The Best Suburbs in Wellington: Something for Everyone

New Zealand’s capital is an attractive, compact city held close at the foot of bush-covered hills overlooking a beautiful natural harbor. However, before you make Wellington your home, you need to know which suburbs are worth living in.

Where should you live in Wellington? If you are fond of city life, Te Aro is where you want to be. If you want to live near a beach, buy a home in Miramar. If you are a creative young individual, live in Newtown. On the other hand, Mount Cook and Brooklyn are the ideal suburbs for families. 

If you are planning to move to Wellington and you are on a house hunt but can’t decide which suburb would be the best choice for you, then you landed on the right page. But before you move to Wellington, read this article about the pros and cons of living there.

Good and bad suburbs of Wellington

Talking about suburbs, we will talk about the best and not-so-best suburbs in Wellington because there are literally no bad suburbs – some are just a little less good than others. 

Want to see all suburbs of Wellington? Check out this interactive map.

1. Secure but expensive

Save, upper-level neighborhoods of Wellington include Seatoun, Thorndon, and Lowry Bay & Eastbourne, located in the Lower Hutt on the harbor side. These areas are best for people who appreciate high quality of life, a safe environment, and money is not a big issue for them.

As a rule, in these posh suburbs, there are many gated communities and surveillance cameras. There is also a lot of private security and occasional police patrols. It’s also very expensive; it’s hard to find a good house for less than NZ$1 million.

The average price for an apartment in Thorndon ranges from $600,000 to $800,000, and a house can cost above $1,995,000, in Lower Hutt, from $600,000 to $800,000. In Eastbourne, Lower Hutt, you can get a decent house for $950,000.

2. For families

Our second category has Kaiwharawhara, Churton Park, Ngaio, Crofton Downs, and Johnsonville (less safe than the first 4). These suburbs are very popular with families, so they are great and safe. Like any other middle-class area, there is an occasional crime, but people who have been to every suburb in Wellington know that these are some of the best.

In Churton Park, an average three-bedroom house costs about $800,000. In Johnsonville, you can get a solid four-bedroom home for $950,000.

3. Cheaper and rural

Porirua and Lower Hutt aren’t a part of Wellington as they are separate towns on the outskirts of Wellington. Living in Porirua and Lower Hutt is a great idea if you’re looking for a cheaper country lifestyle, but at the same time, you can work in the city (if you can put up with heavy traffic on most days). 

These towns can be a bit more dangerous, ubiquitous, and a lot quieter – this may be a good thing, depending on who you are. Porirua has a reputation for being a crime-ridden side of Wellington, and there’s no mistaking it. It’s a nice place, but definitely keep the risk in mind.

The average price for a two-bedroom house in Porirua ranges from $500,000 to $800,000, and in Lower Hutt from $600,000 to $800,000.

Best areas to live in Wellington

Let’s talk about suburbs that are generally good for creative people, students, party people, and retirees!

1. Te Aro

Te Aro is also home to Cuba Street, which attracts locals and tourists alike. No one can resist the vibrancy of Cuba Street in particular or Te Aro in general. 

If you are a person who wants to delight the culinary senses, there is no other place in Wellington that will suit you more. Keep in mind that Te Aro is a part of Wellington’s business district, so it can be busy and stressful at pick times.

2. Miramar

Image source: Google Maps

If you are a beach lover who wants to live in Wellington, make Miramar your home. With a cool and rustic village vibe, this suburb is just too cool. Peter Jackson’s cinema, The Roxy, is a cool art deco building within the heart of this suburb.

This suburb is well known for its vicinity with the beach. It’s a friendly town and has become the home to most people who relocate from other parts of New Zealand.

3. Newtown

Newtown, as the name implies, is a town for young and enthusiastic people. If you are a creative soul, you will find the right crowd in this suburb. This trending town has a bit of an edge, but you are sure to love it.

This melting pot of cool souls has everything – from vegetarian markets to attractive community centers, from tasteful shops to cafes and bars. 

Best suburbs for families

1. Mount Cook

Image credit: Pakoire

Located on the inner side of the metropolitan area of Wellington, Mount Cook is a neighboring district of Te Aro. Newtown is situated just on the south of Mount Cook district.

With its desirable location and quiet streets, Mount Cook is one of the most well-known suburbs of the capital city for living with a family. You can find plenty of family-friendly houses to suit the one for your family’s needs. 

Regardless of your kids’ age or family size, Mount Cook has a lot to offer. If you want a safe environment for your family away from the hustle and bustle of tourists, get your family home in Mount Cook.

This residential area has all the amenities you can think of – excellent daycares to good schools, plenty of nature to a quiet atmosphere, shopping facilities to entertainment. The truth is, there are so many options when it comes to living in Mount Cook that your family will love it.

2. Brooklyn

Image source: Google Maps

Living in Brooklyn, it’s like living in the idyllic Kiwi countryside. Brooklyn lies 3 km south of Wellington’s CBD on stunning hills above Happy Valley. It’s a convenient 10-minute bus ride or a 5-minute car ride from the main city.

If you want to live with your family in a suburb that overlooks most of the capital city, there is no better place than Brooklyn. It’s safe as it gets and has a lot of greenery – the perfect combination for family living.

It’s super close to all the entertainment and lifestyle opportunities that you would want for your family life. From restaurants to cinemas, from childcare to entertainment – everything is super close in Brooklyn.

Wellington – the capital

As the center of government and home to two universities, “Wellington” the original name for Te Whanganui-a-Tara – has a well-educated and affluent population of around 202,000.

Lonely Planet even called it “the coolest little capital in the world.” Although Wellington is a much smaller city than its northern counterpart, Auckland, Wellington packs a punch. No matter what suburb you move to, you will find many amazing houses in Wellington. There are plenty of typical suburban homes for sale across the city, which will mostly come with a garden.

For those looking for a new adventure, Wellington offers a unique opportunity to live in a diverse and welcoming community, experiencing a completely different way of life. 

Who would want to live in what suburb of Wellington?

The choice of suburb in Wellington depends on your views on culture, income, and workplace. 

  • An immigrant film worker would want to be in Miramar.
  • A financially struggling person would love Newtown.
  • A person with flexible work hours who loves to roam free here and there would prefer to live in Evans Bay Parade.
  • A financier or a bitcoin trader would think Oriental Bay is worth an extra million for your apartment.
  • If you’re a quiet homemaker, you’ll love Kingston.
  • If you’re comfortable driving everywhere, you’ll love Newlands.
  • People who like going to the mall and taking the train to work would want to be in Johnsonville.
  • A high-ranking civil servant or executive will need a mansion in Karora or Khandal.
  • If you want a farm with only wind turbines for your neighbors, you’ll run to Makara.
  • If you want a historic hillside home close to the central business, you’ll love Mount Victoria.
  • The embassy people ​​would probably be in Thorndon or the Golden Mile – they can live in a flat nearby or on a main bus route.
  • If you are in Wellington just for the job, then you can check out the Upper Hutt.
  • A person who wants to shop in a big shopping center will love living in Lower Hutt.
  • A work-from-home person who doesn’t want the hustle of urban life can live in areas of the Wairarapa that have fiber or 4G.
  • People fond of the middle of the countryside can find a beautiful farm in Martinsburg.
  • If you are looking to retire, Kapiti will be very attractive to you.
  • If you want to be close to orchards, shops, and avoid the holiday traffic, you’ll want to live in Otaki.

Moving a little away from Wellington is a good idea if you can’t afford a home in the capital. Have a look at Palmerston North, one the most affordable city in the country, about one hour away from the capital. It’s a university town (Massey University) with a rural business center. Or, if you’re a retiree, Waitārere beach or Kapiti are two places where you want to be.

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