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Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range.

Wellington is served to the north by State Highway 1 in the west and State Highway 2 in the east, meeting at the Ngauranga Interchange north of the city centre, where SH 1 runs through the city to the airport. Road access into the capital is lower in grade that most other cities in New Zealand – between Wellington and the Kapiti Coast, SH 1 travels along the Centennial Highway, a narrow accident-prone section of road, and between Wellington and Wairarapa, SH 2 transverses the Rimutaka Ranges on a similar narrow accident-prone road.

Wellington has two short motorways, both part of SH 1: the Johnsonville–Porirua Motorway and the Wellington Urban Motorway, which in combination with a small non-motorway section in the Ngauranga Gorge connect Porirua with Wellington City.