Wellington Travel Guide, New Zealand
Wellington is located at the southwest end of the North Island of New Zealand. The hills known as Wellington’s Town Belt, declared as a reserve area, encircle the city. The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is built in the flat lands below the hills abounding a large natural harbor. The mountains, rugged coastlines, and open countryside surround the city to give it a rare scenic beauty. In winter, you are able to view the snow-covered peaks of the South Island Mountains across Cook Straight. The metropolitan area of Wellington extends in the northeast to the Hutt Valley and up to Porirua and Kapiti in the north.
The population of Wellington is about 460,000. Even though native Polynesians had been living in this area from tenth century, the city developed only after the arrival of the European settlers in 1839. In 2007, a Quality of Living survey ranked Wellington as the twelfth most livable city out of a list of 215 cities in the world. Wellington is a city of a cosmopolitan look, with the residents hailing from diverse cultures. Nearly 25% of the city population is of recent arrival and of overseas origin.
Communities & lifestyle
Wellington is the gateway to the South Island. The boutique wineries of Marlborough and the district of Nelson with its fine arts are linked with Wellington by ferry services through the scenic Marlborough Sounds area. The main area in Wellington is the central business district or CBD. People live here in not only genuinely constructed townhouses and apartments but in flats that had been converted from factories, offices, and warehouses.
The western suburbs are adorned with colonial villas as well as modern executive residential buildings that offer contrasting visuals in tree lined avenues. The eastern suburbs contain similar homes but are very near the beaches and bays of the southern coastline of the city. The northern areas are at about a distance of 20 minutes drive from the CBD and the life here is more rural than urban. Large estates, gardens, and ranches mark this area.
The Hutt Valley east of Wellington is the first choice of new home buyers, with modern housing estates, colonial cottages, and aesthetically designed single houses being the major attractions, particularly for newcomers to the city. The valley is divided as Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. At a distance of 20 minutes drive in the north of Wellington is Porirua, another harbor community, where living is much more affordable than the city proper.
Being the center of the island nation and its capital, Wellington is the main distribution hub for the country. The deepwater port, the international airport, and the rail, road, and sea links to the North Islands and the South Islands had made the city a focal point of business. Wellington prides itself that its exchange, the NZX, is the first to open in the world every day. The business costs of establishing a commercial enterprise are comparatively lower than other places by general world business standards. The educated labor force and the compactness of the city are conducive to a fast development of business, particularly in high-tech areas.
Living in Wellington
Even though wages are lower in Wellington than in the other OECD countries, the cost of living in the city is also much lower. A survey ranked it as the least costly of 144 cities in the Australasia region. However, everyone in New Zealand has to pay the government taxes and there are no exemptions offered. Still, Wellington is a major attraction for people of several countries in Australasia and the number of migrants has been increasing.
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