A Rainy Day in Petone

Every week, unless the weather is horrid, my weekend always begins with a walk at Hikoikoi Reserve in Petone. It’s a favourite spot for Frankie, Eddie and I.

It’s a very misty day, I can’t see Somes Island or even the end of the beach, but there is no wind and the rain is mostly holding back.

I love this place, partly because it’s an off lead dog friendly place, but a walk along the beach, whatever the time, is a great way to clear the mind and re-energize one’s self. Frankie and Eddie love it, there are always lots of interesting things to smell (and pee on) and it’s not nearly as crowded as the other end of the beach (which is also an off lead dog area)

The air is cool and crisp, the sea birds are gliding in the sky and soothing tidal sounds follow us for our walk. It’s a great way to start the day.

The rain arrives so I decide to drop Frankie and Eddie at home and have a day exploring Petone. I have lived in the Hutt Valley for over 6 years now and I had never visited the Petone Settlers Museum on the Esplanade before.

Today is the day.

On a cold wet day, the museum is warm and inviting

I must admit, I am not very knowledgeable about New Zealand history. This museum, although small, gives a really good introduction and paints a picture of what life would have been like for those early settlers and Maori in the area.

There are displays, pictures and a really interesting video, full of information.

Life in England in the 1800’s was harsh; over populated with not enough work, low wages and poor working conditions. There was lots of crime and unemployment.

New Zealand was a rich, fertile land, full of timber, whales and seals. It was painted as ‘The New England’ a place of opportunity and chance at a better life.

The first settlers ship, The Aurora, arrived at what was then known as ‘Port Nicholson’ in Pito-one (Petone) on the 22nd January, 1840, carrying 140 passengers. The first of many passenger ferry’s that would bring people to New Zealand.

My ancestors first arrived in Christchurch in 1856 aboard ‘the Duke of Portland’. My time at the museum really got me thinking about what life would have been life for them, settling in an unknown, foreign land and building their new life here in Aotearoa.

There is just far to much information that I learnt to be able to do it justice here. It was such an interesting place and fascinating to be able to learn about the history specific to the area that I live in.

I highly recommend you check out this museum.

I then headed to Jackson Street for some lunch and ended up at one of my favorites, Comes & Goes. The decor has a Scandinavian styled vibe, blonde wood, neutral colours and simple, minimalist design.

Serving Instagram worthy food, I had a hard time deciding. I went with the Waffle Banana – what a gorgeous meal, for the taste buds and they eyes. They say you eat with your eyes first. I know I certainly did.

You could spend a day shopping on Jackson Street, there is such variety. From designer boutiques to thrift stores, cafe’s, bakeries and even a chocolatier, there is something for everyone.

After a quick look at the shops, I was onto my next stop….

Light House Cinema Petone. My favourite cinema. It’s warm and intimate with comfortable 2 seater couches, perfect for snuggling up next to your other half. Take a wine or a cup of tea in with you while you enjoy the flicks.

It’s the perfect way to spend a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon.