiful, blooming flower displays. The gardens are also home to the Carter Observatory and Begonia House (exhibitions of tropical plants).
Another fantastic attraction is Zealandia – an urban eco-sanctuary situated only a couple of kilometers from the central city. It has over 30 kilometers of walking tracks and is home to many endangered bird species, including the famous Kiwi birds. Zealandia also has a unique museum that documents New Zealand’s natural history.
Other Wellington attractions worth paying a visit to are the Beehive, City Gallery Wellington, Colonial Cottage Museum, Wellington Zoo, Mount Victoria, Matiu Island, as well as the beautiful waterfront lined with cafes and restaurants.
The capital city of New Zealand is a true paradise for gourmands, as it combines all the essential ingredients needed for it to be an outstanding culinary getaway. It has both the casual and the international restaurants, private cocktail bars, little artisanal producers, breweries, wineries, as well as whole laneways crammed with unforgettable eateries.
The Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar is an excellent example of Wellington’s more elegant restaurants. Located inside the Museum Art Hotel, it’s a place with eye-catching original artworks and beautiful views of the city’s picturesque harbor. The dishes that are served here are beautiful both in taste and presentation and are inspired by French gastronomy.
Another great example is the Logan Brown, situated on Cuba Street in Te Aro district. Ever since it was opened in 1996, Logan Brown has been serving mouth-watering and innovative dishes that use local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s interior is exquisite, with the building itself dating all the way back to the 1920s.
However, it is the Harborside Market where most residents of the capital choose to buy food of their liking. Every Sunday from morning to afternoon, the place is filled with locals selling their best fruit, veggies, tofu, butter, meat, fish, eggs, honey, and other delicacies.
Shipping to Wellington
As you can see, New Zealand’s capital has a lot to offer. A cosmopolitan city with a vibrant personality, it is one of the most livable cities on the North Island, if not in the entire country. Although not the biggest city on the islands, it is still a buzzing cultural center with fabulous attractions and is surrounded by lush nature filled with many scenic spots. Getting around Wellington is ridiculously easy, as is finding good places to eat, drink, dance, or just have a relaxing afternoon.
All of this turns it into a perfect destination for migrants who’d like to move to New Zealand. Fortunately, hiring a good moving service to assist you with relocating your belongings to the City of Wind can turn the whole affair into a hassle-free process. New Zealand Van Lines is undoubtedly your best choice – it’s the country’s No.1 business when it comes to domestic and international moves.
The thing that makes NZ Van Lines so unique is that we’re a company with three decades of experience. In other words, we know everything that there is to know about relocating one’s possessions to New Zealand’s capital – from professional packing, insurance, safe transportation, all the way to storage and unloading. We are there with you through every step of the process – good cooperation with the client is always the key to success.
Besides shipping your effects via sea freight or air freight, we also offer a professional packing service. Our international packers are FIDI-accredited, well-trained in their job, and use only the best materials to safely and adequately pack your precious belongings. We can also take care of your insurance, export and importation documentation, and we offer secure and affordable options when it comes to storage. Let us manage your move to Wellington for you and save you the hassle!