Wellington (Māori: Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara) is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 405,000 residents. It is at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. As the nation's capital city, the New Zealand Government and Parliament, Supreme Court and most of the civil service are based in the city.
The Wellington urban area comprises four cities: Wellington City, on the peninsula between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour, contains the central business district and about half the population; Porirua on Porirua Harbour to the north is notable for its large Māori and Pacific Island communities; Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt are largely suburban areas to the northeast, together known as the Hutt Valley.
Despite being much smaller than Auckland, Wellington is often referred to as New Zealand's cultural capital. It is home to the National Archives, the National Art Gallery, the National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, numerous theatres and two universities. Wellington has many notable buildings including the Government Building - one of the largest wooden buildings in the world - as well as the iconic Beehive. It also plays host to the annual World of Wearable Arts, the Wellington Sevens, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Wellington's café culture is internationally recognised and the city is known for its large number of coffeehouses. It is also the centre of New Zealand's film and special effects industries, and increasingly a hub for information technology and innovation.
One of the world's most livable cities, the 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Wellington 12th in the world. In 2011 Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2011 named Wellington as fourth in its Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2011, referring to it as the "coolest little capital in the world".
The main airport serving the city and region is Wellington International Airport, which is the country's third biggest airport and offers domestic flights as well as connections to Australia and the Pacific. Wellington's transport network includes train and bus lines which reach as far as the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, and ferries connect the city to the South Island town of Picton. Wellington is also the world's windiest city, with an average wind speed of over 26 km/h, and the world's southernmost capital city of a sovereign state.