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Hemmed in by hillsides around a magnificent harbour, Wellington is NZ’s capital. Locked in an age-old struggle for hip supremacy with Auckland, ‘Welly’ prides itself in its cultural and artistic wealth. Given the relatively small population, there’s an astounding number of quality restaurants, cafés, bars, galleries, shops and theatres here. And it’s certainly better-looking than Auckland: timber Victorian houses terrace up steep valleys from the waterfront in an almost San Franciscan manner.

In recent years Wellington has stamped its place firmly on the world map as the home of NZ’s dynamic film industry, earning itself the nickname ‘Wellywood’. When the film crews hit town, the whole mood of the city lifts, and there’s a palpable sparkle and boom in the air. Acclaimed director Peter Jackson still calls Wellington home; the success of his Lord of the Rings films and subsequent productions have made him a powerful Hollywood player, and have bolstered Wellington’s reputation.

Source: Lonely Planet.