Should You Visit Wellington?

Are you thinking about visiting Wellington, New Zealand? Here's what you need to know before planning your trip.


Is Wellington worth visiting?

Wellington is worth visiting for two to three days so that you can explore everything that the city has to offer. Wellington is the small and vibrant capital city of New Zealand. It's located on the southern end of the North Island, and many visitors pass through it on their way from one island to the other. The city is surrounded by rolling hills and there are many beaches in the area. It's often mentioned as one of the best places to visit in major publications, such as in The Rough Guide's Best Travel Destinations for 2023.

Wellington, New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand

Reasons to Visit Wellington

Food
There are waterfront restaurants and a vibrant cafe scene around town. You'll also find local markets and many diverse eateries that you can explore.

Nightlife
The best nightlife scene is found along Courtenay Place. There you'll find nightclubs, pubs, and cocktail bars. Cuba Street is another fun area with a bit more of a local vibe, and the waterfront is another great nightlife district in the city.

Beaches
There are nice beaches within walking distance of the city center. There are also beaches that are well worth the drive if you're looking to get a bit out of town. In the summer months, there are swimming beaches, and year around they have nice views and a good atmosphere.

Shopping
For the city's best shopping, head to the "Golden Mile". This is the area defined by Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place. There are boutique designers and high end fashion outlets throughout the area. The city also has many great markets and local shopping areas.

Museums
As the capital city, you'll find a number of museums and sights around town. Check out the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Beehive, the Wellington Museum, and the City Gallery.

Hiking
The area has rolling hills and beautiful coastlines that are filled with walking trails and scenic views. Some of the more popular trails in the area are the Red Rocks walk and the City-to-Sea walk.




Is Wellington worth visiting in the Summer?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during summer with average temperatures around 18°C (64°F).

The peak season for travel is summer in Wellington, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is quite touristy, so in the high season it's busier than usual. You'll see larger crowds and longer lines, as well as higher prices. On the other hand, there's plenty to see and do at this time of year because everything is open.

Visiting the nearby beaches is one of the most popular things to do this time of year, so spend some time enjoying the waves and sand. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. This is a great time of year to relax at the beach, discover the nearby hiking trails, and browse the museums. Also, you can check out the nightlife.


Summer Weather in Wellington
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 18°C (64°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
February 18°C (64°F) 51 mm (2 in)
March 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)

Is Wellington worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Wellington. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you'll still come across plenty of touriss. However, the prices tend to be a little cheaper.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 15°C (58°F).

You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to spend time at the museums and get out into nature.


Autumn Weather in Wellington
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 15°C (58°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)
June 10°C (51°F) 113 mm (4.4 in)

Is Wellington worth visiting in the Winter?

This is the low season for travel in Wellington. This destination is quite touristy, but in the low season you'll see fewer crowds and much better prices.

The weather in Wellington can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 10°C (49°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

You'll like that you can take public transit easily in the winter, too. You can get around quickly while avoiding bad weather if needed. During this season it's fun to experience the museums and landmarks, the cuisine, and the nightlife.


Winter Weather in Wellington
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 10°C (49°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
August 10°C (50°F) 98 mm (3.9 in)
September 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)

Is Wellington worth visiting in the Spring?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 13°C (55°F).

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Wellington, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you'll still come across plenty of touriss. However, the prices tend to be a little cheaper.

This is a great time of year to browse the shops, wander through the museums, and enjoy the evening activities.


Spring Weather in Wellington
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 13°C (55°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)
November 15°C (58°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
December 17°C (62°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Wellington

Not As Romantic
For couples, this destination does not have a great vibe for romance compared to other places.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Wellington might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Wellington here or see if Wellington is expensive here.

Related

What is Wellington most famous for?

Wellington is most famous for its waterfront promenade, quirky cafe culture, and relaxing beaches. People visit this impressive city for its great food, nightlife, beaches, and shopping. It's also known for museums and hiking. It is often described as funky, compact, and laid-back.

What is the most famous sight in Wellington?

The most popular sight in Wellington is Zealandia Ecosanctuary. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Wellington on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Zealandia Ecosanctuary and other attractions here.

How touristy is Wellington? Is it a popular city to visit?

Wellington is a popular city for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

  • Wellington Half Day Private Tour in Electric Tesla SUV: $163
  • Wellington Scenic Full Day Tour: $233
  • 30 Mins Lamborghini Supercar Passenger Experience: $136
  • Remutaka Rail Trail eBike Explorer Cycle Tour: $123
  • Remutaka Rail Trail eBike Explorer Cycle Tour: $123
  • Private Wellington Craft Beer Full Day Tour: $191
  • Wellington Full Day Private Tour in Electric Tesla SUV: $231
  • Star Safari Stargazing Experience, Martinborough: $62

How long should I spend in Wellington?

The ideal length of time for a trip to Wellington is two to three days. Since Wellington has activities such as nightlife, beaches, shopping, and dining, many visit for up to three days.

If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Wellington?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Wellington?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Wellington?.