Hire a vehicle in Wellington and enjoy
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the second-largest city in New Zealand by metro area, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region. It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed. Often referred to as New Zealand's cultural capital, the culture of Wellington is a diverse and often youth-driven one which has wielded influence across Oceania. One of the world's most liveable cities, the 2021 Global Livability Ranking tied Wellington with Tokyo as fourth in the world.
Averaging 2,055 hours of sunshine per year, the climate of Wellington is temperate marine, generally moderate all year round with warm summers and mild winters, and rarely sees temperatures above 23 °C (73 °F) or below 4 °C (39 °F). The hottest recorded temperature in the city is 31.1 °C (88 °F), while -1.9 °C (29 °F) is the coldest. The city is notorious for its southerly blasts in winter, which may make the temperature feel much colder. It is generally very windy all year round with high rainfall; average annual rainfall is 1,250 mm (49 in), June and July being the wettest months. Frosts are quite common in the hill suburbs and the Hutt Valley between May and September.
12.7°C / 59.4°F
Average annual temperatures
1250.4mm / 49.23inches
Average annual precipitation
Average annual precipitation days
Wellington recommended destinations
- The Wellington Cable Car
- Mount Kaukau
- Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne
- Matiu Somes Island
- Wellington Zoo
- Castlepoint Lighthouse
The Wellington Cable Car
Every 10 minutes, the bright red Wellington Cable Car departs from Lambton Quay and makes its way up into the hills of Kelburn.On the five-minute journey upwards, the Cable Car rises 120m over a length of 612m. It travels through three tunnels and over three bridges. From the top, it offers spectacular views of the city below.A milestone in engineering when it opened in February 1902, this is New Zealand's only remaining funicular railway.
The summit of Mount Kaukau is the most visible high point in Wellington and provides panoramic views of the city and harbour as well as the Remutaka and Tararua Ranges to the north. It can be reached via the Skyline Track, a five-hour walk that is regarded as one of Wellington's best. The terrain can be challenging and exposed in places, with plenty of steep undulations, but you'll be rewarded with skyward views across the entire Wellington region.
Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne
Across the city, the sound of native birds can be heard thanks to some forward-thinking folk who created Zealandia, a pioneering sanctuary that's turned back time on Wellington's native environment. The world's first fully-fenced ecosanctuary, Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne is an incredible slice of wilderness. It's not what you'd expect to find a few minutes drive from the central city, but Wellington is all about the unexpected.
Matiu Somes Island
Situated in the middle of Wellington's stunning harbour, Matiu/Somes Island is a tranquil retreat for both wildlife and visitors. The island, a predator-free scientific and historic reserve, is owned by local iwi (Taranaki Whānui) and managed by the Department of Conservation. Visitors can wander among native plant and bird life and take in the stunning views around the harbour. The island can be reached on the East by West ferry which runs daily.
Thoroughly modern and dedicated to conservation and sustainability, Wellington Zoo has a big heart. From solving a tiger's itchy ears to keeping native penguins well-fed, their team know how to keep animals happy and put their welfare first. Walking around Wellington Zoo, set in the suburb of Newtown a short trip from central Wellington, you'll see a bunch of extremely well looked after creatures in comfy habitats.
A lighthouse perched theatrically atop a rugged cliff overlooking the wild sea below, Castlepoint Lighthouse is an Instagrammer's dream. It's 23 metres high and the tallest lighthouse in the North Island and was brought in by boat, hauled up to the site by a team of horses and assembled on-site. From the vantage point of the lighthouse, you can take in dramatic views out to sea and spot seabirds and perhaps even a fur seal. Castlepoint is a 2.5-hour drive from Wellington city.