Nelson is one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, known for its local arts and crafts stores, and art galleries. It's also a popular base for nearby caving sites, vineyards and Abel Tasman National Park. It was established by English settlers in 1841 because it had the best harbour in the region – Nelson Haven – and was close to the fertile Waimea Plains. Māori had lived in the region since the 1300s and knew the area, now called Nelson city, as Whakatū. In 1858 Nelson became a city when Queen Victoria made it the seat of an Anglican bishop. Wellington had been named after Britain's most famous soldier, so the New Zealand Company felt it appropriate to call the new settlement across Cook Strait by the name of her most famous sailor - Vice-Admiral The Viscount Nelson.