How Much Does It Cost to Live In Wellington?

Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most expensive areas in this country.

Surprisingly, despite being the capital city, Wellington has a population of just under 0.5m.

With its small size, Wellington doesn’t have its share of world class restaurants or shopping centers, but what it does have loads of is atmosphere.

Affordable housing and decent transportation make Wellington an easy city to live in.

Despite being the capital, is a small city which means it’s walkable and easy to get around.

Cost of Living Index:


With its small size, Wellington doesn’t have the plethora of world class restaurants – though it does have a couple of them. Still, you should keep in mind that eating out will, without a doubt, cost you more than cooking by yourself. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around 50$, while for a pint of domestic beer, you will pay around 7$.



The good thing about New Zealand is that it’s very rich in nature. This mean you can expect to find plenty of freshest fruits and vegetables in many open markets and buy them directly from the farmers. As for grocery shopping, your groceries and amount of money you spend on food depends on your eating habit and may vary from $80 per week onwards.



Public transport in Wellington is decent. Surprisingly for a capital, it’s not as good as in other cities. If you work late you may find the public transport in short supply so you might want your own transport like a car or a bike, but if you want to use public transport, a one way ticket will cost you around 3.50$. the good news is Wgtn is compact and easy to get around.



Utilities are not too expensive in Wellington, if you look at the price of all included utilities for an apartment of a larger structure (85m2): for such an apartment, all basic utilities – including electricity, along with heating and cooling, water, gas and garbage services – costs around 120$. Internet is pretty pricey though, amounting up to 60$.

Sports and leisure


Wellington has a couple of cinemas and if you want to go and watch a movie in one of them, it will cost you around 10$. Again, though this is not typical for a capital city – enjoying some sports and fitness activities is way cheaper than in most other cities in New Zealand. Becoming a member of a gym or a fitness club will cost you less than 40$ a month.

Clothing and shoes


And though Wellington is a vibrant and exciting city, there are not as many shopping opportunities as you’d find in Auckland, for example. This, however, does not mean that the prices are lower, too. For example, a pair of quality jeans like Levi’s costs around 80$, although a pair of quality running sneakers like Nike remains at around 95$, while simpler items of clothing like shirts cost around 35$.

Rent per month


Rent is definitely one of the more expensive aspects of living in New Zealand. Don’t expect to find a cute apartment anywhere near the center of any of the major cities for less than 1200$ – and that goes for one-bedroom apartments! If you want to move in with your family in a larger apartment, then prepare to cash out at least 2000$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Wellington

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $12.17
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $6.09
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.77
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $2.04
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.58
Eggs (12) $3.34
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $3.38
Monthly Pass $101.43
Gasoline $1.49
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $115.13
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.30
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $54.94
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $36.77
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $8.94
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $10.14
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $78.40
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $35.51
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $93.75
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1173.27
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $958.75
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $2069.07

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Wellington?

Rent is the biggest expense of anyone living in Wellington, along with food and groceries which are definitely one of the most expensive aspects of living in this country, if not the most expensive one.

Apart from food and rent, people spend a lot of money on transportation (and this includes gasoline expenses, taxi rides as well as car rental expenses) and restaurants – since there are many people who are used to eating all three meals in restaurants.

Utilities are also a big expense for an average person living in Wellington – as this is something that just has to be paid, like it or not.


Wellington: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Salaries in Wellington are definitely high and make living in this city a very pleasant and comfortable experience.

These salaries allow the citizens to pay for everything they need and have enough even for the things that aren’t necessities, and in general, people of New Zealand would rate their quality of life here as “extremely good”.

Minimum wage in Wellington is around 1800$ – and though the prices are higher in this country too, this is still a reasonable amount of money that just goes in line with the high standard of the city.

Average Salary$2720.60
Minimum Wage$1868.3
Mortgage Interest Rate5.01%

Cost of Living by City in New Zealand

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Auckland 76.63
Christchurch 70.23
Dunedin 70.16
Hamilton 71.91
Wellington 71.52

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