This is where the early Wellington Settlers landed. As a result the streets adjoining the Esplanade on the northern side are named for the interesting names of the Settler ships. Some of these street names are duplicated in Wellington City. See the link to Te Papa for the story about "Britannia, the town that never was," to learn why.
Before that the Atiawa Iwi had a pa here.
For the most part of the year a challenging location meteorologically, with the predominant northerly wind shooting down the valley to this windswept stretch of beach, alternatively a southerly could be belting up the harbour.
So don your windproof attire and join the parade and walk or cycle along the harbour edge. The path is wide and landscaped. Divert on to the long wharf to see if the fish are biting and admire the views across the water to the City and Harbour entrance. Sometimes on holidays and weekendsthe EastbyWest Ferry stops at this spot, it might be going to or from Wellington, Somes Island or Days Bay, check the timetable out. Past the wharf are the Heretaunga Boat Club, the Petone Rowing club buildings, the Petone Beach Café and the obligatory concrete block toilet and changing block.
Continue on to the Petone Settlers Museum, past carparks where you will often spot an icecream van and always a coffee seller. At the eastern end is a children's playground and refreshment stand and while the road turns into Waione Street, the beachfront continues on to a little reserve name McEwen park.
The Esplanade is a favourite place for locals to park and eat their fish and chips, and in summer some of the hardier ones are seen swimming. For visitors, more a strolling or swift walk type of beach than a sunbathing spot.
Hutt City Council have been motivated to make use of their ‘main beach’ and have scheduled events and activities in this area but often the weather has the last laugh.
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Note: Location is approximate.
Commemorative Cross - First Presbyterian Service
Petone Foreshore Playground
Petone Foreshore in Summer