Wellington is New Zealand's political centre, housing Parliament, the head offices of all Government Ministries and Departments and the bulk of the foreign diplomatic missions in New Zealand. Wellington's compact city centre supports an arts scene, café culture and nightlife much larger than many cities of a similar size - and is a great place to celebrate completing the North Island, or to ready yourself for the journey north.
In Maori, Wellington goes by three names. Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara refers to Wellington Harbour and means "the great harbour of Tara". Poneke is a transliteration of Port Nick, short for Port Nicholson. Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Maui, meaning The Head of the Fish of Maui (often shortened to Te Upoko-o-te-Ika), a traditional name for the southernmost part of the North Island, derives from the legend of the fishing up of the island by the demi-god Maui.
Te Araroa in the Wellington region takes in the Tararua Ranges - some of New Zealand's most challenging tramping country - then comes down the stunning Kapiti Coast, before coming over exposed ridgelines with spectacular views - a fitting way to enter Wellington!
|Wellington Region Trail Notes (629KB)|
|Wellington Region Maps (20MB - large file)|