If you feel an earthquake that is either longer than a minute OR strong enough that it’s hard to stand up, as soon as the shaking stops, get to high ground, out of all zones (past the blue line)!

If there is an official warning, then evacuate from the zones (red, orange or yellow) is stated in the warning.
See the definitions of the zones

Online Map

We recommend you find your home and workplace, see which (if any) zones they are in, and work out a safe way that you can get (preferably by foot, if possible) out of all the evacuation zones, past the blue lines (if they have been painted in your neighbourhood).

Don't wait until it's too late! Find your home and workplace now - develop your evacuation plan and set your household/whanau/workplace meeting point

Open larger map [Opens in new tab/window - zoom out and move around to see other areas]

NOTE: The above map uses ARCGIS online, a system which is not hosted on the same system as this website. If it is slow to load then pdf maps are also available from the links below.

Downloadable Maps

Click on the links below to find downloadable maps for coastal areas of the Wellington region. These are available in both PDF and JPG format. 

Understanding the different evacuation zones

Evacuate all of the tsunami zones if you feel an earthquake that is either longer than a minute OR strong enough that it’s hard to stand up, as soon as the shaking stops. The earthquake may be the only warning of a tsunami, so do not wait for further instructions, notifications or advice, evacuate immediately after the shaking has stopped.

If there is an official warning, then evacuate from the zones (red, orange or yellow) stated in the warning.

The Red Zone is the beach and marine environment, and some very low lying areas. This zone is the one we ask people to stay out of most often as a result of smaller tsunamis. 

The Orange Zone (including the red zone) is the area we may evacuate for large earthquake in the Pacific, such as near South America, causing a tsunami wave of up to 5 metres at the Wellington coastline. Alerts and evacuation advice would be issued by Civil Defence and distributed to the public for this type of tsunami because we have more time.

The Yellow Zone (including the orange and red zones) is the area that you must evacuate from if you feel a long or strong earthquake. The earthquake may be the only warning of a tsunami, so do not wait for further instructions, notifications or advice, evacuate immediately after the shaking has stopped. This zone has been defined by modelling up to magnitude 9 earthquakes on the subduction zone to the east of the North Island, the worst-case scenario modelled for the Wellington region.  The Blue Lines mark the edge of this zone in parts of our region.

If you are not in an evacuation zone, you don't need to evacuate to higher ground. Some areas may be cut off if your normal access goes through a tsunami evacuation zone, so be prepared to stay at home until the all clear is given.

Find out more

Learn more about the Wellington region's tsunami hazard

A programme is underway to have lines indicating the edge of the tsunami evacuation areas painted around coastal areas of the Wellington region, see blue line project.

Technical information 

Indicative Tsunami Evacuation Zones, 2009

Indicative Tsunami Evacuation Zones, 2009 (PDF, 2.2 MB)

The Wellington region tsunami evacuation zones were first defined using the methodology developed by GNS Science in the report by G.S. Leonard and others:

Review of tsunami hazard, 2013

Review of tsunami hazard, 2013 (PDF, 11 MB)

This report examines all likely sources of tsunami that could affect New Zealand, and evaluated their potential to generate tsunami , the likely waves provided, and the likely size of tsunami at the New Zealand coast. Complied by W. Power. (pdf, 11 MB)

Hydrodynamic Inundation Modelling for Wellington Harbour, 2015

Hydrodynamic Inundation Modelling for Wellington Harbour, 2015 (PDF, 2.5 MB)

A revision of the zones in Wellington Harbour and the South Coast. Report by C. Mueller and other