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About Wellington

The coolest little capital in the world

Named as Lonely Planet’s coolest little capital in the world in 2011, Wellington is home to a plethora of theatres, music bars, restaurants and New Zealand’s parliament.

Wellington city is located at the bottom of the North Island, on Cook’s Strait that separates the 2 islands. Māori legend says that Kupe, a great chief, discovered the area in the 10th century. Wellington was settled by British settlers in 1839 and named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo.

Many of New Zealand’s arts and cultural icons are located in Wellington, such as the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, as well as being the film capital of New Zealand. Many national and international festivals visit Wellington each year.

Wellington city has a population of 180,000. Located in the Roaring Forties and on Cook Strait means that the city is windy all year round and sees a lot of rain.

Surrounding region

Only a short drive from the city takes you to the beautiful wine region of the Wairarapa or to the small coastal beach towns of the Kapiti Coast.

The City of Porirua to the North of Wellington and the City of Lower Hut around the harbour are both only short drives from the CBD and many people commute between the cities. They both offer many outdoor pursuits and cultural experiences, such as The Dowse Art Museum and mountain biking trails.