Getting To And Around Wellington

Getting to and around Wellington New Zealand

Getting To And Around Wellington

Are you looking at Wellington for your next getaway destination?

Well, if you are, this article will be of great help in helping you plan and sort your directions there and within the city.

Finding the transportation that suits your travel plans the best may need some research.

With that, you have come to the right place for help!

Continue reading on to find out how you can travel to Wellington, as well as the various options to get around the city. 

Also, be sure to check out these great hotels in Wellington!

Getting to Wellington

By plane

First off, one of the most viable options would be by planes. Wellington International Airport is located in Rongotai, an approximate 5km away from the central city.

The airport hosts both domestic and international flights, making it a major transit point for travellers.

There are multiple flights served between the states of New Zealand and international flights from Australia also arrive about two times daily.

From the airport, visitors can hop onto the Airport Flyer Bus to get to the CBD.

The bus departs on a regular schedule until 9 pm.

Bus tickets are priced at $12 to Wellington and $18 to Lower Hutt.

The bus stop is located on the ground level of the car park, simply exit the terminal via exit E and follow the signs.

For those travelling in groups, a better alternative would be a ride-sharing service like Uber and one ride to the CBD would usually cost  $20.

For other transport services like taxis and shuttle vans, they would be found directly outside the terminal. 

By boat

Alternatively, boats can also be considered as regular ferries operate between Wellington and Picton, in which these services are provided by Interislander and Bluebridge.

They connect with buses and train to Christchurch.

The Bluebridge terminal is located beside the railway station and the Interislander terminal is only 2km away from the railway station.

For international travellers, some cruise ships also stop at Wellington. 

By road

Next, for those who opt to travel by road, Wellington is located at the South of the North Island and it can be accessed via State Highway 1 and 2.

The following are the approximate travelling distance and timing to the Wellington City centre:

  • Auckland: 640 km, 8 hours
  • Hamilton: 520 km, 6.5 hours
  • Masterton: 100 km, 1.5 hours
  • Napier: 310 km, 4.5 hours
  • New Plymouth: 460 km, 5 hours
  • Palmerston North: 140 km, 2 hours
  • Rotorua: 460 km, 6 hours

By train 

As for trains, there is a train service called the Northern Explorer Train which runs between Wellington and Auckland, with departures happening every Saturday, Monday, and Thursday from Auckland, and every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday from Wellington.

On every other day, there is a commuter service that operates once a day from Palmerston North.

As for Masterton and Wairarapa, the service operates several times a day.

By bus

Another option would be the buses.

The National Bus carrier, the InterCity Coachline provides bus services daily to Wellington across the North Island.

All the services depart and arrive at Platform 9 of the Wellington Railway Station.

Express bus services are also operated daily by Skip Bus, which runs from major cities in North Island.

Travelling Around Wellington

By Bus

When it comes to buses, Wellington boasts an extensive network.

The electric trolleybuses were phased in 2017 due to the ageing population and the impending arrival of battery-electric buses.

Free network maps, as well as timetables, are provided at multiple locations across the town, such as convenience stores, the Central Library, and the main visitor centre in Civic Square.

If not, they are also available online.

Onto the bus routes, they usually run along most of the route length so there are no long waiting times to catch a ride.

By Train

Train services are available via the Metlink’s suburban rail network, which connects central Wellington with the northern suburbs.

The timings and destination of the departing trains are shown on the message board at the platform entrance.

Announcements are played a few minutes before train departure, so listen out for them.

You can buy your tickets at the Wellington Station ticket office.

However as some smaller stations lack ticket offices, you may purchase single journey tickets from the train conductor using cash.

By Foot

The core of Wellington is structured in a way that walking is the ideal way for exploration.

With a linear core, the commercial backbone lies in the Golden Mile, a delightful walking route that runs from Railway Station down to Lambton Quay to its southern end at Willis Street.

Subsequently, it runs down lower to Manners Street and proceeds to Courtenay Place.

At Manners Street, the route crosses Cuba Street, which will lead you to the core of Te Aro.

By cable car

Moving on, we have the Kelburn cable car as the icon of transport in Wellington.

Regular services are operated between Kelburn and Lambton Quay.

To get to the Welling city terminal, head towards the end of the Cable Car Lane, which is just off Lambton Quay and near the interaction with Grey Street.

On the other hand, the Kelburn terminal is located at the end of Upland Road.

By taxi

Taxis are another travel option to get around and the rates differ from company to company.

One thing to note would be the “flag fall” charge and it charges per kilometre once the cab starts moving.

Also, extra fees apply for instances like booking via the phone, airport pickup, electronic payment.

Do check the fare rates on the door of the taxi before you board it. Some of the bigger taxi companies in Wellington include the likes of Combined, Green, Corporate, and Kiwi.

Besides these mentioned, multiple alternatives exist and hence, there is no need to worry about a lack of supply in taxis.

Otherwise, ridesharing services are available and Uber is one of them.

Uber has more drivers in comparison and the waiting time to get a ride is usually very quick.

By car

In terms of travelling by car, we note that driving is not exactly as convenient as just going on foot.

Nevertheless, travelling by car is also not complicated once you get used to the one-way system.

At the same time, there is no need to fret about the traffic outside peak hours.

Street parking may not be difficult but finding a spot usually would take quite a search, as with any city.

The rates are metered at $4 per hour, often with a one to two hours duration limit.

Multi-story car parks are priced similarly but cars can be parked for a longer duration.

In the suburbs, coupon parking zones exist together with Resident Only Parking and on weekends, metered car parking is free, with a limit of two hours. 

By boat

Last but not least, ferry services by the Eastbourne ferry service run regularly between Queens Wharf and Days Bay, which stops at Somes Island for most trips. 


With that, we have reached the end of this article and we hope that this has been an informative and insightful read for you.

We wish you all the best in your planning for the trip, have fun and bon voyage!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *