Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is located at the southern tip of the North Island. Known as Windy Wellington, it is less-visited than Auckland—410 mi/660 km to the north—and it's a pity that those who do go seldom stay more than a day.

Wellington's waterfront is a true gem and a great starting point for immersing yourself in its arts and culture. It's easy to pass a day strolling the harbor's edge, ducking into museums and admiring the sculptures along the way.

Lord of The Rings fans should pay a visit to Weta Workshop and Weta Cave; tours offer behind-the-scenes insight into the making of Peter Jackson's famous films. Wellington also happens to be a base for various Middle-earth tours, although the scenery on these may not be on the same scale as their South Island counterparts.

Weather in Wellington is famously finicky, but luckily the city buzzes with outstanding bars, cafes and restaurants. Cuba Street and Courtenay Place are the main hubs of entertainment.

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