Go beyond the city to see a different side to Wellington
. Lower Hutt, part of the Hutt Valley, is the perfect place to escape to the coast, though it’s technically a city of its own. With a lovely harbour-side vibe and walking tracks, art galleries and cool cafes, you’ll love the change of pace here. Whether you’re sightseeing in Wellington or just taking a trip through New Zealand, a detour through Lower Hutt is definitely rewarding. And with our Lower Hutt hotels, you won’t have to Lower your standards!
Just 15 minutes out of the CBD
, Lower Hutt was mostly forest before Europeans settled in 1839. The name of the city comes from the Hutt River, 60km long with about 12km of grassy areas and walking tracks. Wellington has been popping up on the silver screen lately, thanks to a certain Sir Peter Jackson, and some of Lower Hutt’s more scenic sights have been featured too. Dry Creek Quarry was the setting for Helms Deep and Minas Trith in Lord of the Rings. It’s not open to the public, but you can still park the car across the road and have a look. You don’t have to go far for more Middle Earth-style scenery, with suburbs like Petone, Stokes Valley, and Eastbourne featuring greenery, views of mountains, and the occasional work of cool public art.
Drop into Rimu Street in Eastbourne for a coffee or some fish and chips in a quaint, friendly river-side town with views of rolling green hills. The town also has restaurants, takeaways and a small collection of shops. Take a walk just down the road for river sights! The Dowse Art Museum in the heart of Lower Hutt has over 2000 works to see. Take a trip to Baring Head at the southernmost tip for a rocky, barren landscape with stunning blue ocean views and an iconic lighthouse. This is the place where bouldering was invented, so if you know what you’re doing you can get ready to rock (climb the rock, that is). To spend some time in the wonderful wild, make the journey to Rimutaka Forest Park and take a walk. You’ll be able to spend some time in the peaceful forest while listening to the sweet sounds of native birds.
If your boots are made for walking, take a stroll along the Hutt River Trail. The whole thing stretches 28.4km from the Hikoikoi Reserve, which features colourful community art, to the suburb of Birchville in Upper Hutt
. Because it’s so long, it’s split into sections with each section separated by a bridge. The bridges come in handy if you decide the grass is greener, and want to cross to the other side.
If you want to see more of the Hutt Valley, check out our Upper Hutt hotels too. And don’t forget about your flight to Wellington
Image credit Phillip Capper
under Creative Commons