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Wellington is a quietly confident city, beloved of its close-knit citizens and lauded by visitors for its blend of urban zing and wild environment. Its harbour and hills encourage outdoor activities such as walking and sea sports, alongside cosmopolitan indulgences such as shopping, bar-hopping and dining out. The forested Tararua Range that dominates the skyline to the east separates the coast from Wairarapa's pretty rural plains, famed for the production of world-class pinot noir.
Wellington, located at the southern end of the North Island, is New Zealand's capital city. The larger region covers an area of 8,049 square kilometres and is home to a population of 513,900 (June 2017). The Wellington urban area, including the cities of Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt, accounts for 80% of the region's population. Other major urban areas include the Kāpiti conurbation of Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Raumati and Paekākāriki and the towns of Masterton, Greytown, Martinborough, Featherston and Carterton. The region occupies the southern tip of the North Island, bounded to the west, south and east by the sea. To the west lies the Tasman Sea and to the east the Pacific Ocean, the two seas joined by the narrow and turbulent Cook Strait, which is 28 kilometres wide at its narrowest point, between Cape Terawhiti and Perano Head in the Marlborough Sounds.
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