The screen location of Oriental Bay, wth pastel-coloured, Art Deco apartments, brightly-painted boat sheds, and the golden beach.

With its pastel-coloured, Art Deco apartments, brightly-painted boat sheds, and of course the golden beach, Oriental Bay is a hot spot when the sun comes out in the capital. 

Originally called Duppa, after its first resident, it was later renamed Oriental Bay after the ship, The Oriental, that had brought the resident to Wellington. 

Colonial settlement of the area started to grow in the 1880s. By the turn of the century Te Aro Baths (rebuilt into Freyberg Pool in the 1960s) had been installed.

The Carter Fountain, in the middle of the bay, was a gift to the city in 1973 by resident Hugh Carter. Unfortunately, Carter drowned just days after the fountain’s installation.

In the 2000s, the beach was enlarged with sand from Golden Bay. Development of the Freyberg Beach grass area also took place, adding a playground.

Now, the wide promenade is a popular cycling, running and dog walking route at all times of the year. During summer, the bay is bustling with people enjoying the beach, fitness activities, and nearby places to eat. 

Oriental Bay has featured in many movies, television shows, and commercials, owing to its versatility.

Location details

Jurisdiction Wellington City Council
Permits required Yes, apply for a permit
Location descriptors Bays, beaches, boardwalks, boathouses, boat sheds, roads, rock formations, sea, ocean, sand, coastal walks, ocean views.