Welcome to Wellington! Below is information that you may need during the semester including details on what to do when you are sick, how to get around and other important information while abroad.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you keep the TEAN contact info on you at all times in case of emergency.

Accessing Money

Banking in New Zealand

ANZ, BNZ, Westpac, ASB and Kiwibank are the major banks in New Zealand. We advise talking to your U.S. bank and checking whether they have any relationship with any of the NZ banks mentioned above. A few past students have advised that Westpac is compatible with their bank back home and so they didn’t get charged the usual fees associated with international banking and withdrawals. You could also look at using a travel card or opening a New Zealand bank account. The universities tend to have a local bank on campus, so it’s easy to meet with a branch assistant and open an account there.



For most health services you are covered by the Student Safe insurance policy. When accessing health services outside of the university campus, you will need to pay upfront for the cost of an appointment and fill out a claim to get your money back later. Make sure you keep all receipts for the insurance claim process. Check with a service team member on where to get these forms and familiarize yourself with what your Student Safe insurance covers.

Victoria On-Campus

Victoria Health Centre
Phone: Kelburn Campus/ Main phone line – (04) 463 5308
Email: student-health@vuw.ac.nz

Counselling service
Phone (04) 463 5310
Email: counselling-service@vuw.ac.nz

Massey On-Campus

Massey Student Health and Counselling Services
Phone: (04) 979 3030 ext 63030


Wellington Accident & Urgent Medical Centre
17 Adelaide Road, Newtown
Phone: (04) 384 4944
Open from 8am – 11pm. You don’t need to make an appointment before you go.

Pharmacy (Chemist)

New Zealand pharmacies stock vitamins, make up and over-the-counter prescription medicines. New Zealand tends to have less variety in pharmaceutical brands than the U.S., so it’s worth giving them a call first if there’s something in particular you’re looking for. For example, Benadryl does not refer to allergy medicine in New Zealand. If you have any questions, the pharmacy staff are very helpful and can walk you through the options on offer.

Victoria University Pharmacy
Ground Floor, Easterfield Building, Kelburn campus
Open 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday Closed Saturday and Sunday

The Terrace Pharmacy
70 The Terrace
Open 8am – 5.30pm
Closed Sundays

Life Pharmacy
Corner of Cuba and Manners Streets
Monday – Thursday from 7.30am – 6pm
Friday until 7pm, Saturday until 5.30pm and Sunday until 5pm

Unichem Pharmacy
122 Cuba Mall
Monday to Friday from 8am – 6.30pm
Saturday from 9am – 6.30pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm

Unichem Pharmacy
100 Courtenay Place
Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm
Saturday from 9.30am – 6pm
Closed Sundays


If you’re not certain if you need professional medical attention, then use the free national advice service, Heatlhline. It’s free to call and the trained nurses will advise you on what treatment is in your best interest. You can call Healthline on 0800 611 116, 24/7.

Wellington Transport

City Buses

Go Bus is the main bus operator in Wellington. These are the yellow buses and you use a transport or ‘Snapper’ card to ride the bus. The card costs $10 and after that you prepay your bus fare as you go.

You will also see green ‘Newlands’ buses. These buses travel within and around the greater Wellington region but do not accept Snapper cards. The other public bus service you will see is the Airport Flyers. They are orange and purple and offer an express route to the airport. Your Snapper card will automatically qualify you for 20% off your total fare on both Go Buses and the Airport Flyer. You can top and purchase a Snapper card up at any ‘Fix’ convenience store. The general price of a fare using a Snapper card is approx $1.60 per zone, so most inner city commuting shouldn’t cost more than $3.

Metlink is an online journey planner for public transport systems in Central and Greater Wellington. Check out Metlink to get your adventure rolling.

The journey planner is an awesome tool for navigating timetables, bus routes and calculating fares. You just type in where you need to go and when you want to be there; the planner does the hard work for you!

Travel Beyond Wellington

Travel Beyond Wellington

NakedBus and Intercity are the main public transport companies that travel around the country. For touring bus options, check out Stray Travel and Kiwi Experience. These companies offer a ‘get on, get off’ service that extensively travels both islands and are a great way to meet other young travellers.

Travel by Train

When traveling to the Greater Wellington region, trains are also a good option. For fares and an interactive journey planner see Metlink. The railway station is located in Pipitea along Waterloo Quay. For travel furhter outside Wellington via train check out New Zealand Rail.

Travel by Ferry

If you plan on traveling south, Blueridge and the Interislander are the only ferry operators that cross the Cook Strait between Wellington (North Island) and Picton (South Island). The crossing takes approximately 3 hours and both ferries leave from the docks near the TSB Arena. Expect to pay around $50 for a passenger ticket. Student deals pop up from time to time so subscribe to the company newsletters for special offers – Blueridge and Interislander.

Travel by Plane

Air New Zealand is the national airline and has a good reputation for customer service and quality. For this reason it’s the more expensive airline option.

For last minute Air NZ deals, GRAB-A-SEAT is your cheapest resource when it comes to booking flights online. Sign up for the e-mail notifications as great deals get posted everyday and they often sell out fast! When booking online, tickets are sold as one-way, so this gives you plenty of flexibility to choose fares with the cheapest price and fit your schedule.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, check out Jetstar. Be aware that Jetstar is a little less reliable when it comes to going through with flights, and they are known for last minute cancellations. If you’re on a budget, and your plans are flexible, they are still a good choice however.

Using the iSite

An iSite, or Information Centre, is a great resource for travellers and are found in pretty much every town/city in NZ. Staff can help with locating and booking activities in the local area. They have dedicated staff on site to help you organize your activities and are an excellent opportunity to gain local insight in an unfamiliar place.

Identification Card

Identification Card

Instead of carrying around your passport as legal identification in NZ, we suggest you apply for an 18+ Kiwi Access Card. The university will also suggest this during their orientation and will have forms available for distribution. Your U.S. driver’s licence is not accepted in NZ as a legal ID. The 18+ card application forms can be downloaded from here and we encourage you to do this early, as the processing time is about two weeks.

Before applying you’ll need to prepare the following:

  • A passport-sized photograph (NZ-sized, you can get this from any pharmacy)
  • Proof of your current address (ask your university support office for a letter)
  • Photo ID to prove who you are (your passport!)
  • A processing fee of $55 NZD

Groceries and Shopping

Supermarkets and Groceries

New World
Generally New World is more expensive than other stores but offers greater variety and has better quality stock. A lot of Vic students catch the cable car on Lambton Quay to the New World Metro on Willis Street. Buses leave outside of the store every 20 minutes on weekdays. The largest, full-sized store is located on the Oriental Bay side of the waterfront.

Similar to New World but with the bonus of online shopping and door to door delivery, check out Countdown. Save this option for bigger shops or split the extra charge for delivery with your flatmates! The main Countdown in Newtown is a short bus ride for Vic students (catch the no. 10 or 11), and a 10-minute walk from The Cube for Massey students. There’s also the smaller Countdown along Willis Street near the shortcut to the Cable Car.

Pak ‘n Save
No frills and the cheapest of the supermarkets, this franchise is ideal for larger shopping trips.That said, there are none in the main city so you’ll have to catch a ride with your mates or get on a bus heading towards Seatoun or Kilbirnie (catch the no. 10 or 11). Go to Metlink for the bus schedule.

Moore Wilsons
Moore Wilsons is the closest thing in town to a Whole Foods. There is only one location in Wellington on the corner of Tory and College Streets in Mount Cook. The store is divided into a ‘fresh’ section, featuring daily baking and artisan products, and the ‘catering’ department, where customers can buy in bulk.

Four Square
These are corner/convenience stores and so you’ll find them scattered across the city. They only stock the necessities and you’ll also find the cost of food more expensive, but they’re great for last minute milk, eggs and bread.

Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s markets are the cheapest and freshest way to stock up on vegetables. Better yet, as you’re supporting local farming initiatives, you are putting money back in the community and reducing your carbon footprint by cutting down on food miles. There are many throughout the city but these are our top picks!

The Waterfront Market
7.30am – 1.00pm
Held every Sunday in the Mount Victoria side of Te Papa Museum car park. Here it’s not only the veggies that are fresh, local fisherman bring their morning catch and fillet the fish right in front of you! You’ll find their boat docked adjacent to the Chaffers dock complex (the building between Te Papa and New World). Moreover, the farmer’s market sells free range eggs at exceptional prices and artisan vendors make a guest appearance on the pedestrian access along the waterfront and in the foyer of Chaffers Dock building.

The Victoria Street Farmer’s Market
7.30am – 1.00pm
Held every Sunday in the Moore Wilson’s (not the supermarket chain) car park on the corner of Victoria and Vivian Streets. This market is walkable from both Victoria and Massey. It’s a bit smaller than the market on the waterfront but generally has the same variety; the earlier you go the fresher the produce!

The Night Markets

The night markets are a great way to try local and artisan food at very reasonable prices. Expect to pay between $10 – $15 for a meal.

Left Bank Market
5.00pm – 10.00pm
Held every Friday on the Left bank, Cuba Street.

Cuba Night Market
5.00pm – 10.00pm
Held every Saturday night at the base of Cuba Street.


When you need homewares, bedding and other miscellaneous items, head to the below stores. All three are chains so you’re likely to see them scattered across the country.

The Warehouse
The Warehouse is New Zealand’s equivalent to Target or Walmart but has less variety. The closest to the CBD is at 133 Tory Street.

Briscoes is similar to The Warehouse but caters more extensively to homeware. It’s slightly better quality and therefore a little more expensive. The closest to the CBD is located at 116 Taranaki Street.

You may be familiar with this one! In New Zealand Kmart has a better range of items than The Warehouse and is just as cheap if not cheaper. Many students have found themselves on what can only be described as a ‘Kmart binge’ as it’s easy to buy far more than you really need every time you go there. The closest is in Porirua so you’ll have to catch a bus there.



TEAN New Zealand students live in university managed housing in either a hall of residence, apartment or flat. Each housing type normally has a senior uni student living there as a residential assistant or Kiwi-host to provide a support and liaison function.

As you are living in a shared accommodation, it is important to be mindful of your behavior and impact on others in terms of noise and social gatherings, and to be respectful of shared household rules and responsibility for kitchen and bathroom cleanliness.

A housing bond is paid to the university (this is the $350 you already paid to TEAN). You can request the refund from TEAN at the end of the semester. It will be returned if your room and common living areas are left in a clean and tidy condition with no reported damages.

Housing Contact

Victoria University of Wellington
University Hall
Level 2, 2 Waiteata Road
Phone: (04) 463 4713
Email: universityhall@vuw.ac.nz

Massey Wellington
The Cube Hall 242, Taranaki Street
Phone: (04) 979 3150
Email thecube@massey.ac.nz or accommodation.wellington@massey.ac.nz

Important Contact Info

Important Contact Info

Emergency Services: If you’re in an accident or need urgent medical attention, call 111

You will be asked to choose from our ambulance, fire or police services. The person on the other line will walk you through what you need to ask for if you’re not sure.

TEAN Staff

TEAN’s Regional Resident Assistants are available to help if anything goes amiss. If you need advice or you simply want to talk, feel feel to give them a ring!

Ashley Stewart: Wellington : 027 768 7815

Dianne Fountaine-Cody : Palmy : 021 063 6921
On Lee Lau : Dunedin : 021 353 998
Geoff Ockwell: Dunedin: 020 414 89279
Allison Ferris: Christchurch : 022 045 2151
Shivani Rajan: Auckland : 022 390 6356
Josh Horrell : Auckland : 027 529 3232

Rachel Fenton : NZ Director, based in Auckland : 021 031 4248

University Contacts

Victoria International
Phone: (04) 463 5350
Email: victoria-international@vuw.ac.nz

Massey International Wellington
Phone: (04) 801 5799 ext 63622
Email: c.j.wu@massey.ac.nz


Events Around the City

Sites like EventFinda, Stuff Events and Events Wellington are awesome for keeping up with what’s going on in the city. Be sure to tune in for TEAN’s monthly newsletter ‘What’s on’ for a sampler of events from each region.

Live Music

Wellington attracts buskers from around the world. You’ll often catch them on Cuba Street or Courtney Place, and especially at the local markets and during regional events. Check out the list below for live gig venues. To keep up to date with upcoming gigs subscribe to undertherader.co.nz

San Fan
171 Cuba Street, Te Aro

154 Vivian Street, Te Aro

Hotel Bristol
133 Cuba Street

The Library
1/53 Courtenay Place, Te Aro

9 Edward Street, Te Aro

Southern Cross
39 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro

The Rougue & Vagabond
18 Garrett Street, Te Aro

The Fringe Bar
26 – 32 Allen Street, Te Aro


Kiwis love their movies and in Wellington you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The Embassy
10 Kent Terrace, Te Aro
Renown as the place to be for premier movies, red carpet events and to purchase Lord of the Rings merchandise.

Reading Cinema
100 Courtney Place, Te Aro
This cinema offers a $9 movie of the week, $12 for any movie on Tuesdays, and a student discount with ID.

Light House Cinena
29 Wigan Street, Te Aro
More of an art house cinema. On Tuesday and Thursday the student price is only $11.

The Roxy 
5 Park Road, Miramar
Well worth the trip out of the city. The cinema is modelled to mirror the Art Deco era.

Live Theatre

Wellington is a cultural hub and host to highly acclaimed international and homegrown performances.

Michael Fowler Centre
111 Wakefield Street, CBD

St James Theatre
77- 87 Courtenay Place, Te Aro

The Opera House
111-113 Manners Street, Te Aro

Circa Theatre 
1 Taranaki Street, Te Aro

BATS Theatre
1 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria

The Fringe Bar
26 – 32 Allen Street, Te Aro

Wellington Bucket List

Wellington Bucket List

The Auckland Bucket List created by your TEAN Wellington Resident Director

  • The Cable Car
  • Explore the Botanical Gardens
  • Dinner and a movie at The Roxy
  • Weta Workshop
  • Mount Vic Chippery kumara fries
  • Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The Mount Victoria Lookout
  • Red Rocks coastal walk
  • Te Papa – NZ National Museum
  • The Night Markets
  • Newtown Zoo
  • Karaoke at the Fringe Bar
  • A tour of Parliament
  • Explore Wrights Hill Bunkers
  • The Great War exhibition
  • Fix and Fogg peanut butter factory
  • Coffee at Havana Coffee Works
  • Tour the Wellington Chocolate Factory
  • Watch a Game at the Cake Tin (Westpac Stadium)
  • Jump off the whole in the Wharf
  • Catch a free gig at Meow
  • Visit Midnight Espresso at 3am
  • Bike along the waterfront
  • Watch a performance at Bats theatre
  • Hold hands with the bronze statue watching over the harbour
  • Hot chocolate at Scopa $5
  • Tommy Millions pizza on the corner of Courtney and Taranaki
  • Full moon drumming at the Southern Cross
  • Bhakti Lounge yoga

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