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It's our region's birthday this long weekend, with more time to explore our origins, enjoy big summer beats in the bay, Wellington Cup Day and the chance to explore more of our big backyard!
Visit the Te Whakaaro o te Pito one – the house of stories of Petone - a wee gem of a museum sitting on the foreshore marking the spot where the first European settlers were welcomed ashore by Te Atiawa. See how we’ve grown as a city, the manufacturing powerhouse of Petone and meet some incredible Wahine Toa (warrior women) among many more stories.
Get a taste of days gone by along an audiovisual tour of 30+ locations you can take at your pace. Discover the first trained police, church service, first public ANZAC commemoration, exquisite villas as the first state houses as Petone led the way in the development of New Zealand’s early days. Download the Petone Tours app on Android and iTunes.
Join the anticipation and electric atmosphere on the public lawn, groove to the bands on stage or be treated like royalty in hospitality. Whichever your Wellington Cup Day style, get set for the beautifully dressed, the popping of corks and the thunder of the hooves. See you in your finest heels, or your smartest suits at the races.
Head along to the sunny seaside suburb of Days Bay to see Fat Freddy's Drop - the iconic Wellington band, fresh from their European arena tour with special guests. Plus explore the picturesque coastal neighbourhood of colourful cafes, art galleries, scenic bush walks and the iconic Pencarrow lighthouses.
Retrace the route of the Hutt Valley’s first town water supply that fed the early hub of factories in Petone servicing the Wellington region. Wander up alongside a valley stream easily suitable for all ages through regenerating and mature native bush. Breathe in the lush forest air at the historic Korokoro Dam, then go hunting for even more waterfalls!
It’s Wellington’s birthday after all – so treat yourself to a slice of cake not far from the spot the Settlers stepped ashore at Seashore Cabaret once home to a bustling theatre. The wait is well worth the harbour views, eclectic décor and brilliant food. Or wander a few minutes north to Jackson Street's international smorgasbord of more than 60 eateries in 800 metres.
Living out on the spectacular, beautiful yet rugged entrance to Wellington Harbour, Mary Jane brought up her six children and became New Zealand’s first and only woman lighthouse keeper. Ride or walk out to New Zealand’s first lighthouse at Pencarrow, lit in 1859 and find another one at beach level amongst nesting dotterels, sea birds and the occasional seal.
Local artist and Petone beachfront gallery owner Alfred Memelink spends half this year as a maritime engineer and works wonders with watercolour painting local waterfront scenes, streets and landscapes. His gallery is a veritable Aladdins’ Cave of local artists and is a great way to also browse for your next outdoor destination.
Blue pea flour isn’t your usual drink ingredient or one that changes colour as you mix it. Fifteen cafes and restaurants in Lower Hutt's CBD are jumping in on the action to be the one who makes the most popular cold drink in the Cool As challenge. They're after your votes starting Thursday 16th through to the end of January.
Make the most of a bonus day off so soon after the New Year's break. Empty the pantry or the local specialty foodstores and head off to a shaded corner with friends or family. Earn your lunch with a hilltop view first, strap it to your backpack and hit the trails or try these great picnic spots in nature.