Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand’s vibrant capital, Wellington, is situated at the southern end of the country’s north island. Encircled by lush hills, rugged coastline and a spectacular harbour, Wellington is renowned for its arts, heritage, culture and natural beauty.

A popular cruise destination, Wellington has been nicknamed the ‘coolest little capital’ in the world. The city enjoys more than 350 cafes, bars and restaurants, and its coffee and craft beer industries are internationally famous.

The city welcomes more than 90 ships per year into its cruise terminal at Aotea Quay. Operated by CentrePort Wellington, the terminal is located approximately 1.3 kilometres from the city centre and accommodates ships of unlimited size.

Popular cruise lines to have berthed here include the Queen Mary II, Dawn Princess, Celebrity Solstice and Pacific Pearl. Smaller ships sometimes use the Queens Wharf Terminal, located closer to the city and an easy walk along the waterfront into downtown Wellington.

Cruise Deals

Kiwi Adventure

12 night cruise sailing from Melbourne aboard the Pacific Jewel.
Departs 04 Mar 2019
$ 1425*
per person twin share

New Zealand

10 night cruise sailing from Melbourne aboard the Carnival Legend.
Departs 06 Feb 2019
$ 1449*
per person twin share

New Zealand

10 night cruise sailing from Auckland aboard the Radiance of the Seas.
Departs 01 Dec 2018
$ 1449*
per person twin share

Kiwi Adventure

13 night cruise sailing from Sydney, Australia aboard the Pacific Explorer.
Departs 24 Nov 2018
$ 1477*
per person twin share

New Zealand

10 night cruise sailing from Sydney, Australia aboard the Radiance of the Seas.
Departs 11 Dec 2018
$ 1499*
per person twin share

New Zealand

9 night cruise sailing from Auckland aboard the Sun Princess.
Departs 07 Dec 2018
$ 1499*
per person twin share

Port Location

The Aotea Quay Cruise Terminal is only 1.3 kilometres from Wellington’s city centre. The walk from Aotea Quay to the downtown Wellington is alongside a busy road and takes around 20 minutes. The Queens Wharf Terminal is closer to the city centre and within easy walking distance.

Port Facilities

Aotea Quay Cruise Terminal is well equipped to handle a high volume of passengers, ensuring a smooth transition for all arriving passengers.

Facilities include:

  • tourist information area
  • phones, wireless and internet services
  • toilets
  • well-informed local ambassadors.
Shuttle bus and taxi services are within close proximity of the terminal, ensuring easy access to the Wellington city centre. Accommodation to suit all budgets is available in the nearby CBD. 

How to Get Around

There are many ways to get to and from Aotea Quay Cruise Terminal. Several cruise lines operate shuttle services between the terminal and the city, affording easy access to downtown Wellington.

Car hire companies also operate in the vicinity of the terminal. It’s recommended that you book in advance for this service.

Travel times from Aotea Quay Cruise Terminal

By taxi/car:

  • 10 minutes to CBD (taxi $10 to $15)
  • 20 minutes to Wellington airport (taxi $30 to $35).

By bus:

  • 10 minutes to CBD via shuttle bus (cost dependent on cruise line)
  • Airport flyer from Wellington Railway Station (1.6 kilometres from terminal) to Wellington Airport costs $9.

General Information

  • Currency - the local currency is the New Zealand dollar. Coins come in $1, $2, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent denominations. Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
  • Time Zone - Wellington is on New Zealand Standard Time. It is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
  • Weather - Wellington offers a mild, temperate marine climate, with plenty of wind. Average temperatures range from 19º to 21º Celsius in summer to 12º to 13º Celsius in winter. Heavy rains occur during mild winters.


  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa - located in the heart of downtown Wellington, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is a must-visit cultural attraction. The museum’s focus is on art, history, the Pacific, Maori culture and the natural environment. Exhibitions at Te Papa are known for being interactive, educational and fun. 
  • Parliament Buildings - situated in the historic suburb of Thordon, and only 5 minutes from Aotea Quay, the Parliament Buildings are architectural landmarks. The complex consists of the Edwardian Neoclassical Parliament House, the Victorian Gothic Parliamentary Library and the 1970s style Beehive building. Entry is free and tours leave on the hour every day. 
  • Walk Wellington - the best way to discover what the city is all about is by joining a Walk Wellington tour. Learn about its history, culture and landscape from an enthusiastic local guide. The tours are great value for money and depart from Civic Square in Wellington’s CBD.
  • Wellington Cable Car - the historic Wellington Cable Car is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Departing every 10 minutes from the city centre, it travels under the impressive corporate towers of The Terrace and past Kelburn Park. From the top, you can check out sweeping views before taking a stroll through the Wellington Botanic Garden.
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