Story: Landscapes – overview

Wellington Harbour (Port Nicholson) and City

Wellington Harbour

Wellington Harbour is hemmed in by hills of ancient greywacke, which makes up the mountainous backbone of the North Island. Christopher Aubrey’s 1889 watercolour shows the rapidly expanding city, about 50 years after Europeans started to settle there. The boundary between the hills and the harbour (upper left) marks the position of the Wellington Fault. The hills are rising, but the water-covered area is gradually subsiding.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-030-025
Watercolour by Christopher Aubrey

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Landscapes – overview - North Island main ranges', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 June 2023)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015