Wellington, New Zealand 

The capital, at the southern tip of the North Island, is a cosmopolitan centre of government and commerce. It is known for its winds, its winding streets, and its homes clinging to the hillsides. But above all Œ its harbour. Wellington has one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and rejoices in the motto, ioSuprema a situlr, supreme by site. The original site was the flat delta shaped land at Petone. The town was then called Britannia, making New Zealand’s major cities start with the letters A, B, C, and D (Auckland, Britannia, Christchurch, and Dunedin).

Wellington became the capital in 1865 when the seat of government was transferred from Auckland. Until the earthquake of 1855 most of the land now lying between Lambton Quay and the waterfront did not exist. The Hutt motorway and the railway now runs along an uplifted part of the seabed. The Port of Wellington serves other New Zealand ports and provides links with other parts of the world. It is the North Island terminal for the Cook Strait ferry service.

Average Temperatures in Wellington (°C)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
17°C 17°C 15°C 14°C 12°C 10°C 9°C 10°C 11°C 12°C 14°C 16°C

Featured Shore Tours from Wellington 


  • Te Papa & Capital City Highlights WLG-000

    Experience the best of Wellington at Te Papa museum followed by a trip to Mount Victoria and to downtown Wellington! Discover Te Papa’s taonga Maori...

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  • Scenic Wellington & Cable Car WLG-010

    Take in some of Wellington’s most famous sites from waterfront to mountain top during this overview of the best of Wellington’s sights. Experience...

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  • Explore Windy Wellington WLG-015

    Departing from your ship, this tour will travel past some of the city’s most famous icons before heading out to New Zealand’s largest Wind Farm. Get...

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  • In The Footsteps Of The Lord Of The Rings WLG-030

    Experience Middle Earth in New Zealand. Visit the locations featured in the film trilogy and learn how the magic of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was...

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  • The Storm Coast WLG-035

    Take a scenic drive along Wellington Harbour’s magnificent coastline that has claimed many shipwrecks and is dotted with quaint villages and quiet...

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  • Te Papa & Zealandia Eco Experience WLG-052

    See the best of Wellington with a guided tour of Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary and Te Papa Experience. Travel to Zealandia’s Sanctuary, a 250 hectare...

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  • Matiu Somes Island WLG-055

    Your guide will meet you at the Cruise ship terminal. From here we board the Cruise Ship City Shuttle to Brandon St. It’s then a short hop across the...

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  • Wellington Historical Inner Citywalksz WLG-065

    Citywalksz provides informative and entertaining tours in Auckland, Tauranga, Mt. Maunganui, Napier, Wellington, Picton, Akaroa and Dunedin. Take the...

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  • 4WD Seal Coast Safari WLG-045

    Get up close to the resident New Zealand fur seal at Tongue Point and Sinclair Head on this amazing tour! Leaving Wellington city behind in a...

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More about Wellington 

Docking / Disembarkation 

Your P&O ship docks in Wellington Harbour, approximately 3.2 kilometres from the city centre. For a small charge, shuttle buses will be available pier side to transfer you to a designated drop-off location in the city. Please see your daily onboard newsletter for further details.


Taxis are available pier-side and throughout the city.


Wellington is an ideal shopping destination as the city is very compact. To find the highest concentration of shops, visit the Lambton Quarter, located along Lambton Quay, Customhouse Quay and the streets between. Here you’ll find numerous shopping malls, department stores, as well as smaller independent stores and boutiques. Popular buys include woodwork, sheepskin and wool items, clothing plus arts and crafts.

Shops are generally open Monday through Thursday, 8:30am to 5:30pm; Friday, 8:30am to 9:00pm; and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm or 4:00pm, depending on the store. Although most stores are closed on Sunday, some are open from 10:00am to 4:00pm.


Wellington is famous for its restaurants, wine and coffee with more than 300 cafes and restaurants located throughout the city.


Wellington’s mean maximum temperature in summer is 20.3ºC with the minimum being 13.4ºC. The mean daily maximum in winter is 11.3ºC and the minimum is 6.2ºC.


Tipping in New Zealand is optional. Tips are usually given only for exceptional service. Between five and ten percent of the bill would be reasonable in a good restaurant if the service has been excellent.

Credit Cards 

Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines provide currency to foreign card holders.

Telephones International and Local 

Public telephones are available at the pier terminal and throughout the city.

What To Wear Ashore 

To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please ensure that you wear comfortable, flat soled shoes and a hat, and bring along some sunscreen and bottled water. It’s also a good idea to bring a warm, waterproof jacket – just in case the wind comes up or it rains.

Shore Tours 

There are a variety of tours available for you to enjoy during your time in Wellington. Subject to availability tours may be booked onboard at the Shore Tours Desk.

Passengers will meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to the daily onboard newsletter for the correct place and time. Your friendly Shore Tour staff will be at that location to assist you.

How to book

To take advantage of our fantastic low cost cruises, book now. Visit your travel agent or call 13 24 94 for Australian bookings or 0800 780 716 for New Zealand bookings.

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Wellington Port Guide

For all you need to know about Wellington download our P&O Cruises Port Guide



New Zealand at a Glance

SIZE: 268,680 sq km
POPULATION: 4,076,140 (as at July 2006)
LANGUAGE: English and Te Reo Maori
TYPE OF GOVERNMENT: Parliamentary Democracy
CURRENCY: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)