Life as an F3 Doctor in Wellington, New Zealand
Moving abroad as a junior doctor can be scary, so knowing what to expect before you make the move is really important. Here, we’ll take a closer look at Wellington in New Zealand to help you decide if it’s a good fit for your F3 year in Australia or New Zealand.
Where is Wellington?
New Zealand’s capital is located at the very bottom of the North Island, alongside the Cook Strait (the strait running between the two islands that make up New Zealand). It is the world’s southernmost capital of a sovereign state and as of 2018 there were 420,100 people living in the city - so it’s about the size of Leeds.
It is known to be one of the world’s most liveable cities, doing very well in many rankings over the years. In 2016, Wellington was ranked 12th in Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey, ranking only behind Auckland and Sydney in the Asia-Pacific region. It won first place in terms of liveability and non-pollution in 2018, while in 2013 Lonely Planet named it “the coolest little capital in the world”.
What is there to do in Wellington?
Te Papa Tongarewa Museum
The name of New Zealand’s national museum means “container of treasures” and is the main draw for most visitors to the city. It is known to be one of the best interactive, engaging museums in the world. Here you are able to explore great treasures and stories of the country, including information about the flora and fauna, Maori culture, art and history. The displays on offer include an earthquake simulator, the skeleton of a blue whale and the corpse of the largest colossal squid ever captured, said to weigh half a tonne!
Wellington is a city brimming with nature experiences, but this conservation attraction particularly stand out. It is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary containing some of New Zealand’s rarest birds and reptiles, among other types of animals. The aim of the enclosure is to show off the country’s natural history, and restore an ecosystem to as close to what it would have been before humans arrived to the country. More than 20 species have been reintroduced to the area, some of which had been absent for over 100 years.
Wellington Cable Car
The cable car ride only last for 5 minutes, but it’s a journey that you won’t want to miss out on. A journey on this mode of transport provides you with incredible panoramic views across the city. Plus, it provides easy access to many of the city’s top attractions, including Zealandia and the Botanic Garden.
There are many action-packed adventure activities available in and around the city. One that stands out is the Makara Track, a family-friendly trek that includes spectacular views, farmland and the Makara Beach. Other notable places for hiking close to Wellington are the Kaitoke Regional Park, which was the setting of Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings films, and the Matiu/ Somes Island Track.
Wellington is the culinary capital of the country
Food and Drink
Wellington is the culinary capital of the country and is famous for having a thrilling food culture and many award-winning restaurants. The coffee there is also meant to be incredible, but also very strong. Many of the main places to eat and drink are located on Courtenay Place and Cuba Street, and we’ve listed some of the most well-renowned locations here -
What's the weather like?
The city is said to have a “temperate, maritime climate”, which means it rarely sees temperatures above 25º C or below 4º C. Snow is very rare and there is high rainfall, with June and July being the wettest months. The summers are warm, with the daily maximums in the region of 17 - 21º C (February tends to see the highest temperatures), while in the winter the average high is roughly 10º C.
The area receives around 2,055 hours of sunshine per year, which is about average for New Zealand but a lot lower than Australian cities. London gets around 1,500 for comparison. So whilst there’s more rain than other parts of New Zealand, you will get much more sun than in the UK too. The city is also known as “Windy Wellington” and is the world’s windiest city based on average wind speed.
Cost of living in Wellington, New Zealand
Although Wellington is the capital of the country, it is a much smaller city than Auckland (the largest city in the country), which means that costs tend to be a lot lower here. Consumer prices come out at around 6% lower. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre would cost £924 in Auckland, while in the capital it would only cost you £880. See more information here.
What are the local hospitals?
The main hospital that serves the area is Wellington Hosptial. It is the region’s primary tertiary hospital and has 484 beds - it is too small to service the population which it has to cover, a population which is rapidly growing.
Some of the private hospitals in the area are Bowen Hospital, Wakefield Hospital and the Wellington Southern Cross Hospital.
Read more about Wellington
Here are some links so you can find out even more about this amazing capital city, which will give you an even better insight:
48 Hours in Wellington: Where to go & what to do
Wellington Information for Incoming Tourists
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At Messly, we help doctors like you make your next move in healthcare. We are working with hospitals and clinics in Australia and New Zealand, helping trainees from the NHS make their dream F3 year a reality.
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