Captain and hooker Andrew Hore provided the individual highlight of a hard fought bonus point victory against a committed Lions line-up, scoring a brilliant solo try early in the second half.
From a standing start in broken play, Hore received a pass from halfback Piri Weepu just outside the Lions' 22-metre line, sold a dummy, ran through three would-be tacklers and then sprinted 20 metres to the chalk for his 18th Super Rugby try.
The try also came at a decisive time of the match, extending the Hurricanes' lead to 28-15 after the Lions had eaten into their 14-point halftime advantage with a try and a penalty soon after the interval.
The Hurricanes had previously scored two tries in the first half to blindside flanker Michael Paterson and Weepu to lead 21-7 at the interval.
Left wing David Smith added the fourth and bonus point try with 10 minutes remaining following another concerted period of pressure from the visitors on the Hurricanes defensive line, which was a player down for 10 minutes with second five-eighth Maa Nonu in the sin-bin.
The Hurricanes now embark on their three-match tour of South Africa to play the Cheetahs, Stormers and Bulls with two consecutive bonus point wins behind them and 14 competition points on the Super 14 competiton ladder.
Ripia kicked penalties in the 4th and 10th minutes for an early 6-0 advantage, the first a booming penalty from near halfway.
The vocal crowd didnt have to wait long for the opening five-pointer, blindside flanker Michael Paterson picking up a bouncing pass off the ground and crossing in the same left hand corner, following his own lineout win against the throw and a concerted passage of attack across both sides of the field.
The Lions, with former All Blacks first five-eighth Carlos Spencer at the helm, played positive attacking rugby throughout and were rewarded when openside flanker Derick Minnie scored from a lineout penalty.
Fullback Earl Rose added the extras, and the Hurricanes held on to an 11-7 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of the opening half.
Ripias boot remained on-song and the Hurricanes pivot kicked his third penalty on 32 minutes to extend the margin to 14-7.
A sparkling run deep into Lions territory by electric fullback Cory Jane led to the home sides second try to halfback Weepu on the stroke of halftime.
No. 8 Rodney Sooialo offloaded to Weepu off the back of a 5-metre scrum and Weepu shot to the line near the posts for a seven-pointer.
The Lions closed the gap to 21-12 with their second try immediately after the break through hard running No. 8 Todd Clever.
The introduction of Aaron Cruden into the stand-off position for Ripia nearly paid immediate dividends when his short pop pass to left winger David Smith from an attacking lineout move in the corner went to ground with the try line in sight.
Rose brought the visitors to within a converted try with a penalty on 50 minutes, before Hore galloped through to score his try to once more extend the lead.
Hurricanes second five-eighth Maa Nonu was then sinbinned for repeated infringing and Rose stepped up to kick his second penalty to close the deficit to 10 points.
A committed run at the defence by Schwalger, and fast recycling at the ruck set up the bonus point try for David Smith in the left hand corner on 70 minutes.
Piri Weepu flung out a dive pass from the ruck to Nonu, who linked up with Jane and then Smith to give the Hurricanes five competiton points and extend the advantage out to 33-18.
This encounter was the 50th Super Rugby match at Westpac Stadium after Jonah Lomu scored two tries in the first against the Stormers in 2000. Their record there is now won 35, lost 13 and drawn two. This was their fifth straight win at the Wellington stadium.
The Hurricanes have now met the Johannesburg- based Super Rugby side 15 times. They have now won 12 of these matches and the Lions three.
The Hurricanes now leave for their three-match of South African tour to play the Cheetahs, Stormers and Bulls, before returning home to complete the South African set of opposition to host the Sharks.
They meet the Cheetahs at Bloemfontein next Saturday morning at 6.10am (NZT).
Hurricanes 33 (Michael Paterson, Piri Weepu, Andrew Hore, David Smith tries; Willie Ripia 3 pen, con; Weepu con)
Lions 18 (Derick Minnie, Todd Clever tries; Earl Rose con, 2 pen).
The scoring action (by minute):
4th: Willie Ripia penalty Hurricanes 3-0
10th: Willie Ripia penalty Hurricanes 6-0
13th: Michael Paterson try Hurricanes 11-0
23rd: Derick Minnie try Hurricanes 11-5
24th: Earl Rose conversion Hurrcanes 11-7
32nd: Willie Ripia penalty Hurricanes 14-7
39th: Piri Weepu try Hurricanes 19-7
40th: Willie Ripia conversion Hurricanes 21-7
42nd: Todd Clever try Hurricanes 21-12
50th: Earl Rose penalty Hurricanes 21-15
53rd: Andrew Hore try Hurricanes 26-15
54th: Piri Weepu conversion Hurricanes 28-15
55th: Earl Rose penalty Hurricanes 28-18
70th: David Smith try Hurricanes 33-18
The Hurricanes team was:
1. John Schwalger
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Neemia Tialata
4. Bryn Evans
5. Jason Eaton
6. Michael Paterson
7. Karl Lowe
8. Rodney Sooialo
9. Piri Weepu
10. Willie Ripia
11. David Smith
12. Maa Nonu
13 Conrad Smith
14. Tamati Ellison
15. Cory Jane
16. Dane Coles
17. Jacob Ellison
18. Nick Crosswell
19. Scott Waldrom
20. Tyson Keats
21. Aaron Cruden
22. Andre Taylor