Tsunami evacuation zone maps
If you feel an earthquake that is either longer than a minute OR strong enough that it’s hard to stand up, then get to high ground, out of all zones (past the blue line), as soon as the shaking stops!
If there is an official warning, then evacuate from the zones (red, orange or yellow) stated in the warning. See below for definitions of the zones.
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.
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 pointOpen larger map [Opens in new tab/window - zoom out and move around to see other areas]
NOTE: While our main website has virtually unlimited capacity and will continue to operate at high speed even when under heavy load, the mapping system above may not be available as it uses data from outside our system. Please use the PDF maps below if the map above is unavailable or slow to load.
The maps below show the tsunami evacuation zones for coastal areas of the Wellington region. You can download them as PDF or JPG (images) to your device for quick and easy reference later.
Understanding the different evacuation zones
The Red Zone is the beach and marine environment, and some very low lying areas. This area is the one we ask people to stay out of most often as a result of smaller tsunamis. Evacuate this area when instructed to, or immediately after any 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.
The Orange 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. Evacuate this area when instructed to, or immediately after any 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.
The Yellow Zone is the self-evacuation zone which means if you feel a long or strong earthquake, then get yourself out of all zones. 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.
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 in given.
Find out more
Learn more about the Wellinton 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,
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: Indicative Tsunami Evacuation Zones (pdf, 2.2 MB)
The zones were validated in 2013, after the Japanese Tsunami in the report by W. Power: Review of the Tsunami Hazard in NZ (pdf, 11 MB)
The 2016 revision of the zones in Wellington Harbour and the South Coast was based on the detailed modelling done by GNS Science in the report by C. Mueller and others: Hydrodynamic Inundation Modelling (pdf, 2.52 MB)