New Zealand’s capital, Wellington owes its status to its location, at the Southern tip of the North Island, in the center of the country.
Only 3 hours’ ferry to the south island, Wellington has been dubbed “the coolest little capital in the world” by a famous travel guide. If it is indeed one of these rare human-sized capitals, there is definitely a unique “vibe” to this very dynamic, cultural city and its surrounding. It is also the world’s southernmost capital city of a sovereign state.
At the heart of New Zealand
The earliest tangible proof of Māori settlement dates back to the early 13th century while the first Europeans arrived aboard the ships Tory and Aurora in 1839 and 1840. 25 years later, Wellington grabbed the capital status from Auckland due to its proximity to the south island and the presence of a suitable, sheltered harbour. Gold fields were abundant in the South Island and the central government also feared that Southerners would create a separate colony within the British Empire. Very much New Zealand’s political centre, Wellington is also, as a consequence, the headquarters of embassies. This makes for a very cosmopolitan city, second to Auckland only.