How to Travel from Auckland to Wellington

How to travel from Auckland to Wellington (ALL the options!)

I still recall the time I first attempted to travel from Auckland to Wellington. I thought, “How hard could it be?”

Little did I know, my innate sense of direction was comparable to that of a homing pigeon with serious natural-GPS issues. Instead of rolling hills and the beautiful coastline, I found myself in what seemed like the set of ‘Lord of the Rings’.

That first trip was quite an experience. Thankfully, though, the next few times I travelled to Wellington, I had no detours—it all went smoothly. And now, I’m pretty much an old hand at the trek!

So, I can help with the question that brought you here: What are the main ways you can travel from Auckland to Wellington?

The main ways you can travel from Auckland to Wellington are by car, plane, and public transportation.

To help you on your travels, I’ve put together a foolproof guide on all the best ways to make the journey!

How to Travel from Auckland to Wellington by Car

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Time to get to Wellington8 hours 24 minutes
Things you needA car
A driver’s license
  1. Prepare your car for the drive. Get your car’s fuel, oil, and tire pressure all sorted out.
  2. Begin the drive from Auckland to Wellington. Here are some general directions to follow, taken from Google Maps
  • Get on SH 1 from Wellesley St E and Grafton Rd.
  • Follow SH 1 to Horahora Rd in Piarere. 
  • Follow Old Taupo Rd, State Hwy 32 and State Hwy 41 to Volcanic Loop Hwy/SH 1 in Turangi. 
  • Follow SH 1 to Taranaki St in Te Aro, Wellington. 
  • Turn left onto Taranaki St. 

How to Travel from Auckland to Wellington by Plane

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Time to get to WellingtonAt least an 1 hour and 10 minutes
Things you needA plane ticket to Wellington
Transportation to and from the airport
  1. Search up flight prices. Google Flights is a good flight price comparison site, but you can use Skyscanner or Skiplagged too.  Prices for one-way tickets start at 50 NZD. Consider booking your flight in advance to secure the best prices.
  1. Book your flight. Once you know which day you’re flying out, book that plane ticket! Airlines such as Air New Zealand and Jetstar operate multiple flights daily between the two cities.
  1. Get to Auckland Airport. You can reach the airport by taxi, airport shuttle, or public transport. Ensure you allow plenty of time, as traffic can be heavy during peak times.
  1. Check in for your flight. Upon reaching the airport, proceed to check in for your flight. This can usually be done at a self-service kiosk or at the airline’s check-in desk. Remember to have your identification and flight information ready.
  1. Go through security. After checking in, proceed to the security checkpoint. Be ready to place your carry-on luggage on the conveyor belt for scanning, and remember to remove any metal objects you may be carrying.
  1. Wait for your flight. Once through security, you can wait for your flight in the departure lounge. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore while you wait.
  1. Board the plane. When your flight is called, proceed to the designated gate and board the plane. The flight from Auckland to Wellington typically takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes or less.
  1. You’ve made it to Wellington. Upon landing in Wellington, disembark the plane and head to the baggage claim area to collect any checked luggage.
  1. Travel from Wellington Airport into Wellington City Centre. To travel from Wellington Airport to the city centre using public transportation, you can opt for the Metlink bus service or take a taxi into the city centre. 

How to Travel from Auckland to Wellington by Public Transportation

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○○
Time to get to WellingtonAt least 10 hours
Things you needA Northern Explorer train ticket Transportation to the Auckland Britomart Transport Centre 
  1. Purchase a ticket. You’ll need to purchase a ticket for the Northern Explorer train, which travels from Auckland to Wellington. Tickets can be bought at the station or online ahead of time at Journeys NZ.
  1. Get to the Auckland train station. The journey starts at the Britomart Transport Centre, Auckland’s central public transport hub. You can reach Britomart by bus, train, or taxi from anywhere in Auckland.
  1. Boarding the train. Proceed to the platform for the Northern Explorer train. Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the departure time to find your seat and store your luggage.
  1. Sit back and relax on the train. The journey to Wellington takes approximately 10–12 hours, offering stunning views of New Zealand’s diverse landscapes. The train has a café car, and you’re allowed to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages onboard.
  1. Arrive in Wellington. Upon arrival at the Wellington Railway Station, you can collect your luggage and proceed to the exit. From here, you can take a taxi, bus, or walk to your final destination in the city.