Wellington Sports and Outdoor Activities

(Wellington, North Island, New Zealand NZ)

Wellington Sports and Outdoor ActivitiesAs the capital of New Zealand, the city of Wellington is called home by some of the country's principal sports stadiums and venues. Located on the northern side of the city centre and on the Waterloo Quay, the waterfront Westpac Stadium is especially noteworthy and this is the city's premier sporting venue, being capable of accommodating some 26,000 spectators.

The Westpac opened in 2000 and cost approximately NZ$130 million to build, being nicknamed by locals as the 'Cake Tin', since its sides are straight and silver. This stadium is the home ground for a number of the city's premier sports teams, namely the Wellington Lions and the Hurricanes (rugby), and the Wellington Phoenix Football Club. Elsewhere, Newtown Park plays host to regular football games and athletics events, with a capacity of some 5,000 people, while located to the south of the city centre and next to Mount Victoria, the Basin Reserve is a major cricket ground. Other popular sports and related activities in the area include numerous golf courses, tenpin bowling alleys and swimming, and skiing nearby is even possible.


Tel: +64 (0)4 384 5227
Cricket in New Zealand has always been a major spectator sport and regular international test cricket matches are held at Wellington's premier Basin Reserve cricket ground on Kent Terrace, in the Courtenay Place district. The Basin Reserve is especially historic, dating back to 1868 and currently offering an overall capacity of around 11,000 spectators. Of note, the cricket season runs from October to March.

Wellington Sports and Outdoor Activities


Tel: +64 (0)4 499 4995
Rugby is one of Wellington's most popular winter sports and the city is proud of its rich rugby heritage. The Hurricanes serve as the premier rugby union club, regularly competing in the SupeRugby championship, where teams from around New Zealand, Australia and South Africa play for the prestigious Super title. Rugby matches frequently take place at the Westpac Stadium (formerly named the WestpacTrust) in the Thorndon area, which is within easy reach of the city centre. The exciting annual Telecom Rugby Sevens Tournament is a particular highlight each year.

Scuba Diving

The clear and inviting waters around Wellington's beautiful south coast are often ideal for either snorkelling or scuba diving, boasting plenty of deep bays and colourful fish. The city is therefore home to a number of professional scuba diving schools, where you will be able to hire a range of diving equipment. Popular dive locations include the following:


Wellington is highly regarded throughout the North Island for its exceptional beaches situated along the eastern and southern coastline, often featuring ideal surfing conditions. Some of the region's top surfing destinations include:

Wellington Sports and Outdoor Activities

Sailing, Canoeing and Sea Kayaking

The city features a number of notable sailing, canoeing and sea kayaking schools, many of which are close to Wellington Harbour and cater for both experienced and beginner sailors.

Sea kayaking around the harbours and coastal regions has recently become a particularly popular sporting activity and sea kayaks can usually be hired per day or just for an hour or two.

Yachting and Boating

Yachting has always been a major recreational activity and sport around the city of Wellington. At the weekends, numerous yachts of all sizes sail around the region's attractive harbours, bays and scenic coastal stretches, including the Kapiti Coast. The main yachting season in New Zealand is between September and March.

Fitness Centres and Gyms

Many sports centres and gyms are scattered around Greater Wellington, with the most popular including the following selection:

Tenpin Bowling

Address: 12 Western Hutt Road, Petone, Wellington, North Island, 6008, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (0)4 568 3168
Tenpin bowling has always been an extremely social pastime for both locals and tourists, and 'Tenpin Petone', in the Hutt Valley region, includes plenty of modern bowling alleys, shoe hire, computerised scoring, a café and a bar.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to midnight


Wellington has numerous sandy beaches with calm, clear, warm waters, many of which are extremely suitable for swimming. Also, larger sports centres in the city often contain indoor and outdoor swimming pools, which can include water slides, diving boards and a smaller pool for young children.


Fishing is a particularly popular activity for visitors and a number of boats provide deep-sea fishing around Wellington harbour. Many of the city's fishing boats come with the latest radar equipment and fishing gear, meaning that you can be fairly confident of a good catch, with snappers and tuna fish being especially sought after. Some boats even feature onboard barbecues, so that you can cook up your fish and enjoy a tasty fresh meal before you arrive back. Depending upon the time of year, it may also be possible to fish for blue cod, grouper, kingfish and trevally.

Cycling and Mountain Biking

Cycling is a major recreational sport in Wellington and there are numerous popular cycle trails leading you around the coastline. A number of these are suitable for mountain bikes, particularly within the mountainous suburbs, where cyclists can expect to find magnificent views of the city's harbour, beaches and lengthy coastline.

Extreme Outdoor Activities

Wellington has vast amounts of exciting, thrilling and at times somewhat dangerous extreme sports and outdoor activities. These include abseiling, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, mountaineering, caving, skydiving, gliding, indoor go-karting, trail motorbike riding, jet bike safaris and white water rafting, the latter of which is possible at the nearby Kaitoke Gorge in Hutt Valley and also within the Mangaweka area - around three hours drive from the city centre. Hang gliding and paragliding are both popular around the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and the Kapiti Coast, while jet boats zoom along the Ruamahanga and Manawatu rivers in the Wairarapa area.