Everything You Need to Know about Wellington, New Zealand as a Port of Call

by Roger Allnutt

Situated around a beautiful harbour which is in fact the flooded centre of a huge extinct volcano Wellington has been the capital of New Zealand since 1865 (previously Auckland). On a fine day the location is superb but the city is often beset by strong winds and fog. No wonder it is known as the ‘Windy City’. It is the home of the national parliament and centre for the diplomatic core. The centre of the city is compact and known for its café culture and nightlife. Just to the north of the centre the historic suburb of Thorndon is worth a stroll – note all the wooden buildings.

Sydney, Australia
Queen Mary 2 at Wellington with Westpac football stadium behind

 Cruise Terminals Wellington, New Zealand

The dock for the larger cruise shills is Aotea Quay which is 2.3km (25 minute walk) from the city centre. The walk from Aotea Quay to the downtown area is uncovered and alongside a busy road so many passengers find it worth taking a taxi or coach, usually available as you disembark, to cover this short distance. Another pier Queens Wharf Terminal is closer to the city centre. Personally I think it is a pleasure to wander along Wellington’s stunning waterfront to the city from Aotea Quay.

Next to Aotea Quay is the newish Westpac Stadium mainly used for football codes and locally referred to as the ‘Cake Tin’ due to its shape and construction.

 Cruise Lines using Wellington, New Zealand

Cruise lines that use Wellington include P&O Australia Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises and Carnival.

Must See Attractions in Wellington, New Zealand

Te Papa Tongarewa Museum
Opened in 1998 in a spectacular location right on the Wellington waterfront the Te Papa Museum or ‘Our Place’ is deservedly the No.1 attraction. The six floors contain an impressive collection reflecting the history of New Zealand, its Maori culture and its flora and fauna. Much of New Zealand is located on an earthquake fault (as witnessed by the recent devastating quakes in Christchurch) and you can experience this in the special ‘quake’ house in the museum.

Wellington Botanic Gardens
With twenty five hectares of unique landscape including native forest, conifers, plant collections and colourful flora displays the Botanic Gardens are a lovely place to wander. The views from the gardens over the city are spectacular. Within the gardens don’t miss the Carter Observatory and Planetarium.

Cable Car
Most visitors to the Botanic Gardens catch the iconic cable car from Lambton Quay in the city. The cable car has been operating since 1902 although a new Swiss designed system was introduced in 1978. The lookout at the top provides great views and the Cable Car Museum is worth a visit. When large ships are in and the queue for the cable car is long take the No.3 trolley bus to the upper entrance of the gardens.

Parliament Buildings
New Zealand’s Parliament complex comprises three buildings. Of these the modernistic and very distinctive building known as the Beehive which houses the executive offices is the most photographed building in the city.

For a longer stay it is worth taking a tour northeast of the city to the lovely rural area of Wairapara noted for its sheep (around Masterton) and vineyards (around Martinborough).


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These are just a few of the more than 70 ports and cruise terminals to be featured here on the port pages which are being updated daily with more port destinations

 in Wellington, New Zealand

True to its nickname of “Windy Wellington” north-westerly airflows dominate the Wellington clinate.

The usual summer daytime temperatures range from 19°C to 29°C, and the usual winter temperatures from 9°C to 13°C.

Annual sunshine hours average about 20 hours.

 in New Zealand

New Zealand's currency is the New Zealand dollar that is written with the dollar sign $, or NZ$ to differ it from other dollar-denominated currencies

 of New Zealand

There are several languages used in New Zealand including New Zealand English, the official and dominant language, as well as Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

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