Living in Wellington

Wellington is ideal for student life. Compact and lively, New Zealand’s capital city is also the country’s political, scientific, and cultural heart.

Being a student in Wellington

Learn from the best

Victoria University of Wellington gives students opportunities to learn from the many national decision makers, top creative talents, and leading researchers based in Wellington.

Having a car is optional

The city is compact enough to get most places on foot. It also has an excellent public transport system that includes trains, buses, and one rather special cable car.

Be surrounded by natural goodness

Wellington is a beautiful region that makes the most of its natural setting. It’s home to a busy harbour, beaches, mountains, miles of coastline, and acres of native bush to explore.

Always have something to do

Whether you’re in search of active adventures, cultural experiences, special events, great cafés, fun activities, good shopping, a memorable night out, or just something free—Wellington’s got you covered every day of the week. Discover Wellington.

National organisations and research links

Wellington is home to many national organisations, all of which have strong and well-established teaching and research links to Victoria University of Wellington.

  • Parliament
  • Court of Appeal
  • Supreme Court
  • National Library
  • Archives New Zealand
  • Parliament Library.

Wellington also has the highest concentration of science organisations in the country, including many Crown Research Institutes.

Cultural treasures

  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Alexander Turnbull Library
  • Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
  • New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
  • Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.

Top 10 Wellington must-dos for students

Victoria University of Wellington and its students are a vital part of Wellington's colourful character. Get out there and make some memories!

1. Wander the waterfront

The waterfront is a great place to go walking, running, skating, and biking, or to just sit and chill. On Sundays there's the Harbourside Market.

2. Experience the nightlife

Wellington has thriving theatre and music scenes with live shows every night of the week. The city prides itself on being the culinary capital and there are always new dining options to try. If you're planning a night on the town, Courtenay Place is a good place to start.

3. Tour Parliament

Definitely not just for politics students, a tour of the Beehive is for anyone with an interest in art, architecture, and how decisions are made in New Zealand. It's also free.

4. Indulge your love of movies

Wellywood is home to Weta Workshop and the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. It also has many cinemas, some of which have student discounts or cheap nights. In summer, outdoor movie theatres often pop up around the region.

5. Take in Te Papa

Spend a rainy day touring New Zealand's national museum for free. While you're at it, check out the award-winning Wellington Museum (free).

6. Walk with the animals

Wildlife and native bush eco-sanctuary Zealandia and Wellington Zoo both have discount pricing for students.

7. Check out Cuba Street

Known as New Zealand’s coolest street, colourful Cuba Street is a haven for buskers, bohemians, coffee-lovers, vintage shoppers, and culinary enthusiasts.

8. Get active

Hitting the mountain biking trails, taking a dip in Oriental Bay, surfing at Lyall Bay, walking the town belt, and sailing or kayaking on the harbour are just some of the ways Wellingtonians enjoy the great outdoors. Get the free WellyWalks app and explore Wellington on foot.

9. Pack a picnic

Stop and smell the flowers at Wellington Botanic Garden or take the ferry over to Matiu/Somes Island or Days Bay and Eastbourne one sunny day.

10. Enjoy the view from the top

Head up to the Mount Victoria lookout for panoramic views of Wellington.