Like the other big cities Wellington also has door-to-door shuttles. They are the alternative between the low-cost Stagecoach Flyer and the convenience of a taxi ride to and from the airport. As door-to-door shuttles pick up and drop off travellers from/at their accommodation a ride can take longer than a normal bus trip.
Cost from Lambton Quay, Railway Station or Courtenay Place to the airport is about NZ$ 15. If you make clear that you travel as a group only the first passenger pays this fare, any additional passenger of your group pays only NZ$ 5.
The most widespread company is the Supershuttle
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I am now in a position to give you the good oil about the Airport Flyer.
This useful service seemed at first to have a lot of names. Which I found confusing.
The Airport Flyer, the Valley Flyer, the Stagecoach Flyer and the Flyer.
But I have found out the Valley Flyer is just a normal bus which goes out to the Hutt Valley.
The Airport Flyer is bright orange and the buses are new with plenty of space for luggage.
It seems to zip through town about every 20 minutes (but check the timetable on the link below. On the link below it is called the Flyer, number 91.)
It purportedly stops anywhere there is an orange attachment on the bus stop with Stagecoach Flyer on it.
I caught it today near the Beehive and went out to Queensgate mall. It is more expensive than ordinary buses ($6-50 for me). To give you an example of how much more expensive it is it cost me $4 for an ordinary bus back.
The bus driver did try to help the strangers in town by occasionally calling out which stop it was. "Anyone want the station?" But like don't depend on that, because Wellington bus drivers get paid just over minimum adult wage ($12-70 an hour I think) and are notoriously terse and hard pressed.
It is not a flat rate for the whole trip. You pay by how many zones you are travelling. One zone is $3-50 up to $8-50 to be driven out past Petone into the heart of the Hutt Valley.
Anyway it is a useful service and I like the way it travels so far from the airport. It could be a little more user friendly though. Big loud announcements (not necessarily by the driver) of which stop is next would be great.
You can buy a Starpass for $10 which provides unlimited travel on the Airport Flyer and on all buses in Wellington and the Hutt Valley. Except on Newlands buses which are bright green.
The snapper card is just being phased in and I am not sure how this will affect the daytripper tickets and Starpasses.
There are problems from time to time
Oh dear. It started raining (so I suppose people who might have walked a few blocks decided to take the bus) and it was about 5-20 pm and I caught a bus from Courtenay Place to Thorndon -and oh dear this was not a good idea.
Mind you a stretch of Lambton Quay was being ripped up and this would not have helped.
But Wellington does do rush hour and gridlock and jam packed buses which leave people waiting at stops.
The Wellingtonians were patient and well mannered though. So I tried to be too.
I had noticed the very polite way buses flash SORRY - OUT OF SERVICE if that is indeed their condition. But had also noticed that I seemed to be continually getting the cranky drivers. Like - I got on the Flyer, which is the airport bus, by mistake and the driver curtly said - "Wrong ticket, get off." And several other drivers had been peremptory with me.
I told my cousin and he said Wellington is notorious for brusque bus drivers and in fact it is mentioned in Lonely Planet. So they are certainly living up to their reputation.
I took a mystery trip out to Vogeltown yesterday - just because I had never been to Vogeltown - and the driver was very curt with me when I asked him how many zones it was.
And I noticed it is not the customers who put him in a bad mood. It is notable how nearly every one calls out - "Thank you, driver," as they exit the bus. Maybe it is the difficult terrain of Wellington that makes them tetchy. The Vogeltown roads were certainly a thrill a minute.
Yesterday I went to catch my bus at 7-07 in Tinakori Road and had a surrealistic experience of thinking I had mistook the time and it was maybe 3am. No traffic at all. I patiently waited and finally a bus turned up at 7-37. I found out a truck and trailer had overturned in a main street down in town and all traffic, including buses, had stopped for over an hour.
So things can go wrong, as always, and if it is important that you are somewhere at a certain time, allow for things going wrong.
I would have caught a taxi - but there was no traffic. Eerie.
Pegasus Rental Cars
We needed a car just for a day. Knowing that this is more expensive than a multi-day rent, we did not expect to get a vehicle for $25 or 30. But some quotes were just breathtaking, with Budget topping the list with $ 152! After this research we did not even bother to contact Avis or Hertz ;-) We did not check out every company – just booked the first one which had cars available (Omega was fully booked) and offered an acceptable rate, and this was Pegasus Rental Cars.
Their rates normally include only 100 free kilometres, and you can top up to 200 (plus $ 7.50) and to unlimited (plus $ 15/that equals 60 km over the limit). As we returned the car the same day we got a $ 5 discount. Never book limited kilometres if you do not know the exact amount of kilometres of your trip!
We had pick-up service from the hotel, and had to take a taxi to the airport (about $ 12), as they do not have airport service – and we returned the car after hours. The staff were very friendly, and everything was straight forward.
Just to give you an idea: Now in autumn some car rental companies have lower rates. With Pegasus you would save $ 2 only. Omega, for example, would today charge $ 39 for a small car. Budget would still come to $ 56.89 plus fees plus GST, so $ 64 in total. But at least far from those $ 152 from early March. Hertz’s $ 70 April rate would add up to $ 78.75 after fees and GST – but you could return it at the airport.
One of my favourites, Ace Rental Cars, is no option as the minimum for Wellington rentals is two days ($ 40 per day for the smallest car; $ 38 for economy in April).
Address: 5 Ropa Lane, Miramar
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Taxi's In Wellington
Taxi's are rather expensive in Wellington with a couple of the bigger firms setting the price and everyone else following. On the good side is that Wellington city is rather small so you can often walk, on the bad is when that walk is too far and you need to take a taxi.
The trip from the Airport to town will cost you approx $30 during busy times for a 12 minute ride and hopefully this includes the $6 airport fee which will be added on.
Finding a taxi is easy and the lead crowd at Wellington Combined Taxis tend to have very clean Cabs and be very dependable. Side streets such as Bond street (between Willis & Victoria) have lots of Cabs for hire so easy to get to where you want to go.
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Inexpensive Taxi Rides to/from Airport
As the airport is only 8 km from the city travelling by taxi is not really expensive. A trip to Lambton Quay or the Railway Station (Parliamentary Zone) sets you back about NZ$ 30, a trip to Courtenay Place costs about NZ$ 25.
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The Ferry Terminals
The terminals of the Interislander and Bluebridge, the ferry links to the South Island, are located on Waterloo Quay, the western part of the Waterfront, just a stonethrow away from the Parliamentary zone.
See details about the two companies on my NZ transportation page.
Although I have no pictures on this one (serves me right for not checking whether my digital camera was charged or not), this ferry between Eastbourne and Wellington is a good way of checking out Wellington harbour. Great views indeed.
Christchurch to Wellington by QANTAS
Date: 4th September 2006
Status: Flight was ontime
Quality: Turbulance felt just before landing due to strong winds over cook strait
Flying time: 50 min
Food on board: A Muffin & water
Satisfaction: Very good!
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Helicopter flight around Wellington NZ - Brilliant
We took a flight with a great Helicopter company in Wellington called AV8 Helicopters.
Great service and very professional pilots. (all their pilots EACH have 25 years + flying experience)
We were picked up from our hotel in a complimentary mercedes!!
We had booked to go up to the Tararua Mountain range that runs North from Wellington, Snow covered peaks only 20 minutes away. We had a great time (Fantastic scenery) and then we went to view the Windmill Farm near to Palmerston North. We then flew back South along the amazing endless sandy beachs on the West coast from Palmerston down to Wellington. On the way we flew around Kapiti Island (or Kong Island for movie fans) then along the brilliant rocky Northwest coast Of Wellington. We landed here and did some seal watching, + a Pod of dozens of Dolphins cruised past splashing and jumping!!!Brilliant, and all that for only NZ$850.00 each. (US$530.00)
All in our trip took 3 hours including the hour at the Windfarm.
We will go again, We are back in NZ in November 2006, next time we will fly over to the Marlborough Sounds for Lunch. We were quoted a Flight and Lunch package from only NZ$399.00 plus (booze) per person (US$250.00)
Well worth calling these guys - they were just like their brochure says.
Safe. Professional and friendly. Norm and Gill, Connecticut, USA
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From downtown Wellington you can use the cable car to go up the hill to the Botanical Garden. On its way the cable car offers a splendid view over the city and the bay.
The cable car is not only a means of transportation but also a tourist attraction. You shouldn't miss a trip with it.
The downtown station is on Lambton Quai, Wellingtons main shopping street. The Cable Car is used by nearly a million people each year. In the mornings and evenings, it is used by commuters travelling between Kelburn and the city. At other times of the day, it is used by people travelling between the city and the Wellington Botanic Garden, or by students attending Victoria University.
Get around the city by bus
Wellington has a great public bus service called Stagecoach Wellington. It is easy to use and inexpensive. A variety of passes are available for groups or solo passengers. The all day Daytripper Pass costs $5.00 for a single or $10.00 for 2 or more passengers and can be purchased from the driver. A variety of other passes are available as well.See the website below for more details about Stagecoach Wellington bus services and schedules.
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The city is split up into sections, a bit like london and its zones. so you have to find out which zone you're destination is in. everyone is lovely here so i'msure the driver will happily help you find out!! it is his job after all!
Wellington Historic Cable Car
This is also one of Wellington's most popular tourist attractions. The city terminus is located @ Cable Car Lane, 280 Lambton Quay. See Things To Do.
The cars run from Lambton Quay in the commercial heart of the city, tunnel under the corporate towers of The Terrace and emerge in Kelburn. The ride continues past Kelburn Park and Victoria University to the top of Upland Road, where the Lookout, Carter Observatory & Planetarium and Cable Car Museum are located. The view from the lookout takes in the city's central business district and out across the harbour to the Hutt Valley, Eastbourne & Mt Victoria. Visitors can take a return trip from the city, or walk back down through the gardens and historic Bolton Street cemetery, emerging across the road from Parliament.
Adult is expected to pay NZD$1.80 for one way fare. More fare options on webpage below.
Cars run every 10 minutes & close on Christmas Day.
9am-10pm weekends & public holidays
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Ferry to/from South Island
Wellington is the gateway to the North Island if you are heading from the South Island by ferry then you are sure to set foot in Wellington. The ferries are called The Interislander and The Lynx (high speed) and run a few times a day between Wellington and Picton. You can take your car/campervan on board and will have to pay for the transportation of your vehicle and per passenger. All ferries have a bar and cafe on board. I recommend you bring a good book as there isn't much in the way of entertainment except for the odd TV scattered around.
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