Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 398,300 residents.
It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. It is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Wellington is the world's southernmost capital city of a sovereign state.
Wellington became New Zealand's capital city in 1865, replacing Auckland; the government wanted a more centrally-located city as capital to quell the South Island nationalist movement.
Wellington offers a blend of culture, heritage, fine food and coffee, together with lively arts and entertainment.
Surrounded by hills and a rugged coastline, the city has a stunning harbour. Wellington’s charm is that it serves up a vibrant inner city experience with a slice of New Zealand scenery. And because of its compact nature, you can sample it all: boutiques, art galleries, trendy cafés and restaurants. Right on its doorstep is a network of walking and biking trails with beautiful wineries and vineyards just a few hours away.
Wellington offers an array of theatre, music, dance, fine arts and galleries and museums. It is also home to one of the nation’s key attractions, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
The 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Wellington 12th in the world.
|POPULATION :||City: / Urban: 398,300 / Metro: 402,300|
|TIME ZONE :||NZST (UTC+12) Summer: NZDT (UTC+13)|
|RELIGION :||Anglican 13.8%, Roman Catholic 12.6%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 12.1%|
|AREA :||444 km2 (171 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft|
|COORDINATES :||41°17′20″S 174°46′38″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.11% |
• Female: 50.89%
|ETHNIC :||European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5%|
|AREA CODE :||04|
|POSTAL CODE :||5010, 5011, 5012, 5013, 5014, 5016, 5018, 5019, 5022, 5024, 5026, 5028, 6011, 6012, 6021, 6022, 6023, 6035, 6037|
|DIALING CODE :||+64 4|
Wellington is marketed as the 'coolest little capital in the world' by Positively Wellington Tourism, an award-winning regional tourism organisation set up as a council controlled organisation by Wellington City Council in 1997.
Popular tourist attractions include Museum of Wellington City & Sea, Wellington Zoo, Zealandia and Wellington Cable Car. Cruise tourism is experiencing a major boom in line with nationwide development. The 2010/11 season saw 125,000 passengers and crew visit on 60 liners. There were 80 vessels booked for visits in the 2011/12 season – estimated to inject more than NZ$31 million into the economy and representing a 74% increase in the space of two years.
Wellington is a popular conference tourism destination due to its compact nature, cultural attractions, award-winning restaurants and access to government agencies. In the year ending March 2011, there were 6495 conference events involving nearly 800,000 delegate days; this injected approximately NZ$100 million into the economy.
Wellington Visitor Information Centre
Wellington Visitor Information Centre (iSITE), Civic Square, Corner Victoria and Wakefield St, , toll-free: 0800 933 5363. A good place to begin your Wellington visit - they're able to book accommodation, activities and provide useful information about Wellington and surrounding areas. Their website contains the same information and is worth checking out prior to your visit. They are a member of the national i-SITE visitor information centre network.
Legends recount that Kupe discovered and explored the district in about the 10th century. The earliest date with hard evidence for Maori living in New Zealand is about 1280. European settlement began with the arrival of an advance party of the New Zealand Company on the ship Tory on 20 September 1839, followed by 150 settlers on the Aurora on 22 January 1840. The settlers constructed their first homes at Petone (which they called Britannia for a time) on the flat area at the mouth of the Hutt River. When that proved swampy and flood prone they transplanted the plans, which had been drawn without regard for the hilly terrain.
In 1865, Wellington became the capital city in place of Auckland, which William Hobson had made the capital in 1841. The Parliament of New Zealand had first met in Wellington on 7 July 1862, on a temporary basis; in November 1863, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Alfred Domett, placed a resolution before Parliament in Auckland that "... it has become necessary that the seat of government ... should be transferred to some suitable locality in Cook Strait [region]." Apparently there had been some concerns that the more populous South Island (where the goldfields were located) would choose to form a separate colony in the British Empire. Several Commissioners invited from Australia, chosen for their neutral status, declared that Wellington was a suitable location because of its central location in New Zealand and good harbour. Parliament officially met in Wellington for the first time on 26 July 1865. At that time, the population of Wellington was just 4,900.Wellington's status as capital is by constitutional convention rather than statute.
The city averages 2,059 hours of sunshine per year.
The climate is a temperate marine one, is generally moderate all year round, and rarely sees temperatures above 25 °C (77 °F) or below 4 °C (39 °F).
The hottest recorded temperature is 31.1 °C (88 °F), while −1.1 °C (30 °F) is the coldest.
The city is notorious for its southerly blasts in winter, which may make the temperature feel much colder.
It is generally very windy all year round with high rainfall; average annual rainfall is 1,244 mm (49 in),
June and July being the wettest months.
Frosts are quite common in the hill suburbs and the Hutt Valley between May and September. Snow is very rare at low altitudes, although snow fell on the city and many other parts of the Wellington region during separate events in July and August 2011.
|Record high °C (°F)||30.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||20.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||16.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||13.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||4.1|
Wellington is at the south-western tip of the North Island on Cook Strait, separating the North and South Islands. On a clear day the snowcapped Kaikoura Ranges are visible to the south across the strait. To the north stretch the golden beaches of the Kapiti Coast. On the east the Rimutaka Range divides Wellington from the broad plains of the Wairarapa, a wine region of national notability. With a latitude of 41° 17' South, Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world.It is also the most remote capital city, the farthest away from any other capital.
The Government sector has long been a mainstay of the economy, which has typically risen and fallen with it. Traditionally, its central location meant it was the location of many head offices of various sectors – particularly finance, technology and heavy industry – many of which have since relocated to Auckland following economic deregulation and privatisation.
In recent years, tourism, arts and culture, film, and ICT have played a bigger role in the economy. Wellington's median income is well above the average in New Zealand, and the highest of all New Zealand cities. It has a much higher proportion of people with tertiary qualifications than the national average.
The urban area stretches across the areas administered by the city councils of Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua.
Wellington Central Library (in the city square, next to the information centre). It's huge with great places to sit and read or if you bring your laptop to connect home via one of the city's paid-for Wi-Fi networks. Entry is free.
CBD Free WIFI, +64 4 909 7625. Free Wifi is available on the waterfront between the Railway Station and Te Papa. This is paid for by some adverts.