48 Hours Hutt Valley

People dining at tables inside an Italian restaurant.

Just across the harbour from Wellington city lies the Hutt Valley, an underrated and outdoorsy destination offering popular eateries and a somewhat happening cultural scene.

Spending 48 hours in the Hutt Valley has never been so easy (in fact, you’ll likely be pressed for time!) as the sister cities of Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt continue to grow and offer an abundance of things to do.

There are picturesque parks and walking trails, bountiful shopping, arts scenes and an array of culinary delights, and this guide is designed to help you make the most of two days spent immersed in this vibrant community.



As you explore the Hutt Valley, you'll come to appreciate the easy blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication. Whether you're drawn to the scenic landscapes of the Hutt River or eager to explore Petone’s bustling Jackson Street, the Hutt Valley encapsulates the essence of New Zealand hospitality and embraces the community feel. 

Our guide below will help you experience the best of the Hutt Valley’s attractions, activities, and local flavours. Whether you're a culture enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or a foodie seeking culinary moments to remember, Hutt City really does have something for everyone. So, pack your sense of curiosity and let's dive into 48 hours of Hutt Valley fun, where we know you’ll leave wanting more. 

Day 1 - Lower Hutt

Start the Day at Comes and Goes

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259 Jackson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

Start your day at Comes & Goes, a well-loved Petone breakfast spot serving up plate after plate of food that certainly goes easy on the eye. Thankfully, the meals are equal parts beautiful and equal parts delicious, so you won’t leave disappointed. The cafe is modern and light, making it a welcoming and relaxing place to energise for the day. 

The green busy at Percy Scenic Reserve.

Take in the Greenery at Percy Scenic Reserve

Next, soak up some easy nature at the Percy Scenic Reserve, a ten hectare greenspace featuring trails, native bush, lawns and gardens for relaxing in. The lawns play host to many a picnic and outdoor event, and the variety of gardens showcase thousands of varieties of plants. Walking 15 minutes through the bush will lead you to the 20-metre Percy Waterfall, which is definitely a worthwhile wander, and the nearby cave is frequently populated by local wētā.

Mid Morning Coffee at House of Good Fortune

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52 Fitzherbert Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

For a mid-morning pick-me-up, the charming House of Good Fortune will meet all your coffee needs. They roast their own coffee (branded ‘Good Fortune’), and their reputable beans are supplied to cafes around Wellington. House of Good Fortune makes its home in a cute converted cottage and is frequented by locals — always a sure sign a place is worth visiting.

The red, blue and white exterior of The Dutch Shop.

Shopping, Petone-Style

Nearby Jackson Street forms the heart of Petone’s shopping scene. It’s known for its wide range of independent shops, featuring second-hand stores, boutiques and everything in between. It’s also a great default if you need something to eat, as there are plenty of cafes and restaurants offering different cuisines and price points. Shopping-wise, check out Wanda Harland and Goodness, two boutique stores offering quality brands and timeless pieces, or Schrödinger's Bookshop to pick up your next read. Head to The Dutch Shop for all your Dutch needs — from homewares to liquorice, cheeses and meats — there’s bound to be something you didn’t know you needed.

Lunch at Twenty Eight

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28 Cornwall Street, Hutt Central, Lower Hutt

For lunch, Twenty Eight is a modern and welcoming Lower Hutt cafe serving up delicious and interesting food and drink offerings with a real community focus. Regardless of hunger levels, Twenty Eight is sure to be a hit: their cheese scones sell out daily and menu favourites such as the smashed patty beef burger and masala hash potatoes will fill hungry bellies. The menu is designed to be simultaneously accessible whilst introducing customers to innovative dishes, so there’s bound to be something for even the most adventurous customer!  

Forage Merchants of Wellington

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46A Victoria Street, Alicetown, Lower Hutt

Save some room for goodies from Forage Merchants of Wellington, a deli and artisan store proudly stocking all things Wellington. With a range that includes food and drink, health and beauty, art, music, and so much more, Forage Merchants showcases and celebrates many of Wellington’s most popular brands.


Peruse the Dowse Art Museum

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45 Laings Road, Hutt Central, Lower Hutt

Once refuelled, the contemporary Dowse Art Museum is one of Lower Hutt’s biggest attractions. It’s free, it’s family-friendly and it offers a unique perspective on the often underappreciated applied arts and studio crafts. Exhibitions rotate regularly and often feature graphic design, contemporary jewellery and ceramics, interactive virtual reality, photography and Māori whakairo (carving) or raranga (weaving).

Photo:  Installation View of Strange Friends at The Dowse Art Museum.

Cafe chairs and groceries on display inside La Bella Italia.

Dinner at La Bella Italia

End your day at La Bella Italia, a longstanding Petone institution. With pizzas, pasta and of course, tiramisu all being menu mainstays, you can expect a taste of authentic Italy. Everything is sourced from fresh local ingredients and the best of their regional Italian suppliers. If you like what you taste, shop at their onsite deli, or sign up for one of their always popular cooking classes or tours to Italy!

Day 2 - Upper Hutt

Breakfast at The Fig Tree

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386 Fergusson Drive, Heretaunga, Upper Hutt

About 20 minutes north of Lower Hutt is Upper Hutt, another buzzing community set at the foot of Remutaka Hill. Begin your morning with breakfast inside a converted church located in the leafy suburb of Heretaunga. The Fig Tree cafe offers a cracker big breakfast (known as the ‘Big Fig’) and we highly recommend a sweet treat from the well-stocked cabinet to take away for later.

A lake surrounded by native bush.

Walk the Loop at Pakuratahi River

Head to the Kaitoke Regional Park campground for the Pakuratahi River Walk, a 1-hour loop walk that includes a swing bridge and access to Rivendell, a famous Lord of the Rings filming location. The walk follows alongside the river, as well as passing through native bush with mature rimu trees. There’s many cute spots to stop and appreciate your tranquil surroundings, made only better with the sweet treat you pocketed from your earlier visit to Fig Tree cafe (if it lasted that long!).

Lunch at Tricky's

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7 Lion Court, Upper Hutt Central, Upper Hutt

Head back into the city for lunch, where post-hike, it’s hard to beat a sandwich from Tricky’s Sandwich Co. Whether it’s a fresh Mediterranean chicken sandwich, the rainbow sandwich (a vegetarian favourite) or a classic grilled cheese, there’s something for all ages, stages and appetites. A small, family-run business, at Tricky’s, it’s all about creating happy customers with full bellies. In recent times, Tricky’s has also expanded into catering and baked goods alongside their main sandwich event.

Boutique & Vintage Shopping

Dip your toes into some shopping at boutique store Humble & Grand. A homeware store stocking an assortment of contemporary and classic goodies, expect to discover artsy bits and bobs, such as candles, artisan foods and glassware, to bigger ticket items, such as dining chairs, tables and buffet units. If you’re after something vintage or simply want a trip down memory lane, Take Me Back is an absolute must-visit. It’s a family-run vintage and retro store trading predominantly in collectables, furniture and homeware. Although trends change regularly, consistent best-sellers include the Crown Lynn pottery range, Murano glass and exquisitely designed genie bottles and lamps. 

Culture + An Afternoon Pick Up

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836 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt Central, Upper Hutt

For a dose of culture, head to the Whirinaki Whare Taonga, a vibrant space showcasing history, entertainment, art and culture across five different galleries. Exhibitions are constantly rotating, featuring a wide range of local and international art, with a special focus on interactive experiences and family-friendly activities. Keep an eye out for live events, such as circus acts and classical music, ballet performances and international films. If in need of an afternoon pick-me-up, visit Dough, an onsite bakery offering treats such as brioche and bagels, doughnuts and pies, and of course, a variety of freshly baked loaves to take home. 


Finish the Day at Brewtown

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27 Blenheim Street, Maidstone, Upper Hutt

The last stop of the day is Brewtown, but worry not; if you’ve still got plenty of energy, there’s no shortage of things to do. Within walking distance from the Upper Hutt train station, Brewtown is essentially a village of craft breweries, a boutique distillery, and over 35 different businesses. There’s no end to the merch, brewing equipment, limited releases and tasty beer at your disposal. And, if you do have the energy, there’s endless activities onsite too. Try your hand at axe throwing, an escape room, an adventure park and plenty of activities for the kids; there really is no shortage of fun options.