Petone Settlers Museum

An architectural gem commemorating the first large-scale settlement in New Zealand

petone settlers museum exterior view looking south




Petone Settlers Museum
The Esplanade, Petone


Entry by donation

Travel back to 1840 when the first European settlers arrived in the Hutt Valley.

Situated on the shores of Wellington’s ever-changing harbour, the Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakaaro occupies one of New Zealand’s most significant memorial buildings - the Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial. It was built to commemorate the arrival of the first British immigrants on Pito-one’s shores in 1840, opened on 22 January 1940 to became the heart of Petone’s thriving beach scene and also a bathing pavilion.

Petone Settlers Museum Petone close up of settlers diorama
Petone Settlers Museum Petone girl looking at exhibit

Today it's a place to remember the journey and experiences of those early settlers and to catch a glimpse into the rich history of Petone. The Museum has worked with locals, young and old, to bring you the best stories and memories of Petone.

  • Discover the real story of two important streets: Jackson Street and Patrick Street
  • Enjoy the stylish glamour of Miss Hutt Valley 1968
  • Petone’s sporting champions
  • Walk back in time to marvel at fabrics and fancies on sale at Carey’s Drapery in 1954
  • A brand new version of an old favourite: the ship’s steerage cabin from 1840
  • Right on the foreshore, take a stroll on the beach after viewing the exhibits
  • Free entry & parking


Jackson Street is second only to Auckland’s Ponsonby Road, serving up more eateries than any other street in New Zealand and you often don’t need to book

What's for dinner?

Queen of Jackson couple with cocktail

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