Top Background

Wellington Suburb Profile

Wellington is New Zealand's capital city, and is easily the country's most happening place. Stretched around its waterfront and sheltered by houses clinging to lush green hills, Wellington has a unique inner-city focus. With most of the population either living in town or commuting in from the outer suburbs, a wide range of people work and live together in this bustling and energetic metropolitan hub.

A pedestrian city, the best way to truly discover the essence of Wellington is on foot. Malls and side alleys connect its streets, cafes spill from refurbished Victorian buildings, the waterfront inspires new and exciting public spaces, and eclectic street art is scattered throughout.

In the capital, style and eclecticism are the norm, not the exception. Some of the country's best art galleries, restaurants, microbreweries, and coffee outfits make their home here, and fashion is diverse; from the high fashion of Lambton Quay to the op-shops of Cuba Mall. Visitors and locals alike are drawn by the government and business districts, the bohemian Cuba quarter or the entertainment of Courtenay Place.

Spoilt for choice, Wellington actually has more eating places per head of population than New York! You could dine somewhere different every day for over a year. Chill in the kerbside cafes, or dine in style at any number of restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world.

Wellington's unique history accounts for the city's energetic and diverse contemporary character. Wellington was established by an enterprising, innovative and supportive community, and this attitude runs very strongly through the city's atmosphere today. World class hospitality and a bright and a vibrant local population make this a wonderful city to both live in and visit.

Check out the other suburbs by clicking below:

Aro Valley

Wellington’s quirkiest inner-city area lies in a valley between the hills of Brooklyn and Kelburn, and is sited between the universities of Victoria and Massey. It’s known for its alternative inner city lifestyle and strong community spirit. The area, within walking distance of the central city, developed in the late 19th century as a working-class residential suburb, hence the closely built wooden and corrugated iron colonial cottages. (Virtual New Zealand)


Berhampore lies roughly 7 kilometres from the Central Business District and is surrounded by the suburbs of Vogeltown, Newtown, Melrose, Island Bay, Kingston, and Mornington. Residents of Berhampore are both ethnically and socio-economically diverse and contribute to the atmosphere of their surrounding communities. The housing stock in Berhampore is a mix of middle value properties, with examples of most building styles and types seen in New Zealand since European settlement. Berhampore is close to the zoo and is surrounded by a greenbelt. It is also very handy and close to Newtown, Island Bay, Brooklyn and Kilbirnie.


Close to the city centre, this suburb is on top of Brooklyn Hill, ensuring panoramic views and a challenging trip home for dedicated cyclists. Brooklyn offers a range of housing to suit all budgets – colonial cottages, wooden Victorian villas, Californian bungalows from the 1920s, modern family homes and million dollar-plus mansions. The suburb has excellent schools, Brooklyn School and St Bernard’s School. Brooklyn has excellent walking & mountain biking tracks (connecting to Karori Wildlife Reserve). Brooklyn is continuing to expand with developments such as Panorama Heights located near Karepa St.

Churton Park

Churton Park is a wealthy and upper-middle class suburb located in the Northern Suburbs district of Wellington, 1.5 km north of Johnsonville. It is popular as an executive commuter suburb and relies on Johnsonville for shopping amenities. It is a fast growing suburb and has been very popular with new immigrants to Wellington who want newer value housing. It is a family-oriented suburb with spacious executive houses, lots of little parks, and walkways between cul-de-sacs. It’s also one of Wellington’s most culturally diverse areas, with people from China, India and South Africa; on a summer’s evening the cooking smells can be tantalizing – garlic, lemon grass, spices, and the traditional Kiwi BBQ. Churton Park School is the suburb's only primary school. It has a very credible reputation both within and outside the community. As the suburb's only school, good reputation and growing population, the school's roll has rapidly increased over the years. The local primary school is decile 10.


Grenada Village is a residential suburb situated in the sloping northern hills of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Grenada Village is less than 10 minutes from the centre of both Wellington and Porirua and only 12 minutes from central Hutt Valley. It is roughly a 5 minute drive from Johnsonville Mall and all the Johnsonville amenities - indoor swimming pool, library, churches, railway station, police station, fire station, supermarkets, accommodation, restaurants, service clubs, community centre etc. Housing in the Village comprises of modern, well-maintained homes with a large proportion of houses only having been constructed since the 1990’s. By lying in its mainly westerly position, the suburb enjoys all day sun and rural views. It is regularly described in advertisements as being 'sun drenched'. Grenada Village is a quiet suburb and is regarded as providing a good, safe, friendly and respectable environment.


Hataitai is a popular family area, with good primary schools, plenty of buses and a wide range of housing options. Hataitai’s microclimate means great sun it’s close to the inner city and offers a terrific range of walks through the Town Belt and around the coast. Hataitai overlooks the shoreline of Evans Bay and has several small bays which connect it to the city. Mt Victoria tunnel is used by around 40,000 vehicles each day; it’s known for the ‘tooting game’, when motorists respond (sometimes rather noisily) to the tooting of other drivers. It has excellent bars and food outlets catering to a range of cuisines, plus a four square and other small businesses. House styles tend to be either from the Victorian era or Californian bungalows (1880’s-1930’s)

Houghton Bay

Houghton Bay is predominantly a residential area, but also contains the southern part of Wellington's Southern Walkway, the Buckley Road reserve, Houghton Valley School and the Southern Headlands Reserve. Along with other parts of Wellington's South Coast it is a popular recreational diving and fishing spot. Houghton Bay has a long history as a favourite surf spot of locals, and is smaller than the main surfing location Lyall Bay. Houses are a mix of modern apartment styles and beach style batches although the latter is becoming rare.


Wellington's northern suburb of Johnsonville is ideally located, just 10 minutes from the central business district and on the motorway north. This excellent motorway access also allows you to reach the cities of Lower Hutt and Porirua in a very short time. It is the northern terminus of the Johnsonville branch line of the Tranz Metro Train service to central Wellington. Housing is spread around the shopping hub in the centre and has a wide variety of housing styles catering for those seeking new houses, modern homes, older character homes and rural lifestyle blocks. Some suburbs even have spectacular harbour views. Price ranges vary widely in different localities, so there are possibilities for all budgets. There are good standard schools in Johnsonville making it a self sufficient hub even with its own shopping mall and library.


New Zealand’s largest suburb is an epicentre for families and keen gardeners, partly due to its flat land. Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (called ‘Zealandia’) opened in 2000 and is a ‘must do’ for every Wellingtonian. Schooling in Karori is of a very high standard with all three schools in the area having high decile ratings. Karori Normal is one of Wellington’s oldest primary schools (‘normal’ indicates it’s linked to a teachers’ training college). The centre of Karori contains a shopping mall, new public library and café, and other amenities. Karori is also home to a campus of Victoria University of Wellington, formerly the Wellington College of Education, and Helen Lowry Hall of Residence. Housing in Karori varies from low quality student style houses to recently built properties, embassies and consulates of many countries so this suburb is fit for all different types of families.


Wellington’s traditionally classy central city suburb attracts the medium-to-high income bracket; with some streets like a ‘who’s who’ of the country’s most powerful people and a large number of gracious houses. Many houses offer wonderful inner city views, others are adjacent to the Wellington Botanic Garden – 25 hectares of garden between Kelburn and Thorndon; great for joggers, walkers or general relaxation. Due to Kelburn's proximity to the University, many students live in flats or rental accommodation here. There’s a strong campus influence on the suburb, which is easily accessed by several major roads and the capital’s iconic cable car that runs between Lambton Quay and Kelburn. Its vibrant village provides good amenity shopping, several good cafés, and a couple of antique shops. It is the home of many upper-middle class families due to the views of Wellington, Kelburn has two great primary schools making it an ideal place for a established family to settle down.


Wellington’s wealthiest northern suburb offers the best of suburban living; yet it’s only a 10-minute drive to the city’s heart, with excellent bus and train services. Properties in Khandallah are highly sought-after, not least because of the spectacular views of the city, harbour and Orongorongo mountain range. It’s a leafy suburb, with stately old houses, official embassy residences and many new properties. Khandallah has good facilities: primary schools, pre-school centres, tennis and squash club, Nairnville Sports Ground and Recreation Centre, bowling club, scout club, churches. The suburb’s name comes from a place in Rajasthan in India. Many of the street and place have been given Indian names. The village of Khandallah is a popular location, in that it holds various facilities, such as a supermarket, a dairy, takeaways, a bar, two real estate companies and a library.


Kilbirnie is perfect for young families and older couples, sited close to the city yet with all the advantages of the suburbs. It has a library, plenty of sports clubs, playing fields and parks, and it’s home to the Wellington Region Aquatic Centre (with its Olympic-sized 50m pool). It has one of Wellington’s best suburban shopping areas with several large supermarkets, cafés, ethnic restaurants, and family shopping. Specialty shops include Commonsense Organics and the well-established Children’s Bookshop that draws people from miles. Kilbirnie also hosts the only mosque in Wellington City. In addition, there is also a Hindu temple located in Kilbirnie, which serves as the headquarters for the Wellington Indian Association. Kilbirnie has plenty of schools: Rongotai College (for boys), Wellington College, Evans Bay Intermediate School, two Roman Catholic secondary schools (St Catherine’s College for girls and St Patrick’s College for boys), plus St Patrick’s Primary School.

Lyall Bay

This area became popular when Wellingtonians discovered the joy of seaside living near the city, because of the south coast’s mix of beaches and wild foreshore. It’s the perfect area for those keen on water sports. Lyall Bay has something for everyone – singles wanting quick access to the city’s nightlife, families, and the retired. Despite increasing popularity, there is still plenty of good value with character properties on the hill, and a range of family houses on the flat. The suburb is serviced by nearby Kilbirnie, and it has a primary school, and a couple of excellent cafes including the Maranui and Elements Café in Onepu Road.

Mt Cook

A sunny, character inner city suburb, Mt Cook is one of Wellington’s oldest areas, within easy walking distance of most of the city’s attractions. It’s home to Massey University’s Wellington campus, Wellington High School and zoned for Wellington College, one of the country’s leading state secondary schools for boys. The housing here is generally older homes, sometimes connected into flats and a large number of specially built apartments, some very modern.

Mt Victoria

Mt Victoria is one of the city’s oldest suburbs in Wellington. Many of its elegant Victorian style properties renovated; it’s now one of the city’s most fashionable areas with median house sale prices well ahead of city averages. Mt Victoria includes the Town Belt – a popular area for walking, jogging and mountain biking. Mt Victoria is an easy walk from Courtenay Place (Wellington’s social and entertainment hub) and the location of several of the city’s biggest secondary schools (Wellington College for boys and Wellington East Girls’ College). The community is by a mixture of young professionals, senior students, established families and retirees.


Despite reasonable proximity to shops, public transport, good schools and some new high-value housing subdivisions it has one of the lowest average house valuations in Wellington. It has some small grocery shops (”dairies”) and shopping in the Newlands mall. A Community Centre is located behind the mall area. Newlands is home to the well respected Newlands College, Newlands Intermediate and Newlands Primary School. There are a number of other primary schools in the area also. Woodridge Estate and Bellevue Estate are two examples of new housing subdivisions in the greater Newlands area. Both of these subdivsions are very popular and are still growing with large modern homes. The Newlands area is well served by buses (by Newlands Coach Services) to and from the city and linking with the Johnsonville train.


This was one of the first areas in Wellington to be settled due to its sheltered position, friendly microclimate, central location and easy access. Extensive gentrification has attracted young professionals for some years. It’s a vibrant and colourful inner city suburb, well-serviced by the bus system. Newtown has some magnificent Victorian villas and quirky shops. Its ethnic and cultural diversity is reflected by the number of interesting restaurants and several foodie meccas, for example Mediterranean Food Warehouse and Ranchhod Enterprises has everything needed for Indian cooking. It has a good library and, of course, the Wellington Zoo is very close by. The hospital ensures the area is a ideal for young doctors, nurses and senior medical students who work long hours and don’t want to commute.


Ngaio is situated on the slopes of Mt. Kaukau 3.5kms north of the city’s CBD. Ngaio takes its name from a New Zealand native tree. Ngaio’s one of Wellington's sunniest suburbs, and full of good quality family houses; it’s a suburb for families, keen gardeners and DIY aficionados. The small village has a popular café, a good library and some shops. Ngaio is handy to quality schooling (primary and secondary), with plenty of parks and reserves. Ngaio has good bus and train services, yet is only 10 minutes drive from the CBD. Ngaio contains a library, multi-purpose hall, pharmacy, petrol station, café, Plunket rooms, dentist and a variety of small shops. Most of Ngaio’s dwellings are large 1920’s-1960s weatherboard houses with some modern construction too. The suburb is served by the Johnsonville Branch commuter railway which connects it to the central city, and many bus routes going to Johnsonville stop on the main road.

Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay is New Zealand’s most expensive stretch of real estate with the city’s ritziest apartments across the road from its inner city beach, although plenty of individual houses remain tucked away in its side streets. It has glorious views, late afternoon sun and a golden beach – all within a brisk stroll of the CBD. It’s home to several top restaurants, and offers year-round swimming – the beach or Freyberg Pool – with plenty of opportunity to promenade. There are some good houses in the area with stunning views of Wellington City and the inner harbour.


Built in the 1960’s by Beazley Homes this subdivision is very popular because of its sunny aspect, solid well built homes, and value for money. It has seen excellent capital growth and will continue to thrive as the land North is opened up on the East side of the state highway in the next few years. Paparangi has a wonderful microclimate with more sunshine and less wind than many of its immediate neighbours being on the lower West facing slopes of the ridgeline that faces Johnsonville and Churton Park. Johnsonville, Newlands and Grenada are just minutes away.


This inner city suburb straddles the hills above Oriental Bay and Evans Bay, with glorious views back to the city or across the harbour to Maupuia. It offers a wide variety of living options: smaller cottages, Edwardian villas and contemporary apartments; it’s perfect for those wanting to live in one of Wellington’s most up-market and sunny areas. Roseneath has an excellent primary school, with a strong and very active parent teachers’ association. It’s narrow roads wind around the hills and many properties here have off street car decks, sometimes with great sun and views. Expect stairs in this suburb to climb.


Seatoun’s popularity continues to increase; once through the Seatoun Tunnel, you’re in a different world: a colonial seaside suburb, an artists’ colony, and Wellington's premier seaside suburb – yet only 15 minutes from downtown Wellington and five minutes from the airport. Its village atmosphere, tree-lined streets, wonderful beach, cafés and village shopping add to the ambience and Seatoun Heights has some of the city’s grandest houses and views. Seatoun is home to many leading figures in New Zealand’s film industry, including Peter Jackson.


Tawa is a nice example of "middle class suburbia", one of the best urban areas in New Zealand in which to live and bring up a family. Although it is the northern most suburb of Wellington it does naturally sit closer to Porirua, Porirua being the closet main shopping hub. With its fair share of both the young and the elderly, it contains a good cross-section of society, both in socio-economic terms and ethnic makeup. Housing ranges from the lower-priced and a small amount of state housing in Linden through to a number of million-dollar properties on the outskirts. Most are somewhere in the middle.

Te Aro

Te Aro has become one of Wellington’s most fashionable inner city areas, with a number of top quality apartment complexes. It has Wellington’s largest concentration of restaurants, cafés, cinemas, theatres, and bars. The area runs from the southern end of the Central Business District, from Civic Square along to Cambridge and Kent Terraces at the base of Mt Victoria. The Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa) lies at the waterfront and within a few minutes walk are the (imported) golden sands of Oriental Bay. The central city has something for everyone: contemporary apartments of all sizes and types, family houses and even a few colonial cottages.


Thorndon residents often stroll to work; it’s only minutes from the CBD, with equally easy access to the Botanic Gardens. So it’s not surprising Thorndon has some beautiful old houses (mostly carefully renovated), and several good restaurants. Its stylish shops attract shoppers from a wide area and it has one of central Wellington’s biggest supermarkets. Thorndon has two of Wellington’s top girls’ schools (Queen Margaret, private; Wellington Girls’ colleges, state). Thorndon is home to the Westpac Stadium, the National Library (good exhibitions) and many major government buildings – including Parliament. The Thorndon fair is a very popular annual event.


Vogeltown is a hillside suburb of Wellington, on the eastern slopes of Brooklyn and overlooking Newtown. It is sometimes considered part of Mornington. This suburb has fantastic panoramic views of Newtown and Lyall Bay. This suburb is very much suited for kids at primary school as there are some primary schools in Newtown that are close by and handy. There are large sports fields and easy access to the greenbelt for the true outdoor enthusiasts.


Wadestown is an understated yet stylish suburb resting on the southern slopes of Ngaio Gorge and Wellington’s western hills, just north of Thorndon. Many houses are almost grand with white-painted weatherboard, verandas and ample gardens. You will find that most residents are typical of Wellington’s professional and public service set. Many families have lived in Wadestown for generations and it continues to attract new residents looking for somewhere close to the city, but nonetheless, far enough away for a quieter life.


Tucked away behind Wadestown in Wellington’s north-west hills, Wilton offers native bush, parks and bush walks; it’s hard to believe the capital city’s centre is only minutes away. Wilton is becoming increasingly popular for those wanting to get away from the concrete jungle of the inner city, helped by its excellent bus service. There’s a house for every taste and budget in this diverse suburb. Wilton’s bush is a popular reserve well worth visiting. The local bowling club is also ever welcome of new visitors.

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Thanks to the following sources for this information. For more information on Wellington, please visit:


Wellington City Council


Tawa Link

Zoomin – Churton Park


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Awards & Associations

We are a member of the Independent Property Managers' Association (IPMA), and Leading Property Managers of New Zealand (LPMNZ).

We are also members of the Wellington Property Investors Association and Jackie Thomas-Teague is the former president.