Must see and do

The sun always seems to shine that little bit longer in the Hutt Valley, giving you plenty of time to discover some of the Wellington region’s best-kept secrets.

Looking through the ship's cabin at Petone Settlers Museum

Discover where Wellington began

Discover the origins of modern Wellington and other New Zealand firsts at the Petone Settlers Museum and stroll along historic Jackson Street, Petone – a bustling heritage precinct full of boutique and specialty shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Fill up your water bottle at Te Puna Wai Ora - the spring of life then discover woven wool treasures, plus The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie costumes at the historic Stansborough mill.

 

Days Bay by Matt Ledingham

Cruise the bays

Ferry across Wellington harbour to the upmarket Eastern Bay villages; with a stop on the wildlife sanctuary of Matiu/Somes Island - an historic quarantine and wartime bunker site now home to New Zealand’s unique reptile, the tuatara and little blue penguins. 

Pedal along the Eastern bays or  wander the lush bush trails and enjoy harbour vistas. Explore the spectacular Pencarrow Coast and three lighthouses at the entrance to Wellington Harbour including New Zealand’s first, lit in 1859. Or just relax on the beach!

Join in the summer tradition of jumping off the wharf too and stay the night at The Gatehouse luxury cottage.

 

Cycling together on the Rimutaka Cycle Trail

Blaze a trail

Hire a bike or simply wander along any part of the 28km of Hutt River Trail, past the working steam locomotive at Silver Stream Railway and on to the historic Rimutaka Rail Trail. Stay on track and loop back around the Rimutaka ranges on the 115km Rimutaka Cycle Trail.

 

Glistening waterfall at Birchville Dam

Wander to a waterfall

Let the city fall away as you explore waterfalls nestled in lush native bush, just minutes away. Explore all six waterfalls - local favourites are New Zealand's first dam at Korokoro and Birchville Dam, and Percy’s Scenic Reserve.

 

Get wild in nature

Enjoy our region’s natural treasures at Staglands Wildlife Reserve, a special look at New Zealand’s wildlife, heritage and beauty. interact with animals at this unique destination - pack a picnic and make a day of it!  Or wander among wild kiwi in the lush Rimutaka Forest Park valleys.

 

Royal Wellington Golf Club, Upper Hutt

Tee off at one of 9 golf courses

Test your handicap on the same courses played by some of the world’s greatest golfers. Play a round or nine at riverside courses including the Royal Wellington, Manor Park, Boulcott’s Farm and TeMarua Golf Clubs.

 

Race up in the hills

Wellington Adventures quad bike expeditions offer exhilarating rides over rugged coastline, spectacular hilltop views and through lush native bush to the Turakirae Head seal colony.

 

Feed your mind

Contemporary art at The Dowse Art Museum with diverse and exciting exhibitions and events, a delicious café, well-stocked shop and an engaging family lounge. Best of all – it’s free to visit.

See world-class exhibits and stay for a show at Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre.  

 

Glasses of locally brewed Kereru craft beer

Taste our brews

Craft beer lovers can sample three award-winning craft breweries; Panhead, Kererū and Baylands. All brewers use fresh, local ingredients to deliver beers full of character and bursting with flavour.   

 

Gateway at Rivendell in Kaitoke Regional Park

Have a Middle-earth adventure

Take a journey of your own to Middle-earth and relive the cinematic magic of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Visit the set locations of Rivendell, Helm’s Deep, Isengard and the Great River Anduin. Kaitoke Regional Park is a highlight.

 

Lions train at Avalon Park

Spend the day at the park

Family fun and adventure at Avalon Park, Harcourt Park and Maidstone Max, with summer paddling pool, adventure playgrounds and outdoor concerts.  With three massive slides, a river ride, a huge range of inflatable pool toys and an awesome wave pool, H2O Xtream will keep the kids entertained for hours. Adults can also relax in the spa or sauna.

 

Flowers at Botanical Beauty, Upper Hutt

Time for yourself

Make time for yourself and enjoy a bit of pampering at a salon, spa, or beauty boutique. Relax at the magnificent historic Brentwood Manor's My Day Spa or the award-winning Salute. Shop 'til you drop at the unique boutiques and independent stores along Upper Hutt's Main Street, such as The Vogue Store, Avison’s Giftware and Tigerlily. Over 140 stores all within a short walk in Upper Hutt’s city centre. Queensgate Shopping Centre in Lower Hutt is your one-stop for shopping, food and movies under one roof.