Wellington, New Zealand, Mountains and Lake

Nicknamed “windy-Wellington”, Wellington is a populous city with over 418,500 residents and serves as the capital city of New Zealand.For those of you who are moving to Wellington from the other side of the world, you would experience a change in the timing of the seasons. Located at the southwestern tip of the North Island, snuggled up between lush forests and blue bays, the wonders of nature are limitless here. Well known for its funky cafe culture, hidden bars and award winning restaurants, foodies would definitely love it here.

Building a new life in a new city can be unnerving. With that said, here’s a short guide on certain things we found that would be of helpful for your move. Stay tuned and read on!

Employment Opportunities

As a growing economy, Wellington boasts having various job opportunities. It is one of the few countries that were least affected by the global financial crisis. According to research, employment rate has been steadily increasing over the last five years.

In Wellington, getting a job isn’t difficult, especially if your skills match the ones that are in demand in the labour market. Currently, talents in these sectors are the most sought after for:

  • Engineering
  • Oil and gas
  • Forestry
  • Education
  • Construction
  • Tourism
  • ICT and communications
  • Health and social services

All of these skills are in demand, with some of them being on a skills shortage list which can be found on the New Zealand immigration website. This list contains information with regard to jobs that have a shortage of workers. You would require a work or residence visa before you start working but you can certainly begin on your job search before you obtain the visa.

Websites like Workhere and CareersNZ are useful tools to get you started. You can also reach out to recruitment agencies like NewKiwis which would notify you immediately when a job matching your skill set is available.


Wellington is a hilly area, leaving it susceptible to earthquakes. Nonetheless, most houses and buildings have been earthquake-proofed, hence this would not be a big issue to worry about. Majority of the apartments and town houses are located in the Central Business District (CBD) area, whereas villas, bungalows and cottages are usually found in the suburbs. Some of the more popular neighbourhoods include Miramar, Brooklyn, Oriental Bay and Mount Victoria. Sites such as Manage My Property, RedCoats and Homes would help to kickstart your search for the perfect home.

Schools and education system

New Zealand has one of the best schooling and education systems in the world. Its education system was ranked the first by the Economist Intelligence Unit for providing future skills education for the youth. The New Zealand education system is world class, modern, and holistic. With most schools being government-funded, Wellington has a lot to offer students from early childhood until adulthood.

International schools are also available for your children if you would prefer for them to undergo an education system that is more similar to your home country, although the fees would definitely be steeper as compared to sending them to state-funded schools.

At the university level, Wellington is home to over three world ranked universities, inclusive of the Victoria University of Wellington.

Driving license and its requirements

Similar to the other cities in New Zealand such as Christchurch and Auckland, if you hold a driving license from your home country and it is in English, you are entitled to drive in Wellington for 12 months. In the event that it is not in English, you would need to have an official translation of your license or obtain an International Driver’s Permit. For those who are relocating for the long term, you would need to apply for a New Zealand driver’s license.

Note that cars in Wellington operate on a left-hand drive which might take some adjusting to before driving becomes almost second nature to you again!

Healthcare systems

Wellington has a wide range of healthcare and medical services available for its citizens. After-hour services are also provided at hospitals and pharmacies if you happen to be feeling under the weather at night. In addition, phone lines are also available if you need to seek healthcare advice. For example, Plunket supplies medical advice to parents with children of ages 1–5 through all hours of the night. This is definitely something that can come in handy when you are panicky and can’t find a clinic nearby that is open in the wee hours of the morning.

Food and culture

Wellington is a city comprising of a vibrant culture of European, Pacific, and Maori influences. For the art lovers, there are many museums situated in Wellington, such as the famous Te Papa Tongarewa museum. This museum highlights the cultural growth of New Zealand and is the number one attraction you must visit.

Wellington is also home to various beautiful beaches, monuments, as well as amazing food restaurants. The botanical gardens is definitely worth a visit as well!

For the beer lovers out there, you’re in for a treat, as Wellington is labelled the craft beer capital of New Zealand. Don’t forget to visit Hannah’s laneway, which showcases the local flavours and a great variety of treats, and the weekend markets that allow you to enjoy scrumptious food while strolling through shops selling exotic goods and designer goods.

Wellington is definitely a great place to live in and there’s so much more to it than we know. ’Cause afterall, when we think about Wellington, who admits to thinking about a pair of Wellington boots first before the country?

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