The best things to do in Petone

Eat your way around the world on Jackson Street, go for a bike ride, and browse the specialist shops

Visit the Petone Settlers Museum

The Esplanade, Petone, Lower Hutt

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Situated on the Petone shore of Wellington Harbour, the Petone Settlers Museum tells the stories of the people who have made Petone their home. The museum has a series of small exhibitions which focus on different historical and cultural aspects of settlement in the area.

The museum occupies one of New Zealand’s most significant memorial buildings. It was built to commemorate the arrival of the first British immigrants in 1840. Before becoming a museum, it served as a bathing pavilion for Petone beach-goers.

See woollen costumes from Lord of the Rings at Stansborough

68 Fitzherbert Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

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Best known for creating woollen costumes for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, Stansborough uses the rarest wools from New Zealand to traditionally create and weave stunning collections of exquisite textile pieces. Pure and natural in every way, from growing the fibre to using the skills of the craftsmen on their historic 1890s looms, they weave collections for blockbuster movies and interior designers as well as for superyachts and corporate gifting.

Visit the gallery and experience the historic mill through 'the window to the past' and discover pure New Zealand heirloom treasures or movie memorabilia which are available for purchase. For a greater appreciation, take a behind-the-scenes tour, and learn about the weaving story, from paddock to silver screen. You'll get to see historic worsted looms in action, which is the only six still operating commercially in the world.

Go and play at Days Bay

123 Jackson Street, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt

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A sandy beach with bush-clad hills behind, Days Beach is a beautiful place to visit no matter the season. It's particularly popular during the warmer months for swimming and picnicking. Hire kayaks and paddleboards from Wildfinder or head up into the hills for a bushwalk. 

Days Bay has a couple of great cafés for lunch or dinner and an ice cream shop. To get there, drive around the harbour to Days Bay from Petone or take the East by West ferry across the harbour.

Zany Zeus

149 Randwick Road, Moera, Lower Hutt

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Zany Zeus makes boutique organic dairy products that are good enough for the king of the gods.

The family-run company are the maker of Scarlett Johannson’s favourite chocolate cake and some of Wellington’s best ice cream and soft serve, which is only available from their Moera store. But don't take our word for it – their Ghana chocolate ice cream won the supreme award at the 2019 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards. Founder Michael Matsis is known to take 18 months to perfect a flavour before releasing it in the shop, taking the age old mantra "good things take time" to heart.

Their freshly-made halloumi sandwiches are worth a mention too. Just fresh bread, organic ‘squeaky’ cheese and a squeeze of lemon – simple but delicious.

Taste Te Puna Wai Ora's pure artesian water

Buick Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

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Combining form and function, Te Puna Wai Ora is both a piece of outdoor art and a public spring water fountain. 

Te Puna Wai Ora’s pure artesian water originates from the Hutt River and enters the artesian aquifer at Taitā Gorge (located further north in the Hutt Valley). The water is filtered through rock and clay during its long journey through the aquifer. 

The urn-like sculpture was created by artist Louise Purvis to symbolise an oasis and a place of rest and refreshment and people are encouraged to bring their own bottles to fill and enjoy.

See a movie at Light House Cinema Petone

52 Beach Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

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Showing a diverse range of the most recent arthouse movies, a few blockbusters as well as live theatre and opera, Light House Petone is a boutique experience with excellent coffee, local craft beer and wine available to take into the cinema with you. 

The cinema is located in the old Labour Hall, built in 1926 and used for dances, vaudeville concerts, political meetings and even film showings. The original facade of the building remains and the its purpose as a local entertainment hub for the community remains.

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