Wellington is the world's southernmost capital city of a sovereign state. 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 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Wellington 12th in the world.
The Wellington urban area comprises four cities: Wellington city; 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. Several kilometres south of central Wellington is the rugged and stunning South Coast of the North Island, consisting of a string of small bays, many with rocky beaches and interesting tide pools. To the west, the suburbs between Karori and Johnsonville spread into the hillsides, with various parks and hiking trails, and then give way to open rural areas such as Makara. The harbour is almost a perfect circle with the city on the south western edge, Petone on the northern side and Eastbourne, a small seaside village, on the south eastern side and accessible by ferry from the city centre.
The other name of the city is the Windy City. It is built on the foreshore of Wellington Harbour and ringed by mountains, providing the scenic home of many of New Zealand's national arts and cultural attractions, such as Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, which is one of the best interactive museums in the world, and the visually stunning Makara Peak track. Wellington offers a blend of culture, heritage, fine food, and lively arts and entertainment. Because of its compact nature, you can sample it all: boutiques, art galleries, trendy cafés and restaurants. Right on its doorstep is a network of walking and biking trails with beautiful wineries and vineyards just a few hours away.
There is also known for its film tourism. It is the heart of New Zealand's film industry and main filming and production centres for films such as the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Avatar, Tin Tin and District 9.