The city's location close to the mouth of the narrow Cook Strait leads to its vulnerability to strong gales, leading to the city's nickname of "Windy Wellington".
The land to the west of this rises abruptly, meaning that many suburbs sit high above the centre of the city. There is a network of bush walks and reserves maintained by the Wellington City Council and local volunteers.
These include Otari-Wilton's Bush, dedicated to the protection and propagation of native plants. In the east is the Miramar Peninsula, connected to the rest of the city by a low-lying isthmus at Rongotai, the site of Wellington International Airport.
The harbour has three islands: It is a conservation island, providing refuge for endangered species , much like Kapiti Island farther up the coast. There is access during daylight hours by the Dominion Post Ferry. The urban area stretches across the areas administered by the city councils of Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua.
Steep landforms shape and constrain much of Wellington city. Notable hills in and around Wellington include:. Averaging 2, hours of sunshine per year, the climate of Wellington is temperate marine , Köppen: The hottest recorded temperature is The city is notorious for its southerly blasts in winter, which may make the temperature feel much colder.
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 Wellington suffered serious damage in a series of earthquakes in and from another earthquake in The Wairarapa earthquake occurred on the Wairarapa Fault to the north and east of Wellington.
It was probably the most powerful earthquake in recorded New Zealand history, with an estimated magnitude of at least 8. It caused vertical movements of two to three metres over a large area, including raising land out of the harbour and turning it into a tidal swamp. Much of this land was subsequently reclaimed and is now part of the central business district.
The area has high seismic activity even by New Zealand standards, with a major fault line running through the centre of the city, and several others nearby. Several hundred minor fault lines have been identified within the urban area. Inhabitants, particularly in high-rise buildings, typically notice several earthquakes every year. For many years after the earthquake, the majority of buildings were made entirely from wood.
The restored Government Buildings near Parliament is the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere. While masonry and structural steel have subsequently been used in building construction, especially for office buildings, timber framing remains the primary structural component of almost all residential construction. Residents place their confidence in good building regulations , which became more stringent in the 20th century.
Since the Canterbury earthquakes of and , earthquake readiness has become even more of an issue, with buildings declared by Wellington City Council to be earthquake-prone, and the costs of meeting new standards. Every five years a year-long slow quake occurs beneath Wellington, stretching from Kapiti to the Marlborough Sounds.
It was first measured in , and reappeared in and It releases as much energy as a magnitude 7 quake, but as it happens slowly there is no damage.
The sequence started at 5: On Monday 20 January at 3: At two minutes after midnight on the morning of Monday 14 November , a 7. The earthquake caused damage to a small number of buildings. The four cities comprising Wellington have a total population of , June , with the urban area containing The remaining areas are largely mountainous and sparsely farmed or parkland and are outside the urban area boundary.
More than most cities, life is dominated by its central business district CBD. Approximately 62, people work in the CBD, only 4, fewer than work in Auckland's CBD, despite that city having four times the population. Counts from the census gave totals by area, gender, and age. Wellington City had the largest population of the four cities with , people, followed by Lower Hutt , Porirua and Upper Hutt.
Women outnumbered men in all four areas. The most common overseas birthplace is the United Kingdom, place of origin of 7. The next most-common countries of origin were Samoa 2.
Age distributions for the four cities are given see table below. The age structure closely matches the national distribution. Wellington showcases a variety of architectural styles from the past years — 19th-century wooden cottages, such as the Italianate Katherine Mansfield Birthplace in Thorndon; streamlined Art Deco structures such as the old Wellington Free Ambulance headquarters, the Central Fire Station, Fountain Court Apartments, the City Gallery, and the former Post and Telegraph Building; and the curves and vibrant colours of post-modern architecture in the CBD.
The oldest building is the Colonial Cottage in Mount Cook. The tallest building is the Majestic Centre on Willis Street at metres high, the second tallest being the structural expressionist State Insurance Building at metres.
For a full list see: List of tallest buildings in Wellington. Futuna Chapel in Karori was the first bicultural building in New Zealand, and is considered one of the most significant New Zealand buildings of the 20th century. Old St Paul's is an example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials, as is St Mary of the Angels. There are several restored theatre buildings: As it is the capital city, there are many notable government buildings.
Across the road is the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere , part of the old Government Buildings which now houses part of Victoria University of Wellington's Law Faculty. It is strengthened using base isolation — essentially seating the entire building on supports made from lead, steel and rubber that slow down the effect of an earthquake.
Kinetic sculptures have been commissioned, such as the Zephyrometer. This metre orange spike built for movement by artist Phil Price has been described as "tall, soaring and elegantly simple", which "reflects the swaying of the yacht masts in the Evans Bay Marina behind it" and "moves like the needle on the dial of a nautical instrument, measuring the speed of the sea or wind or vessel. The annual children's Artsplash Festival brings together hundreds of students from across the region.
The week-long festival includes music and dance performances and the presentation of visual arts. Filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson , Sir Richard Taylor and a growing team of creative professionals have turned the eastern suburb of Miramar into a film-making, post-production and special effects infrastructure centre, giving rise to the moniker 'Wellywood'. But it's actually a lovely place, where you're pretty much surrounded by water and the bay. The city itself is quite small, but the surrounding areas are very reminiscent of the hills up in northern California, like Marin County near San Francisco and the Bay Area climate and some of the architecture.
Kind of a cross between that and Hawaii. Sometime Wellington directors Jane Campion and Geoff Murphy have reached the world's screens with their independent spirit. There are agencies to assist film-makers with tasks such as securing permits and scouting locations. Wellington has a large number of independent cinemas, including The Embassy, Paramount,Penthouse, the Roxy and Light House, which participate in film festivals throughout the year.
Wellington has one of the country's highest turn-outs for the annual New Zealand International Film Festival. The New Zealand School of Music was established in through a merger of the conservatory and theory programmes at Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington. St James' Theatre on Courtenay Place is a popular venue for artistic performances. These are separate entities that share the building's facilities.
The comedy group Breaking the 5th Wall operated out of Wellington and regularly did shows around the city, performing a mix of sketch comedy and semi-improvised theatre.
In the group disbanded when some of its members moved to Australia. Featured Events in Wellington. No children 1 child 2 children 3 children 4 children 5 children 6 children 7 children 8 children 9 children 10 children. Stay In Touch Sign up for our mailing list to get latest updates and offers for Wellington.
My Lists Create New Guide. My Guides Login to create your guides for Wellington. Wellington Botanic Garden Company. Mount Victoria Lookout Company. Old St Paul's Company. Easy access via the cable car and offering some of the city's most spectacular views Mount Victoria, a short drive from Wellington's central business district, offers spectacular views of the capital city Every day, and on the hour, free 60 minute tours offer you the chance to see areas of interest in the Parliament buildings and learn about some of the key parliamentary p Built in the s, Old St Paul's remains one of the capital's finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture Zealandia - The Karori Sanctuary Experience.
Wellington Zoo offers visitors a sense of fun and wonder. It's also a place to learn and appreciate the need to build a sustainable co-existence between people and wild Get down and dirty at New Zealand's largest Adrenalin Forest adventure park with testing aerial and land-based challenges for all the family Wellington Cable Car Company. No trip to Wellington is complete without a ride on the famous Cable Car.
It has been running since , and whilst the cars themselves have changed, the route remains Best Restaurants in Wellington Guide Options.
Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar Company. Boulcott Street Bistro Company. Logan Brown Restaurant and Bar Company. The Thistle Inn Company. Shed 5 Restaurant and Bar Company. Ortega Fish Shack and Bar Company.
Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar. Exquisite fine dining opposite Wellington Harbour in this third floor restaurant inside the Museum Art Hotel. Stunning, ornate decor, five-star service and food that look The Boulcott Street Bistro has been a fixture in central Wellington since and offers casual dining at lunchtime and in the evening Dragonfly is a modern Asian restaurant that blends traditional Asian influences with a contemporary twist and a focus on South East Asian food Logan Brown Restaurant and Bar.
Logan Brown's 80 seat dining room is situated in Wellington's vibrant Cuba St. Historic tavern in Thorndon,minutes from Westpac Stadium.
Shed 5 Restaurant and Bar. Renowned seafood restaurant on Queens Wharf, you can feel the history as you dine in this old warehouse. Shed 5 also has an outdoor terrace for when the weather's nice, s Ortega Fish Shack and Bar. The Ortega Fish Shack and Bar is a relaxed restaurant in central Wellington, focused on providing quality food and value for money Adventure Wellington Guide Options.
Rover Rings Tours Company. Seal Coast Safari Company. Flexible guided tours for small groups, around the Wellington region. City tours and Lord of the Rings themed tours a speciality.
Emphasis on the outdoors and interactivi See the capital in all its glory with a scenic flight from Wellington Helicopters Wellington's most exciting adventure centre, offering stress-busting paintball games, for private parties and corporate events.
Unique urban setting with an authentic mov Flat Earth New Zealand Experiences. Specialist guided tours in small groups.
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