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Take the ferry from downtown Wellington and discover colourful cafes and art galleries, and take in the coastal views from the iconic Pencarrow lighthouses.
Take the East by West ferry from downtown Wellington and in just 20 minutes you'll be in picturesque Days Bay. Spend the day discovering epic landscapes and enjoying this quaint beachside community. On some sailings you can also hop off and explore Matiu / Somes island, a predator-free reserve with a rich history. Getting to Days Bay by road is as easy as driving along the 30 minute coastal route, or catching the number 81 or 83 bus from Wellington.
The best way to explore this area is on two wheels. Pop into The Boatshed at the end of the wharf and hire a bike, or pick one up at the start of the Pencarrow track if you’re driving over. You can even go all out on a zippy e-bike (but yes, you still have to pedal) which is definitely a must do.
Follow the beautiful (and flat!) coastal trail along the Pencarrow Coast to the 1906 lighthouse on the shoreline - about an hour's bike ride. You can also venture up to New Zealand's first lighthouse, once home to the country's only woman light house keeper. Once you reach the lighthouse you'll be rewarded with vast views over Wellington harbour and across to the South Island.
At some point (or many points) you’ll want to fuel up on some delish local eats. Pop into somewhere casual like 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. Both have equally outstanding views of the beach. Families will enjoy the wide open spaces around Days Bay Pavilion, perfect for a picnic or to kick a ball around. Be sure to wander about Eastbourne as there are many mouth watering spots to grab a bite.
This picturesque seaside suburb naturally attracts some pretty talented artists. Before you kick into high gear and start to glisten, pop into a gallery or two to see the artwork on display. Rona Gallery in Eastbourne is a must visit, as is Van Helden Gallery tucked between Chocolate Dayz and Kōtare in Days Bay.
Take a walk through the lush native forest in East Harbour Regional Park, a welcome relief on hot summer days. Bush walks for all levels of fitness are on offer, and if you’ve still got enough stamina, be sure to walk up the Main Ridge Track for some epic views back towards Wellington.
After a day of adventure, it’s customary in these parts to do some bombs from Days Bay wharf. This is also your chance to trade your bike for a kayak or stand up paddle board for some aquatic fun. If you didn't pack your swimsuit, grab a yummy real fruit ice cream and roam the beach until it's time to catch the ferry back to downtown Wellington.
Planning a trip to Wellington? Check out more must do activities, browse and book accommodation, search Wellington’s sights and activities, see what other exciting events are coming up, and have a nosy at all the incredible bars and restaurants. If you're looking to extend your stay, there's heaps more to explore in the Hutt Valley.