Lonely Planet has named Wellington as the best destination in New Zealand, labelling the city "one of the coolest little capitals in the World".
Christchurch was left out of the country’s top 20 destinations after seven writers visited the country as part of research.
The capital was praised for its art-house cinemas and live music.
"Edgy yet sociable, colourful yet often dressed in black. Wellington is big on the unexpected and unconventional,” the book says.
"One of the coolest little capitals in the World, windy Wellington lives up to the hype."
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester told Stuff the city’s ranking was "brilliant".
"Every visitor to Wellington, and those returning after an absence, are gobsmacked by the change and I'm glad more people are getting the same buzz,” he said.
Auckland was rated fourth in the list, dropping two places from the previous edition in 2016.
"(Auckland is) regularly rated one of the world's most livable cities, and while it's never going to challenge NYC or London in the excitement stakes, it's blessed with good beaches, wine regions and a thriving dining, drinking and live music scene," Lonely Planet said.
Although it left Christchurch out of the top 20, the book said the Garden City was a vibrant city but says "scaffolding and cones will be part of Christchurch's landscape for a while yet."
LONELY PLANET'S TOP 20 PLACES TO VISIT IN NEW ZEALAND:
Waiheke Island and the Hauraki Gulf
Bay of Islands
The West Coast
Abel Tasman National Park
Skiing and Snowboarding
Akaroa and Banks Peninsula