On the Monday nearest the 22 January, Wellington celebrates its annual Wellington Anniversary Day. This is to commemorate the landing of the first European settlers on 22 January 1840 at what is today Wellington.
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An earlier ship had arrived at the site of Wellington in September of 1839, and having decided it was a great place for a new town, they sent for the settlers, who arrived on 22 January of 1840. Maori greeted the new arrivals, and things stayed peaceful. It was not until November of 1840, however, that the town was named “Wellington”, in honour of the hero of the Battle of Waterloo.
Wellington is full of all manner of public events and celebrations for Wellington Anniversary Day, and many of them are very unique. One we cannot resist to mention is the Birdman Competition at Taranaki Street Wharf, where contestants dressed up as birds take turns in “flying” off the wharf into the harbour.