Wellington and Te Puke. Important cities in New Zealand.

The 20 largest cities of New Zealand

The state of New Zealand stretches over two large islands, the North and South, in the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the mainland, there are some 700 smaller parcels of land. Among other things, the country has made famous filming of “Lord of the Rings”: and now you can order a tour to the places associated with the movie.

Cities of New Zealand are interesting not only by sightseeing, but also by their special way of life. Each of them has something to offer tourists. In Auckland it is worth seeing the extinct volcanoes, in Wellington – the architecture and urban environment, in Hamilton – the general panorama from a bird’s eye view. A visit to Tauranga, the “Kiwi capital of the world,” or to Dunedin, home to the world’s coolest street, Baldwin Street, is also not to be missed.

New Zealand’s Largest Cities

A list of the country’s largest cities by population.


New Zealand’s largest city, its economic and financial center. It is located in Auckland Volcanic area: there are about 50 extinct volcanoes, which are now lakes, mountains, islands. Sailing is popular in Oakland. The city hosts international tournaments, including tennis tournaments. The population is nearly one-third of the nation’s total.

Population – 1 5 34 thousand people.



The capital of New Zealand, the southernmost capital in the world. The city is named after a British general. A distinctive feature of Wellington is an abundance of viaducts, tunnels, bridges and parks. Eclecticism predominates in the city’s architecture, and it blends perfectly with the widespread wooden buildings and modern buildings. Sights: St. Paul’s Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, the former government palace.

The population is 412.5 thousand people.



Translation of the name: Christ Church. Sightseeings: Botanical Gardens, Littleton Sea Gallery, Acquarium, Cathedral Square, Canterbury Museum, Orana Wildlife Park. You can take a sightseeing tour on the streetcar that runs through the city. Or take the funicular to Mount Cavendish Hill for a scenic tour of Christchurch.

Its population is 377,200.



Hamilton is on both sides of the Waikato River. In the Maori language, its name is Kirikiriroa. Hamilton Zoo covers an area of 25 hectares. Visitors can pay for a special tour and interact with many of the animals directly – feed them, hold them in their arms, pet them. Other attractions include the gardens, decorated in different styles, and the Waikato Museum . Popular excursions by hot air balloon.

The population is 203.4 thousand people.



The modern city has inherited its name from the ancient Maori settlements. Its translation is “protected bay. More goods enter the country via the local port than any other in New Zealand. Tauranga is called the “kiwi capital of the world” because of the abundance of kiwi plantations. In summer, there are a lot of tourists, which contributes to both the climate and infrastructure.

The population is 130.8 thousand people.



The city stands on the hills of Otago Bay. They were formed on the site of an extinct volcano. The terrain, proximity to water, and other factors made the climate in a fairly small piece of land not only variable, but also varied. Dunedin is home to the coolest street in the world, Baldwin Street. The main attractions are St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Knox Church, Cadbury World , Dunedin Town Hall.

Population – 118.4 thousand people.


Lower Hutt

There are about 800 research centers in and around the city. Attractions: art museum, film and television studios, the former residence of the Prime Minister, the Dry Creek Quarry, one of the filming locations of “The Lord of the Rings. Popular recreational activities – fishing, mountain biking, visiting the big market, open only on Saturdays.

The population is 101,000.


Palmerston North.

One of the important academic centers of the country. There are about 40,000 students, so they call Palmerston North a “student town. Attractions: the “Te Manawaa” museum, several theaters, independent galleries, about 100 parks, recreation areas and reserves. There are all conditions for sports: both indoor and outdoor sports grounds are available.

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The population is 78.8 thousand people.



Named after the first Governor General of India. Wine and gastronomic tours are very popular among visitors. They allow you to try the local products and explore the surrounding area. The city is the largest water park in the country. And in March held “Horse of the Year” – one of the biggest events of the Southern Hemisphere, associated with horses.

The population is 71 thousand people.



It stands on the shore of the lake of the same name. The full name in Maori is Te Rotorua – nui -a- Kaumatamoi. An important tourist center of the country. Modern infrastructure, a large choice of hotels for all budgets, an abundance of entertainment and recreational options make the city attractive in the eyes of New Zealanders and foreigners. The main attractions are natural, such as geysers.

The population is 70 thousand people.



After an earthquake in 1930, the city was rebuilt. Its architectural beauty in the Art Deco style attracts tourists from all over the world. The main attraction is the statue of Pania, an image from Maori culture. This sculpture is photographed more often than other cultural sites in the country. The main industries of the county are sheep breeding, horticulture, and winemaking. Napier is the largest wool production center in the southern hemisphere.

The population is 63,100.


New Plymouth

The first permanent settlements of Europeans in New Zealand appeared on these territories in 1841. The local port is the only deep-water port on the west coast of the country. Oil and gas are produced in the waters of New Plymouth. Points of interest – the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, home to the annual festival of lights, gardens, 13-kilometer-long walkway along the coast.

Population – 55.3 thousand people.



Invercargill is New Zealand’s southernmost and westernmost cities at the same time. Name in Maori is Uaiopai. The water tower is the symbol of Invercargill, and the main architectural landmark is the former Masonic lodge building built in 1864. Rugby is popular as an amateur and professional sport. The city has hosted the matches of the two world championships of rugby.

The population is 54.2 thousand people.



The Maori name, Fangarei Terenga Paraoa, translates as “the place where the whales live. In Mair Park is Mount Parahaka, an iconic place for the indigenous people. Here Maori warriors in ancient times performed a ritual dance before leaving for battle. Sights: the biggest collection of clocks in the Southern hemisphere, the Fine Museum, the Rosary, the Conservatory and the Marine Reserve.

The population is 48.6 thousand people.



It occupies the shores of the bay of the same name and includes the islands of Mana and Kapiti . Almost all local official events are held at Te Rauparaha Arena. There are also two centers: aquatic and fitness. The Museum of Arts and Culture has an extensive collection related to Maori traditions. In Porirua is the second tallest building in the country – the radio mast Titai Bay.

The population is 48.5 thousand people.



The location – the coast of Tasman Bay. The harbor is “covered” by a 13-kilometer rocky ridge. Nelson was named after the British admiral. The main places of interest are: the Zoo, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Cathedral of Christ Church. Wine tours are offered in the area. Beaches are adjacent to orchards and vineyards.

The population is 46.5 thousand people.



The translation of the name from the Maori language is “Big Bay”. The reason is the location on the shore of the bay at the mouth of the Uonganui River . The city is famous for its cultural diversity. It is home to a large regional museum and the Sarjeant Gallery. Local potters and glass-makers are famous even outside the country. One of the main attractions – the military memorial tower.

The population is 42 thousand people.


Upper Hutt

Refers to the metropolitan area and has had city status since 1966. Summers are warmer than Wellington, and winters are colder. This is due to the geography of the area. The county has many trails for walking and mountain biking. Upper Hutt has two galleries, several parks, golf clubs and hobby clubs.

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The population is 38,500.



The easternmost city of New Zealand. From a tourist point of view, the area is attractive because of its nature, in particular – the large number of lakes and natural beaches on the coast. It also produces several popular types of wine. In addition to the airport is a commercial port. The ethnic composition of Gisborne differs from the national one: more than 50% of the locals are Maori.

The population is 32.8 thousand people.



The city and the county of the same name were named in honor of the baron – a member of the association responsible for the creation of the British colony in these lands. The local railroad was closed to passenger traffic in 2002. As early as the nineteenth century Ashburton developed a large suburb rich in fields and pastures. Among the industrial plants stands out the largest spinning mill in the world.

Wellington. New Zealand.

Wellington is a lovely, very beautiful city, pierced by the winds and shuddering underground tremors of the unrestrained elements, the little capital of the beautiful country of New Zealand.

Coming from the north, from the starting point of the trip to Auckland, or returning from a spectacular wander around the South Island, you can’t miss this wonderful city, and there’s no way you can. First of all Wellington is located on the main crossroads of sea and land routes of New Zealand, and secondly it is the capital, and the familiarity with the country always begins with its capital, besides the fame of this beautiful city goes far beyond the country. After sailing through the perilous waters of the Straits of the Wile and past the murderous Barrett Reef, the snow-white ferry sails into the calm harbor, encircled by low, green hills, on whose shores this pretty town stands, the smallest capital in the world, the furthest from any capital in the world, and the southernmost independent capital in the world, for it lies on the forty-first southerly parallel. Wellington is located in the southwestern part of the North Island, on the coast of Wellington Harbor and Cook Strait. To the north is the Kapiti Coast, and to the east the Rimutaki Range separates it from the Wairarapa Plain.


Wellington was named in honor of a prominent British politician, the Prime Minister of the Crown, military leader, and winner of the Battle of Waterloo, Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, a title derived from the town of Wellington in the English county of Somerset. The city was named after him in November 1840 as a tribute to the Duke for his lordship’s assistance to the New Zealand Company and to the first European settlers. But besides this European name, Wellington has other names. In Māori, the city has three names: the earliest, Te Ukopo-o-te Ika-a-Maui (Maui Fish Head); Te Wanganui-a-Tara (Grand Harbor Tara); or simply Penke, the spontaneous name of Port Nicholson. And Wellington is also called The Harbour Capital, Wellywood (short for Wellington and Hollywood), or Windy Wellington, because of the strong, sometimes blowing at 26 kilometers per hour, winds. In November 2012, Wellington was officially renamed the Middle of Middle-earth, which was associated with the filming of “The Lord of the Rings. Legends say that Coupe discovered the area around the tenth century. Although the earliest possible date of settlement of the Wellington area by Maori tribes dates back to the 1280s. The first European settlers began arriving in what is now Wellington in 1839. These pioneers were followed by 150 settlers, on the ship Aurora. The first settlement was established in the Hutt Valley on the site of Peton, in Lower Hutt and named Britannia. But swampy land and frequent flooding forced relocation to the area of present-day downtown Wellington. In 1865, Wellington became the capital of New Zealand. Prior to that, Auckland was the capital. But due to fears of separatist sentiments in the South Island, as the majority of the population lived there and there were large deposits of gold, which brought huge monetary influence to the coffers of the southern provinces, it became necessary to move the capital to the center of the islands. In these circumstances, Wellington proved the ideal location. The first Parliament was held in Wellington on July 26, 1865. At that time the population of Wellington was 4,900.

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Today, Wellington is a very interesting city, and at first glance, it’s not very clear to a European. It’s hard to figure out where you are, in the city or already outside the city limits. According to statistics, the population of Wellington was 409,200 people, but this number includes the population of three other, quite large satellite towns: Upper Hutt, Porirua and Lower Hutt, which in various encyclopedic directories are listed as independent cities, with their own history, government and other accessories. The main part of the city, Wellington City, however, is located on a small peninsula between Cook Strait and the west end of Wellington Harbor, and the population of this central business district is 190,500. The rest of the population of the conglomerate is reached by Upper Hutt, with 40,100 residents, Porirua, with 55,200, and the largest of these three cities, practically the seventh largest city in the country, Lower Hutt-103,400 residents. Considering the sum of the population of all these cities within the city limits, Greater Wellington is the second most populous city in New Zealand, after Auckland, and without these cities, Wellington is second only to Christchurch and drops to third place. The population density in the Wellington area is very high, much higher than in other parts of the country. More than seventy percent of the city’s population is European. The second largest national group is the Maori. More than eight percent of them live here. The largest Maori community is in Porirua, one in five residents. The main language spoken is English. French, German, Chinese, Maori, and Samoan can also be heard within the city limits. But the residents of Wellington are not distinguished by religious beliefs. According to statistics in 2013, 44% of the population of the capital do not practice any religion. The largest religious community are Christians, about forty percent, and that has decreased compared to previous years.

Unusualness of Wellington.

The four towns that make up Greater Wellington make up a huge area that doesn’t always feel like a city. Leaving the central part of Wellington and taking the chic, multi-lane Route 1, along the harbor towering areas of Waystown, Handala, and Ngeyo, one enters an area that looks nothing like a modern city. The trail winds between deserted hills. There are no parks, no city squares, no city streets with high-rise buildings, stores, restaurants, and illuminated advertisements, and only somewhere on the neighboring hills with colorful roofs flash the houses of small urban areas “farmsteads”. And this is a picture one often encounters on the way to Porirua or on Route 2 from Lower to Upper Hutt. In general, the picture of the modern city at first glance is unusual and then it becomes clear that the face of the capital of New Zealand primarily represents its central part-Wellington City. Of course the other city-cities are beautiful in their own way and Porirua and the two Hatta, but the central part of Wellington is beautiful and unique and differs significantly from other cities in the country. There are high-rise buildings, smooth, clean streets, lots of parks, restaurants, all kinds of pubs (they say there are more here per capita than in New York), beautiful and varied architecture, the turquoise smoothness of the harbor, green hills and a lot of entertainment. The central part of Wellington is on the west side of Wellington Harbor, near the harbor. The most prestigious area of the city is considered Thorndon. It is located on a flat area near Wellington Harbor. The hills of Wadstown rise to the west, and Port Wellington’s facilities can be seen to the east. Thorndon was the site of the first European settlers who founded Port Nicholson in 1840. Today it is Wellington’s upscale neighborhood, home to government offices, many embassies and consulates, the national library, New Zealand archives, and upscale and prestigious residential neighborhoods. Thorndon is home to the famous Beehive, the Victoria University Law School building, St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, and the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. A little south of Thorndon is the second very famous area of the city, Te Aro. It covers the southern part of the central business district and is associated as the entertainment district of the capital. Most of the nightlife is found in this area of town on Courtenay Place, Dixon Street, and Cuba Street. The nightlife is brisk here, especially on Saturdays where most bars and nightclubs stay open until early morning. In addition to the many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, there is a popular beach, a beautiful and equally popular boardwalk, and the Waitangi Park recreation area. And further south-east of Te Aro is a hill of 196 meters high – Mount Victoria.

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If you pay attention to the architecture of the city, it is diverse and varied. Various architectural styles are represented here over the last 150 years: Gothic architecture, nineteenth-century wooden cottages, streamlined Art Deco structures, buildings built in the Second French Empire style and the late English classical style, as well as striking postmodernist architectural specimens. Central Fire Station, City Gallery Building, former Post Office and Telegraph Building, City Hall, Wellington Central Library, St. Mary’s Church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Wellington Museum, restored St. James Theatre, Opera House and Embassy Theatre buildings, Westpark Stadium, Wellington Airport at Rongotai, and the train station. The oldest building in the city, the Colonial Cottage, built back in 1858 on Mount Victoria, and the tallest is the Majestic Center on Willis Street. Its height is 116 meters. The old Lambton Quay Public Trust Building, built entirely of granite. Since Wellington is the capital, there are many famous government buildings, such as the New Zealand Parliament building on the corner of Lambton Quay and Molesworth Street, popularly called “The Beehive”. It was built between 1969 and 1981. Across the street is the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere-the University of Victoria Law School building. On Cable Street is the modernist building of the New Zealand Te Papa Tongareva Museum. This structure is reinforced using basic insulation-essentially placing the entire building on piers made of lead, steel, and rubber, which slows down the effects of earthquakes. All this is a rather small but impressive list of the capital’s architectural landmarks.


In addition, the climate in Wellington is moderate and stable throughout the year. It is classified as oceanic. Above 25 degrees the thermometer rarely rises and does not fall below four. The highest temperature has been recorded at 31.1 and the lowest has dropped below zero by one degree. Frosts are common in the Hutt Valley, from May through September. It even snowed during the August 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Summers here are warm, but not hot. The temperature ranges from twenty degrees during the day and does not exceed 15 degrees at night. The water temperature in the bay is 19-20 degrees. It’s not cold in the winter either. 10-11 during the day and 6-7 at night. The rainiest time-winter and often the wind blows.


Wellington is now a modern city with a high standard of living. But the cost of living in Wellington is the highest in the country. It is even ahead of Auckland in this respect. The industrial, financial, commercial and cultural life of New Zealand is concentrated in Wellington. The city has a burgeoning light industry, automobile manufacturing, television industry, and film art. The country’s main thoroughfare, Route 1, passes through the city. Route 2, which connects the entire North Island to the northernmost tip, starts from Wellington. A ferry service runs through Cook Strait to Picton, on the South Island. Thus all of New Zealand’s major transportation arteries are looped to Wellington. The international airport serves flights to Australia, Singapore and Fiji, as well as domestic flights. But the runway of the airfield is short and larger aircraft cannot use it, which affects the economic performance of the region. The seaport of Wellington Harbor is one of New Zealand’s major seaports, as well as a major international port. The port handles 11 million tons of cargo annually. Petroleum products, motor vehicles, minerals, timber, meat, dairy products, seafood, wool, vegetables and fruits pass through it. Wellington is also a major railroad hub in the country. Freight and comfortable passenger trains depart from the rail junction for Auckland, Palmerston-Nord, Gisborne, and Tuaranga, and, via the Cook Strait Ferry, for Christchurch. Bus transport connects almost every urban area, some routes use trolleybuses. Incidentally, these are the only trolleybuses used as public transportation in all of Oceania. There are many schools of higher education in the city. The University of Victoria, Massey University, a branch of the University of Otago, the Institute of Technology, and the National School of Drama of New Zealand. According to statistics, the main sectors of employment in Wellington are professional services, public administration, jobs in security, health care, education, and commerce.

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In recent years, tourism has become a major factor in the city’s development. Wellington is among the top cities to visit and is popularized as the coolest little capital in the world. Popular tourist attractions in the city are the Wellington City Museum, the zoo, the cable car, the botanical garden, Wellington Harbor cruises, there are many movie theaters, restaurants, cafes, there are theaters and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Wellington is most visited by New Zealanders. They spend about two and a half million New Zealand dollars here. International visitors to New Zealand’s capital are more than half a million annually. But the most desirable visitors to the capital are considered to be tourists from Australia. They leave in the closets of the city more than three hundred million New Zealand dollars a year.


Wellington is in an area of high seismic hazard, even by New Zealand standards. A large fault line of large tectonic plates runs through the central part of the city, and several hundred small fault lines have been detected within the city area. In high-rise buildings, underground tremors are felt several times a year. European settlers encountered such God’s punishment in the first years of their stay on the island. Serious damage was done to the city by the earthquake of 1848, as well as by the earthquake of 1855. This earthquake, with its epicenter near Masterton in the Weyrapa Valley, was one of the strongest in New Zealand, and it showed that buildings made of wood were the best to withstand the elements. And that’s why timber framing is now the basis of all Wellington’s housing construction.

Every five years, earthquakes with a magnitude of 7 occur under Wellington, from Capiti to Marlborough Sound, during the summer. But since they occur slowly, they do not cause any damage to the city. In July and August 2013, there were a series of earthquakes in the Cook Strait. On July 21, 2013, a magnitude 6 earthquake hit the city of Seddon, on the South Island. On August 16, 2013, there was an earthquake near Lake Trussler. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.6. Earthquakes occurred in 2014 and 2016. But all of these earthquakes did not cause any damage to the city.

But Wellington is standing up to all the elements, Wellington is developing and becoming a more beautiful, more modern and more livable city.

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