Island Bay Travel Guide

  • Behind those hills is Wellington's airport.
    Behind those hills is Wellington's...
    by Kakapo2
  • The lonesome land of a fantastic reserve.
    The lonesome land of a fantastic...
    by Kakapo2
  • Design gone made in Owhiro Bay.
    Design gone made in Owhiro Bay.
    by Kakapo2

Island Bay Things to Do

  • Be impressed by Seaside Architecture

    Such a house and wall would surely be a shocker or even considered an eyesore in other areas of the city. But I thought it is well suited to its location at the near the Happy Valley Road intersection, not only because the painting on the garage wall features Neptune and a mermaid, as well as a seagull, and advertises Fresh Fish Daily. Let’s say,...

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  • Anybody Want a Freshwater Bath?

    I was amazed at the shore- and small birds’ love of a little stream that flows into the sea at Owhiro Bay. All species of seagulls and Variable oystercatchers could not get enough of the freshwater and bathed extensively. Whole flocks of Black-backed gulls and their brown-feathered young kept themselves amused. Also starlings and sparrows flew in....

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  • Watch Disappearing Airplanes

    Somehow it is breathtaking to watch airplanes approaching Wellington Airport from the south. It is also exciting to sit in those airplanes, with water all around you. If the pilot lands too early the plane falls into the waters of Lyall Bay, if he lands too late the plane falls into the harbour, and if he drifts to the left or to the right the...

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  • Put yourself in the Picture without...

    Walking alone with Kimi the Bear in tow I took some photos of myself with tripod but this house in Owhiro Bay offered a perfect opportunity to do it without special attachments. A time to reflect about the beauty of nature… ;-)Please do not rate this tip!Photos 2 and 3 show the house.

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  • Study the Coastal Plants

    A splash of colour on the naked red rocks. Isn’t it amazing how nearly every environment has its own plants that thrive in even the most hostile conditions? Phenonemons like the blooming desert.Plants growing along the coast must have the ability to cope with salt and gales. Such typical plants are the shrubby and hardy Coprosma repens, also called...

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  • Learn from Watching the Cook Strait...

    During your walk along the coast you will almost certainly spot the ferries – the Interislander and the Bluebridge - that cross the Cook Strait between the North and the South Island. They make you more aware than anything about the fact that the north of the South Island is further north than the south of the North Island. Otherwise the ferries...

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  • Take a Seat…

    This seat at the western end of Island Bay – opposite the Bach Café and next to the Island Bay sign - offers splendid views of the South Island’s northern mountain ranges, in particular of the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. They are often snow-capped until mid summer.Take a seat and a break, and soak in the beautiful scenery of rugged coastline, coastal...

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  • Get on the Coastal Track

    This track is the major part of the Seal Coast Safari offered by tour operators. To walk from the carpark/quarry gate at the western end of Owhiro Bay to Sinclair Head takes about three hours return. The distance is 8 km in total.The Coastal Track follows the coastline from Owhiro Bay, past the old Owhiro Bay Quarry and Red Rocks (Pariwhero), to...

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  • Walk in the wonderful Te Kopahou Reserve

    This spectacular and large reserve along the south coast of Owhiro Bay starts at a carpark about one kilometre from the centre of Owhiro Bay, at the western end of The Parade. There is no public transportation. If you have no car you either have to walk 2.5 kilometres from Island Bay or about one kilometre from the bus stop at the Happy Valley...

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Island Bay Transportation

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    Rocks along the way from Island to Owhiro Bay.

    by Kakapo2 Written Dec 20, 2009

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    -
    To Island Bay:

    Bus #32, Island Bay Express
    every 12 minutes during the day, 28 min from Courtenay Place

    Normally: Bus #1 to Island Bay

    Single fare NZ$ 4 (get a day pass!!!)

    To Owhiro Bay
    (from Courtenay Place, walk to Kent Terrace/Pirie Street) – only Monday to Friday:

    #3 bus The Green Route (Karori - Wellington - Lyall Bay)
    Change at Newtown Shops to # 29 bus Southern Shopper (outbound = Newtown - Brooklyn - Island Bay), get off at Happy Valley Dairy – the whole trips takes 27 minutes from Kent Terrace

    Or take #1 bus to Island Bay and change into the Southern Shopper (inbound) at The Parade/Dee Street

    #4 bus to Happy Valley Road very infrequent.

    Single fare NZ$ 5.50 to 6.00 (get a day pass!!!)

    And talk to the driver when you have to change for getting to Owhiro Bay!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Island Bay Local Customs

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    Sign at the start of the Coastal Track.

    by Kakapo2 Updated Dec 20, 2009

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    You would think such a remote place like Owhiro Bay is paradise but this is only one side of the coin. Also the opposite can be the case. The Wellington City Council points out that this area - between Owhiro Bay to Karori Stream - has a high rate of vandalism against signs.

    That is why you do not find educational signs everywhere – and signs which inform the public about rights, opportunities and obligations are erected in prominent public areas to maximise their effectiveness and act as a deterrent against the high rates of vandalism at the same time.

    A council website states that “it would be desirable to include other signs to explain specific features and sites, but their isolation would make them easy targets for vandalism”.

    Well, seems to be the cancer of our modern times.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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Island Bay Sports & Outdoors

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    The shipwreck diving is to the left of this photo.

    by Kakapo2 Written Dec 20, 2009

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    East of Taputeranga Island – so to your left, if you look out to sea – lies the final resting place of the HMNZS Wellington (now known as the F69).

    This is a decommissioned Royal New Zealand Navy frigate that was sunk off the coast of Island Bay in November 2005 to provide the starting point for an artificial reef and diving destination. But not everything went according to plan: A violent storm in early 2006 broke the ship in two. Since then both pieces lie close to where the ship was sunk.

    You find a diving company close to the shore, near the terminal bus stop of Island Bay (corner Reef Street and The Parade). They call the sunken ship(-wreck) a world class diving attraction. I cannot confirm or deny this I am not into diving. The company’s name is Island Bay Divers. The white house cannot be missed, it is next to the bus stop (Terminus).

    Opening hours:
    Mon - Fri 10am - 7pm
    Sat/Sun 9am - 6pm

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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Island Bay Favorites

  • Island Bay Lighthouse

    -When you walk from Island Bay to Owhiro Bay you more or less stumble over the white-painted lighthouse on the land-side of the road (The Esplanade) along the bay.The lighthouse is used as a Bed & Breakfast, with kitchen and bathroom on the first floor, the bedroom on the middle floor, and the sitting room on the top floor. Rates are NZ$ 180 during...

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  • Island Bay's Italian Influence

    -When you walk through the township of Island Bay and along the shore, you do not get aware of its roots and history. It is one of the oldest settlements in the Wellington region. In the early days it was just a weekend resort – whatever that was in the 1800’s. In the early 1900’s an Italian fishing community developed there, and since then it has...

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  • Shipwrecks

    -The best-known shipwreck in the Wellington region is the one of the Wahine which sank on 10 April 1968. 189 people died. The twin screw turbo-electric vessel of 8,948 tons initially struck and crossed Barretts Reef, and ultimately capsized beside Steeple Rock at Seatoun. You find remains of the ship in Seatoun at Frank Kitts Park on the Waterfront...

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