Light up your long weekend

This October our big backyard is yours to explore with tranquil forests, gorgeous seaside villages, global fare and wild things at HighLight: Carnival of Lights - four nights of interactive displays and live performances.

DAY 1

Wander where over 100 wild kiwi roam the hidden Orongorongo Valley where generations have experienced their first overnight stay in native bush. Immersed in birdsong the easygoing trail is a great short walk. October morning dew streams in to waterfall walks worlds away yet minutes from our neighbourhood.

Pack a picnic for the tranquil wildlife retreat of Matiu/Somes Island amidst native plant and bird life while tracing the island's extraordinary history - formerly a quarantine station, a military defence station and also once home to Māori and two pa sites. 

After dark journey below the waves, across land and sky, experience the power of the elements, meet creepy-crawly characters, and discover a mythical forest. Explore international lighting creations never seen before in New Zealand at the HighLight: Carnival of Lights. Interactive light experiences combine with, lighting performances, street-food and a dazzling firework display each night for four days over Labour Weekend.

 

DAY 2

Appreciate championship course greens or try a round of footgolf with the youngsters at Boulcott's Farm Heritage Golf Club with soccer balls and larger holes - one of nine riverside courses

Taste your way through an international smorgasbord of 65 eateries within 800 metres along Jackson Street offering contemporary international fare to everyday local cuisine.

 

The shores of Pito-one (now known as Petone) are where the first planned settlers from Britian landed. Today the suburb is brimming with cultures from all around the globe and is a popular shopping mecca. Get a taste of the historic suburb with a wine by the fireplace of Light House Cinema showing independent films and blockbusters.

 

DAY 3

 

Admire the view from New Zealand's first lighthouse at Pencarrow over Wellington Harbour and to the South Island. Unearth the story of Jane Bennett a stoic women who was our one and only female lighthouse keeper, with her five children, for a decade in the 1850s. 

Fuel up on some delicious local eats. Try the casual Chocolate Dayz for their famous chocolate milkshake or, for a more refined gastronomic menu, take a seat at Kōtare, literally just a stone's throw away, with gorgeous harbour views, and a snuggly fireplace. 

Stay for the long sunsets in the eastern bays. A perfect place to unwrap some fresh fish and chips manuka-fired takeaway pizza from the park behind you. Plus, you might just decide to stay on another night in a seaside cottage or bed and breakfast.  

 

This year we'll light up four nights of Labour Weekend 19-22 October

Savour Petone's foodie hotspot

Cruise on over to Eastbourne and Days Bay