Wellington - Cruise Overview

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This sophisticated yet friendly city has all this urban excitement within earshot of untouched nature spots.

Nestled between a picturesque harbour and forest clad hills, Wellington boasts museums, galleries, boutique shopping, trendy cafés and fine restaurants. The national museum of Te Papa is a favourite among visitors and locals alike.Wellington's compact size makes it easy to walk around and its proximity to the ocean and native forests makes it an ideal place to enjoy nature. It's no surprise Lonely Planet labelled Wellington “the coolest little capital in the world” in its Best in Travel 2011 guidebook.

Popular onshore activities in Wellington

  • Visit Te Papa, the new generation national museum. Interactive exhibits and technology tell New Zealand's stories and history.
  • Experience chic café culture at one of Wellington’s many eateries. Coffee in Wellington is world-class!
  • Ride Wellington’s iconic red cable car, see stunning views from Mt Victoria, and stroll through the Wellington Botanic Garden.
  • Lord of the Rings location tours are available for those who want to visit sites around Wellington used during filming. Make sure you pop into the Weta Cave Museum.
  • Take a step back in time at Zealandia, just 10 minutes from the cruise terminal– a 500-year conservation plan in action and a wonderful place to wander. If you have time, go and see endangered fur seals on Wellington’s South Coast.

Getting around

Most cruise ships arriving into Wellington berth at Aotea Quay, a 20 minute walk from the central city. Some smaller ships dock at Queen’s Wharf, right in the centre of the city.

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by friendly and helpful locals who can supply you with maps and important information such as where to find money changing facilities. Within the Wellington cruise terminal, you can find visitor information as well as phone, internet and restroom facilities.

Check with your cruise ship for shuttle services from the pier into the city centre with drop off at Kirkcaldie & Stains department store on the corner of Lambton Quay and Brandon Street. If you’re looking for local assistance you can call into the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, located in Civic Square in the centre of town.

On foot

Wellington is a compact city, ideal for exploring on foot. Great shopping can be found on Lambton Quay, while some of New Zealand’s best restaurants, cafés and bars are in Courtney Place, about 35 minutes’ walk from Aotea Quay, or 15 minutes’ walk from Queen’s Wharf.

Public buses

It’s easy to get around the inner city and surrounding suburbs on Wellington’s modern public bus network. A bus to locations in the central city will cost approximately NZ$2, while bus trips to the suburbs will be approximately NZ$3 - 5.

Freephone 0800 801 700 or visit www.metlink.org.nz for timetables and fares.


Taxis are available to take you into the centre of Wellington from Aotea Quay or Queen’s Wharf. Corporate Cabs can be contacted on (04) 387 4600, or visit online at www.corporatecabs.co.nz

Corporate Cabs accepts New Zealand dollars and major credit cards.

Car rental

It’s a good idea to book rental cars in advance. Find a rental car in Wellington.


The East By West Wellington harbour ferry provides a link between the city (Queens Wharf) and the seaside village of Days Bay on the north-east side of Wellington harbour, with an optional stop at Matiu/Somes Island, a predator free, scientific reserve in the middle of Wellington harbour. One way tickets cost from NZ$10.

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