Steeped in history and enormously popular with cafe lovers, Petone is one of New Zealand's rags to riches success stories.

Only 15 or so years ago, shops and homes in Petone were in danger of decaying into oblivion. Then came the rush for older character houses and coastal properties. Hutt City Council upgraded historic Jackson Street and put boardwalks, walkways and attractive lighting along the foreshore. Now Petone is one of the most desirable real estate precincts in the region.

Much of Petone’s appeal is the housing, some of which dates back to the late 1800s. Streets such as Aurora, Tory and Oriental — named after some of the first settler ships to sail to New Zealand — are full of renovated houses that have retained their old world character. In fact, Petone was the site of New Zealand’s first organised European settlement, in 1839, though well after Maori had settled in the area.

The Petone foreshore boasts a large beach for safe swimming, excellent windsurfing, jet-skiing and water-skiing, and fishing from the Petone Wharf. The Petone Settlers Museum on the foreshore has regular exhibitions that relate the story of early Maori and European settlement. The best water in Wellington can be sampled at the marble fountain on the corner of Buick Street and Jackson Street. The water comes directly from the aquifer below - no added chemicals!

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