Perched on the southern tip of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is an important center for arts and culture, and a popular stop-off for cruise ships. The treasure-filled Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary are within easy reach of Wellington Cruise Port.
Wellington Cruise Port offers a wealth of sightseeing options. Take a highlights tour to tick off key city sights such as Wellington Cable Car, Mt. Victoria Lookout, and Wellington Botanic Gardens in one fell swoop. Or, escape the inner city on a day trip, and travel to beauty spots such as the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, the Kāpiti Coast, and the Hutt Valley.
Movie buffs will enjoy Lord of the Rings-themed tours, which typically stop at the prop-filled Weta Cave, run by the Oscar-winning special effects and prop studio Weta Workshop. Craft beer tours of Wellington and wine tours of the nearby Martinborough wine region also depart from the port.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most shore excursions include pickup and drop-off from the port.
- Wellington’s nickname is Windy Welly; a windproof outer layer is essential as almost all tours include time outdoors.
- Because of its compact size and attractive setting, Wellington allows cruise passengers to experience both city life and rugged nature in one day.
How to Get to Wellington from Wellington Cruise Port
Large cruise ships dock at Aotea Quay. From here, it’s a 20–25 minute walk to the city center via the waterfront; some cruise liners run free shuttles by passengers. Smaller cruise ships dock at Queens Wharf in the center of Wellington.
The terminal at Wellington Cruise Port has internet and restroom facilities. Wellington’s train station, which has cafés, an ATM, shops, and bus connections to the city, is just a 10-minute walk from Aotea Quay.