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Wellington Area Guide

Yachts on Wellington Harbour in front of Point Jerningham
and Roseneath. Evans Bay at left - ©
New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, is built on the south west corner of the North Island, its buildings and houses clustering on the narrow strips of flat land around the harbour and the south coast, and ranging over the steep bush-covered hills.

The central city is built on land reclaimed from the harbour, with the waterfront walkways to the national museum, Te Papa, providing views of the inter-island ferries chugging across the harbour and out to the South Island.

Wellington is defined by its geography, the city and suburbs hemmed in by the steep-sided hills, bounded by the harbour and the sea, and topped by the merrily turning wind turbine at the top of the Brooklyn Hill, the wooden houses of the northern suburbs perching precariously on the sides of hills. At night coastal lighthouses blink to warn incoming ships of rocky areas of shoreline.

Areas of suburban settlement spread north from the historic centre of Petone along the Hutt River valley into the commuter towns of Lower and Upper Hutt at the foot of the bush-clad Rimutaka Ranges. To the west, the northern motorway, state highway 1, traverses the Kapiti Coast north from Porirua through the seaside villages of Plimmerton, Paekakariki, Paraparaumu and Waikanae. Offshore lies the native bird sanctuary of Kapiti Island, a protected environment for native birds, including the playful fantail, melodious tui and bellbird, and the rare bush parrot, the kaka.