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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Wellington City, the capital city of New Zealand, is situated at the southern tip of the North Island in the geographical centre of the country. The city spreads over more than 18,000 acres of land and is built on the shores and the surrounding hills of Port Nicholson, an almost landlocked natural harbour of 31 sq. miles, considered to be one of the finest harbours in the world. Port Nicholson, the Maori name for which is Whanganui a Tara, was named in 1826 by Captain Herd, of the First New Zealand Company, in honour of a friend who was the harbourmaster at Port Jackson, Australia. From many vantage points of easy access overlooking the city, including Mount Victoria, Kelburn, Brooklyn, Wadestown, and Khandallah, a wide panorama of splendid views can be obtained, ranging from a foreground of massive buildings and busy wharves to the background of rugged hills studded with suburban homes. Wellington's rocky coastline affords few sandy bathing beaches, but the marine drive from Ohiro Bay to Eastbourne compensates for this lack.


Richard Gregory Heerdegen, M.A., L.R.S.M., Junior Lecturer in Geography, Massey University of Manawatu.