"Early Settlers at the End of the Sand Beach" Petone by Kakapo2

Petone Travel Guide: 32 reviews and 72 photos

It has really taken me a while to finally explore Petone as there is always so much to see and do in Wellington. I had even driven through Petone several times on my tours around Wellington Harbour, as this town sits right at the northern end of this very long bay, and when I travelled further North to Lower Hutt and over the Rimutakas into the Wairarapa. But somehow I always ended up back in Wellington without having stopped in Petone resp. without having left the bus when I travelled further around the harbour to Days Bay and Eastbourne.

In travel guides you read that the most important thing to do in Petone is to visit the Settlers Museum. After having visited I do not think so although the building itself and the location are really worth to stop and have a look and enjoy the great views. I discovered places and little gems in Petone I found far more interesting than the museum, not to mention the fabulous views of Matiu/Somes Island.

Petone (pronounced like Italian: peh-toh-neh) was the first European settlement in the Wellington region. It is about 12 km from the city centre of Wellington but belongs to Hutt City and is part of Lower Hutt. It is located at the northern end of Wellington Harbour in a triangular plain of the Hutt River that flows into the harbour in Petone, and has between 6000 and 7000 inhabitants.

Living in Christchurch which is dominated by Pakeha (white New Zealanders of European descent), European and Asian immigrants, Petone has a flair of striking difference, with a huge population of Maori and Pacific Islanders. You also get aware that they are not the richest members of society but while I was wandering around during daytime I experienced the people as extremely friendly, greeting and chatting, just like in other rural towns of New Zealand. However, whereas European New Zealanders would start a conversation, people from the Pacific Islands seem more reserved and shy but are happy to chat when you take the initiative and say the first words.

The name Petone derives from the Maori word Pito-one (pronounced: pi like in pity, then: toh-oh-neh), meaning: “end of the sand beach”. Walk along The Esplanade, and you see how appropriate this name is. Walk along Jackson Street, New Zealand’s longest and most complete street of the 1930’s and 1940’s, and you will be delighted by the many well-maintained wooden cottages, nice cafés and restaurants. You will spot an eye-catching historic Police Station and Jail, and a spring where people permanently fill up water bottles and containers. Walk through the backstreets and you will discover more beautiful heritage buildings and lovely wooden churches. Sometimes you will feel as if the place belonged to you, so quiet and laid-back it can be.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of History and lovely Architecture
  • Cons:As windy as Wellington LOL
  • In a nutshell:No Must but a lovely little Place
  • Last visit to Petone: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (22)



“Visit dream destinations but keep your eyes open”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 0 3
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 1 6

Badges & Stats in Petone

  • 22 Reviews
  • 50 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 1,658PageViews

Have you been to Petone?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)