Watch: Virtual reality simulator puts Wellington 6m underwater after huge sea level rise

Wellington City Council has developed a virtual reality environment where users can raise the sea level in the capital by up to 6m.

The project was undertaken to help illustrate the projected effects of climate change, with WCC innovation officer Sean Audain telling Stuff it's often easier to show people a problem rather than explain it.

"There's a lot of science that shows us what's going to happen to the oceans or the ice caps there not much science showing what's going to happen to cities," he said.

With just a modest 1m sea level rise, much of Wellington's famed Oriental Parade beach is washed away - at 6m, the waves are lapping at the steps of the Beehive.

WCC Chief Resilience Officer Mike Mendonca said Wellington faces difficult decisions in the future as it looks for ways to push back the inevitably-rising tides.

"We're a long way from making those decisions, but there's no denying the fact that at some time in the future we will have to make some hard calls," Mr Mendonca said.

This simulation shows which parts of Auckland would be underwater at high tide if the sea were to rise by three metres. Source: 1 NEWS

The application took about two years to create and an online version will be available on the WCC website from this afternoon.