The city of Lower Hutt is home to a thriving hub of creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and urban parks. This quieter part of Greater Wellington is home to more than 90,000 people and is popular with families who enjoy scenic coastal views, forests, river walks and good local restaurants and bars. Here’s a list of great things to do near Lower Hutt.
Go back in time at the Petone Settlers Museum
Located on the shores of Wellington’s harbour, the Petone Settlers Museum documents the history of the first European settlers to New Zealand’s shores in 1840. The museum is housed in a memorial building and now functions as a place to showcase, through artefacts and exhibits, the shared social history of the European settlers and Honiana Te Puni-kokopu and Te Wharepouri, the Māori chiefs who ruled over the area before the Europeans arrived. The museum is located on the Esplanade in Petone and is open every day in summer and select days in winter from 10am to 4pm.
Discover the Hutt River trail
The 56-kilometre-long (35mi) Hutt River starts in the Southern Tararua Range and then snakes down through the Hutt valley until it joins Wellington Harbour in Lower Hutt. An easy way to explore the river is on the Hutt River Trail in Lower Hutt. This 29-kilometre (18mi) trail starts at Hikoikoi Reserve on Petone’s Marine Parade and runs the entire length of the eastern shore bank until it reaches Upper Hutt. The trail features an easy walk and cycle path access to the river for those who want to fish, dive in or travel via kayak.
Take in scenic views of Wellington Harbour at Wainuiomata Hill and Te Whiti Riser
For the best views of the sunrise or sunset over Lower Hutt, cycle or walk up to Wainuiomata Hill and take in the views from the Pukeatua lookout. Take in views from Petone Beach all the way across to Wellington Harbour. Another great lookout point for views of Lower Hutt is from Te Whiti Riser, a trail that starts in Te Whiti Park and is popular with cyclists, dog walkers and runners.
Picnic and walk to a waterfall at Percy Scenic Reserve
Situated at the edge of Lower Hutt City, Percy Scenic Reserve is a great place to visit for a picnic and outdoor walks. The reserve has a garden area, a small cave and a waterfall and is part of a connected network of reserves in the hill suburbs of Korokoro and Maungaraki. Take a basket and enjoy a picnic on the open grass area near the duck pond. Bicycles and dogs are not allowed in the park.
Visit Lower Hutt’s historic Pencarrow Lighthouse
The Pencarrow Lighthouse was New Zealand’s first permanent lighthouse situated at Pencarrow Head, at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. It was first lit in 1859 and can be reached at the East Harbour Regional Park. The lighthouse is also well known for being run by New Zealand’s only female lighthouse keeper, Mary Jane Bennett, who lived alone with her six children at this post from 1855 to 1865. The lighthouse is an eight-kilometre (5mi) walk or cycle from Burden’s Gate, at the south end of Eastbourne.
Explore the world of contemporary art at the Dowse Art Museum
Wellington is known for its creative energy, and the city of Lower Hutt is no different with its own Dowse Art Museum, a free gallery for people to enjoy contemporary art and culture. The museum in Lower Hutt has a collection of over 3,500 items and regularly hosts a changing programme of events and exhibitions featuring the art, design, jewellery, craft, sculpture and photography created by local and international artists and designers. The museum opened in 1971 and is open daily from 10am–5pm. Entrance is free, and guided tours can be booked in advance.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.