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Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. Although Wellington is not the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland holds that crown, it does provide plenty of city things to do. Bounded by it's magnificent harbour, Wellington is hilly, windy and full of wonderful Victorian architecture. Wellington is a lot more cultured than it's rival city Auckland, and has plenty of restaurants, theatres, museums, art galleries and accommodation. Wellington is also the major crossroad between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.


Wellington attractions


Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui or the “Head of Maui’s fish) is an early name for Wellington and evidence of early Maori settlers can be found in this area. Kupe, a Polynesian explorer is credited with the discovery of Wellington Harbour in the tenth century. Te Whanganui aTara is another Maori name for Wellington, the capital of New Zealand and means the “Great Harbour of Tara”.

According to legend Tara was a Polynesian migrant who was sent on a mission by his father to explore the island. When he found the best bit the tribe moved to what is now Wellington. Around 4.5% of New Zealand’s population lives in Wellington which is the administrative centre of the country.

Maoris with strong tribal affiliations live in and around Wellington today and are an integral part of the cultural history of New Zealand. Wellington houses the parliament and government buildings as well as the majority of foreign embassies. The city centre in Wellington is quite compact and has a vibrant range of cultural and sporting activities.

Wellington has a prominent arts scene and is the centre of the New Zealand theatre and film industry. Much of the cultural activity and nightlife takes place in and around Courtenay Place. The Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra are world famous and frequently have concerts in Wellington. Many events are hosted in Wellington such as the New Zealand Rugby 7’s, International Arts Festival, and a biennial Cuba St Carnival.

Wellington is situated at the south western tip of North Island on the Cook Strait. Set against a backdrop of the Kaikaura Mountain Range with their snow capped peaks this is one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world and is the southernmost capital city. Set in the roaring forties latitudes the wind that blows up Cook Strait lends itself to the capital’s nickname as Windy Wellington. The scenic natural harbour with sweeping forests and colonial style houses are a trademark feature of Wellington. The harbour has three islands, Mokopuna Island, Makaro Island and Matiu Island which is the only inhabited one.

Wellington information

The Miramar Peninsula lies to the east of the city connected to the isthmus at Rongotai where the Wellington International Airport is located. Amongst the forested hills a network of bush trails make the area around Wellington excellent walking country. With botanical gardens and interesting museums there are plenty of diverse things for visitors to do.

The area around Wellington is the perfect place to enjoy the Great Outdoors which features heavily in the culture of New Zealanders. A short drive away takes visitors to the Lower Hutt where there are walking trails and golfing facilities, whilst the Porirua district is a renowned watersports area with windsurfing and sailing. Wairarapa is the wine growing area of New Zealand and is also within a short driving distance of the capital. Wellington is also the gateway to exploring more of the beautiful New Zealand countryside, mountains and rural areas.

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