Wellington (pop. 203,800) is New Zealand's third largest city, a long way behind Auckland and even Christchurch. It's actually just one of the four cities making up the Wellington metropolitan area which is New Zealand's second largest urban area (pop. 398,300) - the other three cities are Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua. There are proposals to merge the four cities into one as was done in Auckland, but there is considerable opposition, especially from the two Hutts. 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 city promotes itself as "Absolutely Positively Wellington". Its motto Suprema a situ claims site supremacy, with some justification. Wellington was named as the fourth best city in the world to visit in 2011 by "Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2011".