Wellington life

Find out more about what Wellington has to offer.

Wellington offers something special. Our students can take advantage of the capital city’s position as central to New Zealand’s culture, creative arts and science endeavours, as well as the home of government and many international businesses. Wellington’s unique and compact character makes the University a great place to be a student—our students enjoy, and are a big part of, the city’s liveliness and its diverse, cosmopolitan feel.

Picturesque and accessible

Looking out on its busy harbour, Wellington is a beautiful city that makes the best use of its natural setting. It’s a thriving capital city that is still compact and easy to get around. Just five minutes from the centre of town and you can be playing volleyball on a sandy beach or mountain-biking in native bush.

The bustling capital

Wellington has an excellent public transport system, a vibrant nightlife centred on Cuba Street and Courtenay Place and something for everyone with great shopping, beaches, miles of coastline to explore, mountain-bike trails, galleries, museums, restaurants, festivals and live shows every night of the week. You can swim, kayak, surf, windsurf and sail all within 15 minutes of the centre of the city. Wellington is the hometown of Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, and has a lively music and theatre scene, not to mention the best cafe culture in the country.

One of a kind

Our capital city status means that Wellington is home to many national organisations and treasures found nowhere else in the country, including Parliament, Te Papa, the highest courts in the country, the National Library, Zealandia and the New Zealand Film Archive, as well as the highest concentration of science organisations in New Zealand.


Wellington is a compact city and walking is one of the best ways to get around. Bus route and timetable information is available from the Metlink website.


  • Warmest month: February (17°C average)
  • Coldest month: July (8.7°C average)

Art collection

Victoria University of Wellington started its own collection of New Zealand art over 50 years ago through staff donations, and built up with the aid of university funding. It is a significant collection in its own right and is unique among New Zealand universities. Most of the 250 works are exhibited permanently in public areas of the campus, with Colin McCahon’s Gate III on display in the University's Adam Art Gallery.

Lunchtime concerts

The New Zealand School of Music presents free lunchtime concerts to the public on Thursdays during term time in the Adam Concert Room, located off Kelburn Parade, Gate 7. These are advertised on the NZSM events page.

Lunchtime seminars

These cover a wide range of topics of specific and general interest and are advertised our events page.

Recreation Centre

The University's Recreation Centre, located on the Kelburn Campus, is similar to any downtown gym and provides a membership scheme for staff and students. The Recreation Centre includes a large gymnasium along with dance, weights and multipurpose sports rooms. Classes are held for a range of activities.


Some of the major events that occurred in Wellington city can be found on the Wellington City Council website.