Perched on the banks of the River Hutt, Hutt Valley is home to wildlife reserves, forest parks, historic harborside settlements, and walking and cycling trails, all of which make it a popular weekend escape from Wellington. The valley is home to several Lord of the Rings filming locations and is therefore a magnet for Tolkien fans.
Hutt Valley encompasses the Hutt River, Remutaka Forest Park, Staglands Wildlife Reserve, and Matiu/Somes Island, home to kiwis and blue penguins. Most Hutt Valley tours transport you to filming locations fromThe Lord of the Rings andThe Hobbit, typically Kaitoke Regional Park, where Rivendell scenes were filmed, and Hutt River, which doubled as the Great River Anduin. Some tours also visit the Stansborough Mill, where costumes for the film series were created.
Things to Know Before You Go
Thanks to its natural diversity, Hutt Valley is a must for nature lovers, adventurers, and Tolkien fans.
The Hutt Valley is known for its windy climate so if you’re exploring outdoors, be sure to bring a windproof outer layer.
Wheelchair- and stroller-accessible trails can be found in Remutaka Forest Park, Kaitoke Regional Park, and along the Hutt River.
How to Get There
The Hutt Valley is part of the Greater Wellington region. Rail services connect Wellington city with Upper Hutt, but avoid express trains if you want to get off along the way. If driving from Wellington, take State Highway 2 north.
When to Get There
The best time to visit is during the warmer summer months of December to April, when the weather is perfect for outdoor exploration. Winters in this region aren’t extreme, but winds can be strong and make it feel colder than it is.
Just a 15-minute drive from downtown Wellington, the shoreside suburb of Petone offers a glimpse into the history of Hutt Valley. See the beach where European settlers first arrived in 1840; browse exhibits at Petone Settlers Museum; and stroll down Jackson Street, lined with well-preserved heritage buildings.
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