A Very Welly Christmas 2016

Christmas in the capital just got a whole lot bigger and better - and you're all invited to a weekend filled with family-friendly activities and entertainment!

'A Very Welly Christmas' in gold sparkly letters against a green background.

When: 10 and 11 December 2016
Where: Lambton Quay, between Stout Street to the Old Bank Arcade

What's on

There'll be choirs, carols, candy canes, marching bands, food trucks, memories, magic, igloos, icicles, snowballs, skating and Santa... and a pop-up app!

Map showing the 2016 A Very Welly Christmas attractions, road closures and diversions.

Christmas map (102KB PDF)

Santa Parade

A Very Welly Christmas 2016 will carry on the Santa Parade's tradition with a bespoke parade forming part of the two-day festivities. 

Very Welly Christmas app

We've developed an awesome app which will be activated just for this special weekend. The augmented reality technology will bring all the joys of Christmas, entertainment and puzzles to a mobile device near you. Search 'Geo AR Games A Very Welly Christmas' on the app store or Google play - the app will activate at 11am on Saturday 10 December.

Event dates and times

  • Saturday 10 December, 11am, app gets activated
  • Saturday 10 December, 12pm, Santa arrives
  • Saturday 10 December, 12pm-8pm, A Very Welly Christmas on Lambton Quay
  • Saturday 10 December, 6pm-8pm, carols in Midland Park
  • Sunday 11 December, 12pm, Santa arrives
  • Sunday 11 December, 12pm-6pm A Very Welly Christmas on Lambton Quay

Be there at midday on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate Santa’s arrival and kick-off the festival on both days.

The evening carols in Midland Park will be supported by a magnificent massed community choir and the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band.

Time to give

This is a truly Wellington event with community participation at its heart, so please remember that Christmas is a time of giving - we’ll be asking people to dig deep and help support the Wellington Children's Hospital.

History of the parade

The Wellington Santa Parade has been going since 1949. Although the parade only went around the Basin Reserve then, thousands of parents and children lined the footpaths to witness the Capital's first real Christmas street spectacle.

Map showing road closures for Very Welly Christmas event in Wellington.

Roads closed during a Very Welly Christmas


Road closures

Lambton Quay, from Whitmore street to Willis street, will be closed to all vehicular traffic from midnight 9 December to midnight 11 December.  

Deliveries during this period can be made by entering Lambton Quay via the Willis Street intersection. 

The following streets will be closed to through traffic:

  • western end of Ballance street
  • Stout Street from the Balance Street intersection
  • Waring Taylor Street 
  • Johnson Street
  • Brandon Street
  • Panama Street
  • Grey Street

There will be will still be access to public carpark buildings and apartments from Featherston and Whitmore streets.



There will be no street parking available within the road closure area.

Parking restrictions will be in place for all of the eastern side of Featherston Street to allow for alternative bus and taxi parking.

Disabled parks

Disabled parks will be located:

  • on Balance street - next to the Wellington District Court
  • outside 35 Waring Taylor Street
  • outside 136 Featherston Street - next to TS Katsu
  • outside 170 Featherston Street - next to the ANZ Bank.

Off street parking

Access to all inner-city parking buildings will be available.

Clifton Terrace carpark will also be open - it has more than 400 parks and provides easy access to Lambton Quay via the Terrace and Woodward Street.  
Cost: $2 an hour, with a maximum of $6 for the day.

The Westpac Stadium carpark is offering free parking for a gold coin donation to the Wellington Free Ambulance.


Bus stops

Below are the locations of temporary bus stops during A Very Welly Christmas.


  • Whitmore Street - outside Victoria University Law School and opposite the Supreme Court: Routes 3 & 23 only
  • Featherston Street - at number 131 Featherston Street, between Warning Taylor Street and Johnston Street: All routes
  • Featherston Street - at number 195 Featherston Street, between Grey Street and Hunter Street: All routes 


  • Waterloo Quay - between Waring Taylor Street and Ballance Street: All routes
  • Whitmore Street - outside the Supreme Court and opposite the Victoria University Law School: Routes 3 & 23 only

There will be no changes to bus timetables. For more information, visit Metlink.


Trains will be operating to normal timetables with extra capacity.

Taxi stands

The taxi stand on Whitmore Street has been relocated to Lambton Quay, next to the Law Society building.