Moving & Shipping to Wellington, New Zealand: 2022 Guide

Moving to a new city is probably one of the biggest challenges you will ever face in your life. Unless you’ve been fortunate enough to have grown up with an amazingly supportive family and friends, chances are that leaving your home to move somewhere far away from it won’t be easy. 

Moving also comes with very real logistical challenges, such as finding temporary accommodations and shipping all your belongings in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  

We get it: moving can be stressful! Fortunately for you, we have compiled the ultimate guide on how to move to Wellington and ship your things there.    

Read on and find out everything you need to know about moving to Wellington. 

Wellington Quick Facts  

Population: 212,700 

Official Language: English 

GDP per capita: $63,000 (US) 

Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD) 

Reasons to Move to Wellington

As the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is the seat of government and the country’s political center. Located on the southern tip of the North Island, Wellington is also the country’s second-largest urban area after Auckland. Wellington is divided into four areas: Wellington City, Porirua, Lower Hutt, and Upper Hutt. 

Wellington is known for its vibrant culture and diverse population. The city is home to many museums, art galleries, theaters, and other performing arts venues. Wellington also has a lively music scene, with a number of live music venues and festivals throughout the year. 

The “Coolest Little Capital in the World”

Wellington has been nicknamed the “coolest little capital in the world,” and it’s easy to see why! The city is filled with hip cafes and bars, trendy shops, and a lively nightlife scene. There’s always something going on in Wellington, whether it’s a cultural event, a food or wine festival, or simply exploring one of the many parks or hiking trails in the area. 

A Vibrant and Diverse Culture 

One of the things that makes Wellington so special is its diversity. The city is home to people from all over the world, including Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand), Pacific Islanders, Asians, Europeans, and more. This diversity is reflected in Wellington’s food scene, with cuisine from all corners of the globe available to enjoy. 

An Outdoor Lover’s Paradise

If you love being outdoors, then you’ll feel right at home in Wellington! The city is surrounded by hills and mountains, as well as picturesque beaches – perfect for hiking, biking, swimming, or simply taking in stunning views. And when winter comes around, there are plenty of ski fields just a short drive away where you can hit the slopes! 

The best things to Do in Wellington


  • Visit the Wellington Zoo

The Wellington Zoo is a great place to visit for animal lovers of all ages. With over 500 animals from all over the world, the zoo offers something for everyone. In addition to the animals, the zoo also has a variety of interactive exhibits and educational programs. 


  • Explore the Wellington Botanic Garden

The Wellington Botanic Garden is a must-see for nature lovers. With over 25 hectares of land to explore, the garden is home to a variety of plants and trees from all over the world. The garden also has a number of walking trails, making it the perfect place to spend a day outdoors. 


  • Taste the local food and wine

In Wellington, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in New Zealand, so don’t miss out on trying some local cuisine. The city is also home to several wineries, so be sure to sample some of the local wines while you’re in town. 

Moving to Wellington: What to Expect?

Moving to Wellington can be a great decision for many people. The city offers a lot in terms of job opportunities, things to do, and quality of life. However, you should be aware of some drawbacks to living in Wellington before making the move. 


  • Great job market

Wellington is home to many large businesses and organizations, so there are plenty of job opportunities available. 


  • Things to do 

There are plenty of things to keep you busy in Wellington, from museums and art galleries to outdoor activities and nightlife. 


  • Beautiful scenery

Wellington is located on the coast, so you can enjoy beautiful views of the ocean and nearby mountains. 


  • Quality of life

Overall, people tend to report a high quality of life when living in Wellington. This is likely due in part to the city’s low crime rate and diverse population. 


  • Expensive housing

Housing costs in Wellington are some of the highest in the country, making it difficult to find affordable accommodation. 


  • It can be cold and rainy

Due to its location on the coast, Wellington often experiences cooler temperatures and more rainfall than other parts of New Zealand. 

Adjusting to Life in Wellington 

When you first move to Wellington, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. After all, you’re in a new city with new people and a new place to call home. But don’t worry, there are plenty of resources available to help you settle into your new home in Wellington. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is find somewhere to live. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking online or contacting a real estate agent. 

Once you’ve found a place, the next step is to make it feel like home. Start by unpacking your belongings and decorating your space according to your taste. Then, get out and explore your new neighborhood. 

Get to know the local businesses and meet your neighbors. Finally, take some time to relax and adjust to your new surroundings. 

Getting Around Wellington 

One of the best things about Wellington is that it’s incredibly easy to get around. Whether you’re commuting to work or exploring the city on weekends, there are plenty of options for getting around town. The most popular form of transportation in Wellington is public transport. 

The bus system is reliable and efficient, and some trains and ferries run regularly throughout the day. If you prefer not to drive, there are also plenty of Uber and taxi services available. And if you want to explore the city on foot or by bike, Wellington is very pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of sidewalks and bike lanes. 

Meeting People in Wellington 

One of the best ways to adjust to life in a new city is by meeting people and making friends. And luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for meeting people in Wellington. There are many different social clubs and groups that meet regularly, so finding one that interests you should be easy enough. 

You can also meet people by volunteering or taking part in community events. Another great way to meet people is through work or school. If you’re feeling shy or introverted, don’t worry – there are many ways to meet people without putting yourself out there too much. 

Just remember that adjusting to a new city takes time, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while before you feel completely comfortable. 

Immersing Yourself in the Wellington Lifestyle 

Once you’ve settled into your new home and made some friends, it’s time to start enjoying all that Wellington has to offer. This vibrant city has something for everyone, from world-class museums and galleries to exciting nightlife to beautiful parks and gardens. There’s always something going on in Wellington, so get out there and explore! 

Making the Most of Living in Wellington

Wellington is known as the “coffee capital” of New Zealand, and for good reason! There are dozens of excellent cafes and coffee roasters scattered throughout the city, so you’ll never be far from a great cup of joe. Make sure to check out some of the local favorites like Flight Coffee, Mojo Coffee, and Caffe L’affare. 


  • Get involved in the city’s many festivals and events

Wellington is a city that knows how to have a good time! Throughout the year, there are all sorts of festivals and events happening, from music festivals like Laneway and Splore to foodie events like Beervana and the Wellington On a Plate festival. There’s something for everyone, so get out there and enjoy yourself! 


  • Explore Wellington’s stunning natural surroundings 

One of the best things about Wellington is its proximity to some amazing natural scenery. Just a short drive or bus ride out of the city will take you to places like the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata, Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park, or even across Cook Strait to Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park. So get exploring – you won’t be disappointed! 

Moving & Shipping Costs to Wellington 


  • Airfreight 

The cost of shipping your belongings to Wellington by air will vary depending on the size and weight of your shipment, as well as the distance from your current location. For example, shipping a standard 20-foot container from Los Angeles to Wellington will cost approximately $5,000. 


  • Sea freight 

Shipping your belongings to Wellington by sea is generally more affordable than airfreight, but it will take longer for your shipment to arrive (usually between 8-12 weeks). The cost of shipping a 20-foot container from Los Angeles to Wellington by sea is approximately $3,000. 


  • Moving costs 

In addition to the cost of shipping your belongings, you will also need to budget for the cost of actually moving to Wellington. This includes the cost of transportation (flights, car rental, etc.), accommodation, and any other associated costs, such as visas and vaccinations. 

Wellington Housing Costs & Best Places to Live 

The average rent prices in Wellington are as follows: 

  • 1-bedroom apartment: NZ$ 2,000 per month 


  • 2-bedroom apartment: NZ$ 3,100 per month 


  • 3-bedroom apartment: NZ$ 4,500 per month 


If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, there are plenty of options available as well. For example, you could look into renting a room in a shared house or flat, which typically costs between NZ$350 and NZ$550 per month. 

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try your hand at couch surfing! 

Best Places to Live in Wellington 

Now that you know a little bit more about the average rent prices in Wellington, let’s take a look at some of the best places to live in the city. 

If you’re looking for an area that’s close to all the action, then we recommend checking out Te Aro. This vibrant inner-city neighborhood is home to many of Wellington’s best cafes, bars, and restaurants. Plus, it’s just a short walk from the CBD (central business district). However, because it is such a popular area, rents can be on the higher side. 

Another great option is Thorndon. This suburb is located just north of the CBD and is known for its beautiful Victorian-style houses and leafy streets. It’s also home to many embassies and government offices, so it has a very international feel. Rents in Thorndon are generally lower than those in Te Aro but still relatively high when compared to other suburbs in Wellington. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable but still want to be close to the city center, then we recommend considering Oriental Bay or Island Bay. These two suburbs are located just south of the CBD and offer stunning views of Wellington Harbour. They’re also both within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The downside is that they can be quite windy due to their coastal location. 

Finally, if you want to experience all that Wellington has to offer but don’t mind being located further away from the city center, we suggest looking into one of the many suburbs located on the outskirts of town. 

Some of our favorites include Johnsonville (known for its quaint village feel), Khandallah (a popular choice amongst families), and Tawa (a great option for first-time buyers). While these suburbs may not have all the conveniences of inner-city living, they tend to be much more affordable and offer a slower-paced lifestyle. 

Cost of Living in Wellington 

One of the first things you’ll notice when moving to Wellington is how expensive it is. The cost of living in Wellington is significantly higher than in other parts of New Zealand. 

Here are some examples of typical costs in Wellington: 

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city canter: $2,000-$3,000 per month 


  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water, trash): $200-$300 per month 


  • Groceries for one person: $100-$150 per week 


  • Public transportation pass: $60-$80 per month 


  • One meal at a mid-range restaurant: $30-$40 


  • A cup of coffee at a café: $4-$5 


As you can see, the cost of living in Wellington can be quite high. However, there are ways to save money. For example, many people choose to live outside of the city center, in the suburbs like Lower Hutt or Porirua, which can be much cheaper. 

Additionally, there are often discounts and specials available on groceries and other items if you know where to look. With a little bit of effort, it is possible to find ways to save money and still enjoy everything that Wellington has to offer. 

Transportation in Wellington  

As the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is very well-connected, both within the city and to other parts of the country. The public transportation system in Wellington is reliable and efficient, making it easy to get around without a car. 

There are a few different options for public transportation in Wellington. The bus system is comprehensive and covers all areas of the city. Buses run frequently and on time, making it easy to get where you need to go. There is also a light rail system, which connects the central business district with the suburbs. 

For those who prefer to walk or cycle, there are plenty of pedestrian- and bike-friendly routes throughout the city. 

If you do need to use a car, there are several options for parking in Wellington. On-street parking is available in most areas but can be difficult to find during peak times. There are also several off-street parking options, including garages and parking lots. 

Parking rates vary depending on the location and time of day but are generally reasonable. 

Education & Schooling in Wellington 

Wellington is home to some of New Zealand’s top schools and universities. If you’re thinking of moving to Wellington with your family, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of excellent education options available. 

  • Primary & secondary schools in Wellington 

There are many great primary and secondary schools in Wellington, both state-run and private. Some of the city’s most popular schools include Wellington College, Rongotai College, and Samuel Marsden Collegiate School. Whichever type of school you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a good option in Wellington. 


  • Universities in Wellington 

Wellington is also home to several top universities, including Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University. These universities offer a wide range of courses between them, so whatever you’re interested in studying, you should be able to find a program that’s right for you. 

Healthcare in Wellington  

Wellington is home to plenty of excellent healthcare facilities. The public hospital system in Wellington is world-class, and there are also plenty of private hospitals and clinics that provide excellent care. 

There are many reasons why healthcare in Wellington is so good. First of all, the city has a large number of highly qualified doctors and other medical professionals. Secondly, Wellington’s hospitals are well-equipped with the latest technology and facilities. Finally, the city has a strong commitment to providing high-quality healthcare to all residents. 

One of the best things about healthcare in Wellington is that it is affordable for everyone. There are several free or low-cost public hospitals and clinics, as well as many private providers who offer competitive rates. This means that you can get the care you need without having to worry about the cost. 

If you’re thinking of moving to Wellington, then you can be confident that you’ll be able to access high-quality healthcare. Whether you need general medical care or specialist treatment, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in Wellington. 

Weather in Wellington  

The climate in Wellington is temperate, with relatively warm summers and cool winters. The average temperature in summer is 22 degrees Celsius, and in winter, it is 10 degrees Celsius. Wellington experiences high winds throughout the year, which can make the weather feel colder than it actually is. 

Wellington is known as the “Windy City” for a reason – it experiences high winds throughout the year! The average wind speed in Wellington is 20km/h. Stronger gusts can reach up to 100km/h, making it feel quite cold even on sunny days. If you’re thinking of moving to Wellington, be sure to pack some warm clothes! 

Wellington also gets a lot of rainfall. The city averages about 1,340mm of rain per year – that’s more than double the national average! However, most of this rain falls during the winter months, so you can still enjoy plenty of sunny days during the summer. Just be sure to pack an umbrella! 

Moving to Wellington Alone 

If you’re considering making the move to Wellington by yourself, you should consider a few things. First and foremost, Wellington is an incredibly friendly and welcoming city, so you’ll never find yourself feeling alone here. In fact, many people who move to Wellington find that they quickly make friends and feel right at home. 

Of course, moving to any new city can be daunting, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with the city layout, public transportation system, and any other pertinent information that will make your transition smoother. Additionally, be sure to budget for your move carefully – depending on where you’re coming from and how much stuff you have, shipping costs can add up quickly. 

But don’t let any of this dissuade you – moving to Wellington is an incredibly rewarding experience and one that you won’t regret. 

Moving to Wellington With a Family 

If you’re moving to Wellington with your family, there are a few things you need to know to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are some tips: 

  • Choose the right neighborhood

The first step is to choose the right neighborhood for your family. Consider your budget, commute, schools, and other needs when making your decision. There are many great neighborhoods in Wellington, so take your time and find the perfect one for your family. 


  • Get organized before the move

The next step is to get organized before the actual move. This means packing up all of your belongings, transferring utilities, and making travel arrangements. If you can, try to do as much as possible ahead of time so that you’re not rushed when it’s time to actually move. 


  • Settling into your new home

Once you’ve moved into your new home, it’s important to settle in and make it feel like yours. This may mean unpacking all of your boxes, hanging pictures on the walls, and getting familiar with your new surroundings. It can take some time to adjust to a new place, but eventually, you’ll feel right at home in Wellington. 

Moving to Wellington From the United Kingdom 

If you’re looking to move to Wellington from the United Kingdom, there are a few things you need to know. The first is that you’ll need a visa. The second is that you’ll need to ship your belongings over – and this can be expensive. 

Getting a Visa 

If you want to move to Wellington from the UK, you’ll need a visa. The good news is that there are many different types of visas available, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs. 

There are work visas, student visas, and family visas, among others. You can learn more about each type of visa on the New Zealand immigration website. 

Once you’ve decided which type of visa you need, you can apply for it online through the New Zealand immigration website. The application process is relatively simple, but it can take several weeks or even months to hear back about your application. 

Shipping Your Belongings Over 

Once you have your visa sorted out, it’s time to start thinking about shipping your belongings over. 

The first thing you need to do is figure out what items you want to bring with you. This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s important to make sure that everything you want to bring will actually fit in your new home in Wellington! Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start packing up your belongings into boxes or bags. 

You’ll then need to figure out how you’re going to ship them over. There are a few different options available, depending on how much stuff you’re shipping and how quickly you want it to arrive. 

For smaller shipments, you could use air freight, which is typically quicker but more expensive. For larger shipments, you might want to consider using sea freight, which takes longer but is usually cheaper. 

It’s important to compare prices before making a decision, as shipping costs can vary significantly depending on the company you choose and the shipping method you select. 


Shipping costs will vary depending on the size and weight of your shipment, but you can expect to pay anywhere from £1300 to £8000 for shipping. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to pay for any customs or import taxes that may be applicable. 

When planning your move, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to pack and organize your belongings. You’ll also need to book your shipment in advance with a reputable shipping company. 

Moving to Wellington From the United States 

If you’re planning on moving to Wellington from the United States, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help make your transition as smooth as possible: 


  • Start by doing your research 

Before making any big decisions, it’s important to do your research and make sure that moving to Wellington is the right choice for you. Consider things like job prospects, cost of living, and quality of life when making your decision. 


  • Get your finances in order 

Once you’ve decided to move to Wellington, it’s time to start getting your finances in order. This means saving up enough money to cover the cost of your move and any associated expenses (like rent, utilities, etc.). You’ll also want to make sure that you have health insurance coverage set up before making the move. 


  • Sort out your visa situation 

Unless you have a valid work visa or residency permit, you’ll need to apply for a visa before moving to Wellington. The process can be complicated, so it’s important to start early and allow yourself plenty of time to get everything sorted out. 


  • Choose a place to live 

One of the most important things when moving anywhere is finding a place to live. When looking for a place in Wellington, consider things like location, price, and whether or not it meets all of your needs. It’s also a good idea to visit potential places beforehand if possible, just to get a feel for them. 


  • Cost

The cost of shipping to Wellington from the United States will vary depending on the size and weight of your shipment, as well as the shipping method you choose. For example, shipping a small box via airfreight will be more expensive than shipping a larger box via sea freight. Additionally, if you are shipping items that are considered hazardous or perishable, there may be additional charges. 

Moving to Wellington From Canada 

If you’re looking to move to Wellington from Canada, there are a few things you need to know. Here’s what you need to keep in mind: 

You’ll need a valid passport and a visa. You can apply for a visa online or at your local embassy or consulate. 

Shipment of household goods can take up to eight weeks, so it’s important to start the process as soon as possible. 

You’ll need to arrange for health insurance before moving. The New Zealand public health system is good, but it doesn’t cover everyone. 

There are different rules for bringing pets into New Zealand. Make sure you research these before you travel. 

Finally, make sure you have enough money saved up. Moving to a new country is expensive, and you’ll want to have some cushion in case of unexpected expenses. 


The average cost of shipping a small household shipment (20-25 cubic feet) from Canada to Wellington is around $2,500. For larger shipments, the cost can be upwards of $5,000. If you’re moving your entire household, expect to pay between $10,000-$15,000 for shipping costs.


Though it might seem like a daunting process, moving to a new city is a great adventure. Wellington is an amazing city, and it is full of creative, open-minded people who love to welcome new friends and neighbors.   

If you are willing to put in a little bit of effort and planning, moving can be a truly wonderful experience. 

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