Situated on the shores of Wellington’s ever-changing harbour, the Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakaaro occupies one of New Zealand’s most significant memorial buildings—the Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial. The memorial was built to commemorate the arrival of the first British immigrants to Pito-one’s shores in 1840. The Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial was officially opened on the 22nd of January 1940, and, serving also as a bathing pavilion, it became the heart of Petone’s thriving beach scene.
In May of 2016 the Petone Settlers Museum re-opened, with a major refresh, both inside and out. Changes to the exterior brought back the original look and feel, returning the building to its original colour and reinstating features such as decorative window grills.
The inside now boasts exciting new displays. Discover stories of Jackson Street and it’s significant building The Grand ‘Nash. Feast on Hutt Valley chinese market gardening history, enjoy the stylish glamour of Miss Hutt Valley 1968 and feel the raw determination of Petone’s sporting champions. Walk back in time to marvel at fabrics and fancies on sale at Carey’s Drapery in 1954. And, back by popular demand, a brand new version of old favourite: experience the conditions that European settlers endured to get to Petone’s shore in 1940, in our replica of a ship’s steerage cabin.
We are happily wheelchair accessible (including our bathroom).
We’ve worked with locals, young and old, to bring you the stories and memories of Petone. Come and enjoy!
The Petone Settlers Museum receives core funding from Hutt City Council and is operated alongside The Dowse Art Museum. By providing museums the Council enables people to freely access arts and cultural facilities that enrich, inspire and offer a range of lifelong learning opportunities. The museums act as a focal point for the community, enhance cultural life and diversity, and promote civic pride and community values.