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Wellington Harbour, Wellington Overview

The Wellington Harbour is a large natural harbour in the Kiwi capital of Wellington, New Zealand. It has a coastline spanning 76 kilometres and two inlets from the mainland. One can spend a day here taking a ferry ride into the bay or hiring a boat to explore the three offshore islands. You can hire a kayak and make your way around the harbour if you're more adventurous. Make sure your vessel doesn't have rodents, though, or you won't be allowed to enter the islands!

Ferry rides give you the most amazing views of the city and the water, and if you’re lucky, you could even spot pods of dolphins! Orcas and stingrays also make the occasional appearance. The harbour is easily accessible using public transport and has multiple attractions, including Wellington Waterfront, where you can walk, cycle, jog or skate.
Harbour View provides the best viewpoint of the city and adjoining areas. The cable car also takes you across the harbour and promises to be the journey of a lifetime. So don’t miss out on any of this during your time at wellington!

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There are multiple ways to go across and explore the Wellington Harbour:
  • Ferry – There are several ferry services that operate on the harbour, and go to the 3 islands in the area. These provide excellent views of the city and the surrounding Bay area.

  • Kayak – This is also a very popular way of exploring the Wellington Harbour. You can kayak to the islands nearby, or even near the Waterfront! There are several kayak hire services that operate in the city, and at the Harbour.

  • Boat – This is also especially popular among locals who own boats, but there are several boats available at the harbour that take you for a spin around the bay area.


There are three islands at the Wellington Harbour. They are:
  • Matiu/Somes Island – This island is the largest of the three, and is home to a scientific reserve, which protects and preserves native and endangered species. It has strict rules regarding letting animals from the mainland enter, with respect to the safety of the animals on the island. It was also home to a human and animal quarantine centre.

  • Makara/Ward Island – This is also a Dept. of Conservation scientific research site, and has a rich history as it was used as a military base by both the Maori and the British.

  • Mokopuna Island – This is the smallest of the three islands, and is also a bird reserve. Gulls and blue penguins flourish here.

How To Reach Wellington Harbour

There are multiple ways by which you can get to Wellington Harbour. Some of them are:
  • Train – Wellington Station itself is located very close to Wellington Waterfront. Using the train is also the most convenient option while travelling from the outskirts of the city. Ngauranga Station is also located right next to Wellington Harbour, and is 6 kilometres away from Wellington Waterfront. The train line HVL comes to the area.

  • Bus – This is the cheapest way of travelling across the city. The bus stop closest to Harbour View is Melling Station, which is 900 meters, or a 12 minute walk away. The bus lines 91, 83 and 130 stop near the Harbour View. The bus lines 054 and 44 stop near the Ferry Terminal.

  • Cable car – This is a very popular tourist attraction in the city, and should definitely be on your to-do list! The cable car station closest to the Wellington Waterfront is Clifton station, which is 850 meters away.

  • Car – There is parking space available here, and it is on an hourly paid basis. It is not the most convenient option, and using public transport would be recommended.

  • Taxi – This is a slightly pricier option, but is very convenient and easily available. Several taxi operators function throughout the city, and you can either hail them, or book them via an app, such as Uber.

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