In 2011, Lonely Planet dubbed Wellington the “coolest little capital in the world”. Located at the south western tip of the North Island, it is New Zealand’s capital and third-largest city. The Wellington region is made up of interlinked but distinct areas: Wellington, which plays host to the CBD and about half the population; the heavily Maori and Pacific Islander areas of Porirua; and the largely suburban commuter towns of Lower and Upper Hutt.

As is often the case with capital cities, the government is the main driver of Wellington’s economy, a situation that’s been exacerbated by many of its businesses relocating to Auckland in recent decades.

Thriving social scene

Like the residents of capital cities the world over, Wellingtonians are blessed with a disproportionate number of museums and galleries. There are also plenty of boutiques and theatres as well as a thriving café culture and bar scene. While Wellington looks spectacular thanks to its majestic harbour and craggy shores, be warned that the world’s southernmost capital city is infamous for its chilly, gale-force winds.