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The City The guide was updated:Wellington is a compact and walkable city. With a downtown area only 2 km across, most of the major attractions are within easy walking distance from the hotels, cafés, restaurants, bars and shops. The city, originally founded by English settlers in the 1840s, is split into four quarters – Lambton Quay, the best place for shopping; the business area Courtenay Place; the entertainment district Cuba Street, full of cafés and vintage clothing stores that give the neighbourhood a bohemian, alternative vibe; and Waterfront Quarter, which takes in Frank Kitts Park, Waitangi Park, Queens Wharf, and Te Papa.
As well as the historic and cultural attractions, Wellington also offers a little bit of Hollywood glamour – the majority of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was filmed in and around the city, and visitors can now follow in the footsteps of Hollywood stars. Wellington is also the ideal launching pad for other great parts of New Zealand, including the wine region of Wairarapa, the coastal destination of Kapiti Coast and Kapiti Island – one of New Zealand’s premier nature and marine reserves. Wellington is also the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island, with two regular ferry services taking visitors across the Cook Strait to Picton.