12 Hours Porirua

A flatlay of food and coffee at Local Authority cafe.

If you're visiting Porirua for a day trip, we have the best things to see, eat and do in 12 hours in this Wellington suburb.  

Just twenty minutes north of Wellington, Porirua is probably most famous for being home to the Whittakers chocolate factory since 1969. However, Porirua is also home to plenty of beautiful walking tracks, outdoor activities, neat cafés, and food trucks and the renowned Pātaka Art + Museum. Here's our guide to the neatest places of Porirua.

Morning

Coffee & Breakfast at Local Authority

shop 1/1 Walton Leigh Avenue, Porirua City Centre, Porirua

First up, head to Local Authority. A pocket-sized coffee spot that packs a punch. Stop by for the best espresso in town, as well as a light breakfast. On the menu are toasted organic rye savoury and sweet options as well as a modern take on the classic New Zealand toastie, and if a liquid breakfast is more your style then the generous smoothie options should fuel you up for the rest of the day.

Culture at Pātaka Art + Museum

17 Parumoana Street, Porirua City Centre, Porirua

Pātaka Art + Museum is a true gem in the crown that is the valuable resource of Porirua art and history. Open since 1998, the museum and gallery is home to plenty of curious intricacies, cabinets of fine and fancy jewellery, walls of prints, fabric works, photographs and paintings, not to mention impressive Māori and Pacific history. Make your way around the exhibition detailing the story of Whiti Te Rā, both the progress of the iwi, and the bitter conflicts with the colonial government.

You could also pop into the New Zealand Police Museum on Papakowhai Road if you want to continue the learning.

Morning tea at Cafe-Kaizen

17 Parumoana Street, Porirua

The kind of place where the cabinet food just never seems to run out, the barista knows the regulars by name, and even when the queue is long, things move quickly and efficiently, Café Kaizen is the kind of well-oiled machine that you can tell has been a locals favourite hangout for a long time. Located in Pātaka Art + Museum, it is the perfect place to visit for a spot of morning tea. 

Afternoon

Lunch at The Little Goat + La Cabrita

Cobham Court, Porirua City Centre, Porirua

Once a travelling food truck, The Little Goat is now set firmly in its little spot, serving delicious fare based on Mediterranean recipes. Neighbouring foodie La Cabrita (it’s Little Goat in Spanish) has all the makings of a Mexican taco stall, and although the cuisines are from totally different parts of the planet, they work here together perfectly.

Move your limbs at Whitireia Park

Whitireia Road, Tītahi Bay, Porirua

Fancy a walk somewhere that’s really going to blow off the cobwebs? Whitireia Park looks out over Porirua Harbour, and the stunning coastal views come hand in hand with some good old sea wind that is most likely just what the doctor ordered. Look out to Mana Island and marvel at all this beauty that is 180 hectares of grassland right on your doorstep.

Afternoon refreshments at Plimmerton Kombucha

3/51 Kenepuru Drive, Kenepuru, Porirua

Brewed by locals, bottled by locals, sold by locals, and loved by locals, this fermented brew is combining great taste with great probiotic qualities and ensuring their community has the best gut health around. Using only real fruit and spices (although the recipes are kept close to their chest), Plimmerton Kombucha doesn’t cut any corners but instead brews authentically and without nasty additions. Try crisp green apple, jasmine, berry, orange and, Tumeric, or lemon and ginger for some real thirst quenchers

Evening

Dinner at Tuk Tuk Thai Restaurant

15 Hartham Place North, Porirua

A popular restaurant, Tuk Tuk provides its customers with delicious Thai food without having to leave Porirua for the big smoke. The owner's intention is for Tuk Tuk Thai to be the central connection for people to meet from the likes of Kapiti Coast, Hutt City, and Wellington and have a great night out. In terms of meals, crowd favourites are the Pad Thai and green curry. Every now and then they roll out a crispy pork dish which is also a big hit with locals.

Watch a film at Light House Cinema

3 Paekakariki Hill Rd, Pauatahanui, Porirua

Sibling to same-named cinemas in both the CBD and Petone, Light House Pauatahanui is the only independent movie spot for some miles around. Those living in the area who are partial to watching the big screen have every opportunity to keep up to date with the latest in film.

The mix of blockbuster and independent films screening here means there’s something for any type of movie fan, while student discounts, mums and bubs screenings and fundraising films ensure this is a community spot through and through.