Sussing Student Deals in Wellington
Firstly, nothing is more important than getting around. “You can walk everywhere in Wellington” is a common refrain, but it isn’t always true. Many students are based in places like Karori, Newtown, the Hutt, and Porirua, making pedestrian life an unappealing option. Currently, there is no student discount for students on Wellington’s public transport. However, 2017’s VUWSA executive spent a great deal of their time waging the “Fairer Fares” campaign, and the council is introducing a 25% cut for student fares on July 1st. All you need is a Snapper card, which can be picked up anywhere in the region. Check out Snapper.
Food + Drink
Cheap bus fares are well and good, but we all know that the best part about being a student is going out on the town. Wellington’s bars and restaurants offer several good student deals, especially if you’re a lover of pizza. Heaven Pizza on Cuba Street has student night on a Wednesday, and you can pick up beaut $8 pizzas. For the carnivores among us, Thursday gives us $10 burger and fries night at Mama Brown’s on Wakefield Street. These guys don’t mess around, and the meal will definitely fill you up. But don’t spend all your money during the week. The night you definitely won’t want to miss is Fridays at The Hunter Lounge – Victoria University’s student bar, located in the Kelburn campus. Margherita pizzas are 2 for 1 from 3 p.m., meaning you and a friend can pay $4 each for a medium or $6 for a large. Jugs of Castlepoint beer are always $10 and there’s a doubles pool tournament that is free to enter. There’s nowhere better to catch up with your fellow students at the end of the week.
How about entertainment? Wellingtonians are lovers of culture, but going to the movies need not break your budget. Student discounts exist in all of Wellington’s theatres. You’ll pay $13 a ticket at the Embassy Theatre in Cambridge Terrace, and either $12 or $13 at most other cinemas, including the Lighthouse in Te Aro, Roxy in Miramar, Empire in Island Bay and Penthouse in Brooklyn. The Reading Cinemas on Courtney Place might edge $14, but that’s it.
Not all student deals are purely for fun either. Student life involves a lot of partying and good times, but you can also end up in kind of situation where you’re sitting in a cold, uninsulated flat in July with an aching tooth or a busted shoulder – and no idea how you’re going to afford the treatment. Fortunately, there are medical discounts for students too. Wellington Dentists on the corner of Boulcott and Willis Streets will give you a full checkup for $55, and throw in 10% off any treatment you require. That’s on top of already offering the cheapest prices out of any dentist in town. For GP visits, the only cheap option is at your university. Massey University offers $10 GP visits or $5 to see the nurse. Student Health at Victoria University offers free GP visits – although you may have to wait a while. If the Kelburn Campus center is booked out, the clinic at Pipitea Campus may be less busy. If you need the physio, you’re also in luck. A valid Student ID will get you massive discounts of up to 40% at Willis St Physiotherapy, who also have a secondary clinic at the VUW Kelburn Campus.
It pays to be in the know
Many places in Wellington also offer deals to everyone on a night by night basis, and it just takes a quick google search to find something to do on a budget for any given night. We’re talking cheap gigs, student deals on drinks, and other rocking money-savers. But you should also go exploring on your own, up through Cuba and Courtney. Part of student life is discovering your own spots and making your own weekly traditions that fit everyone’s budget. Fortunately for us, the capital is still rocking with student deals – even if Mexico doesn’t offer their notorious free snack card anymore (RIP).
- Jack Buckley, Wellington, New Zealand