Eastern Bays

A beautiful seaside retreat. Discover colourful cafes and art galleries, and take in the coastal views along bush walks and the iconic Pencarrow lighthouses.

Take the East by West ferry from downtown Wellington 20 minutes across the harbour to picturesque Days Bay and spend the day discovering epic landscapes and enjoying our beach side neighbourhoods. Or catch the number 81 or 83 bus from Wellington, through Petone and Lower Hutt to Days Bay and Eastbourne.

Hire a bike to cruise the bays

The best way to explore this area is on two wheels. Pop into The Days Bay Boatshed at the end of the wharf and hire a bike, or pick one up at the start of the Pencarrow coastal track if you’re driving over. You can even go all out on a zippy e-bike (but yes, you still have to pedal) which if you haven’t tried, is definitely a must do.

Bike to NZ's first lighthouse

Follow the dramatic yet flat coastal trail along the Pencarrow Coast to the 1906 lighthouse on the shoreline - about half an hour's bike ride.

Head to New Zealand's first lighthouse, home to the countries only female lighthouse keeper. Once you reach the lighthouse you'll be rewarded with vast views over Wellington harbour and across to the South Island.

Local eats

At some point (or many points) you’ll want to fuel up on some delish local eats. Close to the wharf, pop into somewhere casual like Chocolate Dayz …chocolate milkshake anyone? For a refined gastronomic menu, take a seat at Sea Salt, literally just a stones throw away and both with equally good views of the beach.  Be sure to wander about Eastbourne as there are many mouth watering spots to grab a bite like Marmalade Deli and Hive Café.

Art galleries

This picturesque seaside suburb naturally attracts some pretty talented artists. Before you kick into high gear and start to glisten, pop into a gallery or two to see the artwork on display. Rona Gallery in Eastbourne is a must visit, as is Van Helden Gallery tucked between Chocolate Dayz and Sea Salt in Days Bay.

Native bush walks

Take a walk through the lush native forest in East Harbour Regional Park, a welcome relief on hot summer days. Bush walks along tracks and trails for all levels of fitness are on offer, and if you’ve still got enough stamina, the Butterfly Creek trail is a popular escape with stunning views up over the hill before you descend in to the lush valley.

Picnic on the green

Families will enjoy the wide open spaces around Days Bay Pavilion, perfect for a picnic or to kick a ball around. Take the cricket set and spill out from café on to Williams Park - and wander up to the lookout suitable for a buggy.

Cool down

After a day of adventure, it’s customary in these parts to do some bombs from Days Bay wharf. This is also your chance to trade your bike for a kayak or stand up paddle board for some aquatic fun. If you’re not up for getting wet, grab a yummy real fruit ice cream and roam the beach until you settle in for the night at a cosy cottage.

Stay for the long sunsets

The Eastern Bays are far too good to leave after just one day, so find somewhere fantastic to stay a night or two. At The Bay is a magnificent bed and breakfast right on the shore of the harbour or for self-contained accommodation with magnificent views try Sorrento Retreat.



Planning a trip to the Hutt Valley? Check out more must do activities, browse places to stay, and more neat things to see and do.