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Daytrips from Wellington are a piece of cake. Venture to the neighbouring regions and discover vineyards, culture and heritage sites, and culinary delights , all just a short drive or train ride away. You really can have your cake and eat it too.
Take the train or drive from Wellington to Wairarapa, one of New Zealand’s premium wine-growing regions, and part of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Packed with colonial charm, Martinborough wine village has more than 20 wineries within walking or cycling distance of the village square. Hire a bike or take a guided tour and taste the local wares at the cellar doors of small family-owned vineyards and olive groves.
Back in Petone, wander along vibrant Jackson Street and find an abundance of eateries - everything from the cheap and cheerful through to gourmet meals. Check out the fresh and beautifully plated fare at the incredibly insta-worthy Comes and Goes or enjoy Oli & Mi for a fine East by meets West experience. La Bella Italia is also a must try, for authentic Italian dining.
Get a dose of culture and heritage in neighbouring Hutt Valley. Here you’ll find the seaside settlement of Petone, a site of historic significance. Visit the Petone Settler’s Museum and learn about some of New Zealand’s first settlers.
For an art fix, check out the striking installations and learn about Maori culture at the Dowse Art Museum in nearby Lower Hutt.
Take the East by West ferry from Wellington across to picturesque Eastbourne and spend the day gallery hopping and enjoying this quaint beachside community.
Petone is home to cafes and coffee roasteries galore. For some freshly roasted brews, stop by local roasteries Ripe Coffee and Revive Espresso. If you're in need of another caffeine fix, cruise along Jackson Street where you'll find cafes aplenty, including Go Bang Espresso, Cafe Figg and the Palace Cafe.
Another brew, of the craft beer variety, has recently landed in Petone, with the opening of Baylands Brewery. Pay a visit to the brewery and cellar door and sample their new brew, Petone Pale Ale.
While exploring Wellington's regions you will also have the chance to get up close to some of New Zealand's native wildlife.
Wander through the lush bush reserve at Pukaha Mount Bruce in Wairarapa. Here you will find Manukura, New Zealand's rare white North Island Brown Kiwi - and the only one in captivity. Alternatively, head to stunning Cape Palliser on the Wairarapa coast, and see the North Island's largest colony of NZ fur seals.
In the Hutt Valley take the ferry from Eastbourne to Matiu/Somes Island, a predator-free scientific reserve. Spend a day on the island and wander the gentle walking track around the 24.8-hectare island, encounter native wildlife and discover the island’s rich multicultural history.
Just an hour's drive from Wellington you'll find picturesque Greytown in the Wairarapa, home to boutique shops and charming colonial buildings. Wander the quaint country streets and sample delicious artisan products including hand-crafted chocolates from Schoc Chocolates or relax after shopping at a cosy cafe such as Main Street Deli.
The Hutt Valley is also known for its boutique shopping. For some international specialties check out The Dutch Shop and UK Goodies in Petone, or find vintage goods at one of the many antique shops on Jackson St or in Eastbourne.
Planning on extending your journey? Well you’re in luck! Wellington is the gateway to the South Island, where you’ll find more fantastic wine regions and stunning national parks. Considered one of the most spectacular ferry rides in the world, the Interislander is an experience in itself. Be sure to enjoy the view from the deck and keep an eye out for dolphins on the bow wave.