Frequent and efficient Metlink buses cover the whole Wellington region, running between approximately 6am and 11.30pm. Major bus terminals are near the Wellington Railway Station, and on Courtenay Pl near the Cambridge Tce intersection. Pick up route maps and timetables from the i-SITE and convenience stores, or online.
Metlink also runs After Midnight buses, departing from two city stops (Courtenay Pl and Manners St) between midnight and 4.30am Saturday and Sunday, following a number of routes to the outer suburbs. There's a set $6.50 fare for most trips.
There are a lot of one-way streets in Wellington, and parking gets tight (and pricey) during the day. If you’ve got a car or a caravan, park on the outskirts and walk or take public transport into the city centre. Freedom camping is permitted for self-contained vehicles at Evans Bay marina, 3km southeast of the city centre.
Along with the major international rental companies, Wellington has various lower-cost operators including Apex Car Rental, Jucy Rentals and Omega Rental Cars. Most agencies have offices both at the airport and in the city centre. If you plan on exploring both the North and South Islands, most companies suggest you leave your car in Wellington and pick up another one in Picton after crossing Cook Strait. This is a common (and more affordable) practice, and car-hire companies make it a painless exercise.
There are often cheap deals on car relocation from Wellington to Auckland, as most renters travel in the opposite direction. The catch is that you may have only 24 or 48 hours to make the journey.
Metlink operates five train routes running through Wellington’s suburbs to regional destinations. Trains run frequently from around 6am to 11pm, departing Wellington Railway Station. The lines are as follows:
- Johnsonville via Ngaio and Khandallah
- Kapiti via Porirua, Plimmerton, Paekakariki and Paraparaumu
- Melling via Petone
- Hutt Valley via Waterloo to Upper Hutt
- Wairarapa via Featherston, Carterton and Masterton
Timetables are available from convenience stores, the train station, Wellington i-SITE and online. Fares are stage-based; there's a handy calculator on the Metlink site. A Day Rover ticket ($14) allows unlimited off-peak and weekend travel on all lines except Wairarapa.