Wellington, New Zealand is the world’s windiest city, with an average of 22 days of over 74 km/hr (45.9mph) and 173 days above 59 km/hr (36.6mph) of wind speed.

windy statue wellington
Solace in the Wind (The Naked Man) statue – image copyright Aidan/Flickr

Sailors, windsurfers and kite-surfers come from afar to ride the winds of Wellington. Air pollution is almost non-existent and wind power is harnessed for electricity. Wind power one of the major upside of a breezy climate, Wellington has 62 turbines set on the hills around the city.

West wind project in Wellingtons West – image copyright tbsgroup.co.nz

Residents of Wellington have learnt to cope with the winds, at one stage, there was even ropes that were strung across a number of busy city streets, to assist pedestrians to make it across the road. These ropes are no longer in use, but the city does have a number of wind-friendly Street Corner Canopies. These devices are now used instead of ropes.

These canopies use glass and sturdy handles to keep pedestrians safe. Image copyright architectureplus.co.nz

Why is Wellington the windiest city in the world?

Wellington is in a unique spot, with the sea on the south and big valleys to the north. The sea breeze creates a “funnelling effect” through the Cook Strait channel into Wellington Harbour.



The 5 windiest cities in the world

This list is for urban areas with the most amount of average wind. If you are looking for places or areas of land with the most wind, sorry this list isn’t for you.

5) St. John’s, Canada

The windier part of the year lasts for 6.5 months, from October 5 to April 20, with average wind speeds of more than 13.2km/hr (8.2mph). The windiest day of the year is January 13, with an average hourly wind speed of 16.7km/hr (10.4mph).

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4) Dodge City, Kansas.

Average wind speed just under 22.5km/hr (14mph). There are locations in the U.S. with higher averages, but this is the windiest place with a significant population of more than 27,000 people.

3) Punta Arenas, Chile.

The average hourly wind speed in Punta Arenas experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 5.5 months, from October 4 to March 21, with average wind speeds of more than 26km/hr (16.2mph). The windiest day of the year is November 16, with an average hourly wind speed of 23.3km/hr (18mph)

2) Rio Gallegos, Argentina

The windier part of the year lasts for 5.4 months, from October 17 to March 29, with average wind speeds of more than 24.6km/hr (15.3mph). The windiest day of the year is December 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 27km/hr (16.8mph).

1) Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington has a fairly crazy wind speed, averaging of 22 days with over 74 km/hr (45.9mph) and 173 days with more than 59 km/hr (36.6mph).

Watch how windy it can get


About Wellington

Wellington is the capital city and second most populated City in New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. The city is on the southern tip of the North Island, its latitude is 41°17′S, makes Wellington also the world’s southernmost capital of a sovereign state.

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The average salary in the region is NZ$59,639, with the most popular occupations: Executive Assistant, Software Developer and Operations Manager which pay between NZ$62,000 – NZ$125,000 per year. The most popular industries in Wellington are: Banking, Education, and Information Technology (IT).

Benefits of being the windiest city

It’s surprising to think, that there are benefits to having a windy city. Below is a few of the main reasons the wind is great for Wellington.

  • Surfing is more predictable – Wellington is a very coastal city and has many different angles, at almost any day of the year, there is a surf beach within 10-45 minutes of the CBD.
  • Air Quality – Air pollution in Wellington is minimal to non-existent, there is a noticeable difference from the clean fresh air Wellingtonians get to enjoy and most other cities.
  • Renewable energy – The region boasts some of the most consistent winds and produces some of the most reliable wind-electricity in the world.
  • It doesn’t get too hot – You can almost always count on a breeze to cool you down.
  • Mosquitos and flies are uncommon – While Wellington isn’t mosquito or fly free, there is far less flying bugs to deal with.

Can you think of any reasons why being the windy city is great? Please tell us in the comments below.