It's far from ideal but Wellington's previous experiences of COVID-enforced exile in Australia has allowed them to quickly settle back into life in Wollongong ahead of the A-League Men's season.
Travel restrictions due to the latest outbreaks of COVID-19 in New Zealand and Australia mean the Phoenix will once again start a season on the road, having relocated to NSW in October.
Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay says the move has hampered his recruitment and left him with a thin squad for the opening weeks of the season, but the positive is the amount of time spent in Wollongong during the pandemic has the team familiar with their home away from home.
"It'd be nice to be in Wellington and playing at home in front of our own fans but unfortunately that's not the situation," Talay said.
"The players have lived through this a few times now so they've adjusted to it.
"Where we are now where we're staying, I think the boys are quite comfortable and also the training facilities are very good as well. That helps because it's our daily environment where we're at and where we work.
"Things have been progressing quite well."
Since arriving in NSW, the team has been joined by Australian-based pair Reno Piscopo and Matthew Bozinovski with Nicholas Pennington and Luca Prso also linking up with their new club after returning from overseas.
Pennington, Prso and Bozinovski are all building fitness, as is English forward Gary Hooper after his pre-season calf injury.
With Louis Fenton (knee) and Sam Sutton (knee) both unlikely to feature until at least the third week of the season, Talay admits his options will be somewhat limited when the Phoenix kick off their campaign next weekend against Macarthur.
"We've got a younger group and the group is very adaptive to every scenario which is great for me, makes my job a lot easier, and we can concentrate on football," Talay said.
"Is it the best way to start a season? No, it isn't, but again, I don't make any excuses.
"Our best XI will be competitive and try to play a certain brand of football."