The Bare Traveller

Visit the lovely Island bay neighborhood in Wellington

About 7 kilometres to the south of Wellington’s city centre sits the charming tiny beach neighbourhood of Island Bay. 

It is situated on the same-named bay, which provides a stunning natural breakwater and is lined with opulent homes that flank the sea and its wonderful sandy beaches, which are highly crowded in the summer. 

It’s a happy small town where practically everyone knows one another and newcomers are warmly greeted by their neighbours. 

Rocks at Island Bay beach Wellington New Zealand

It’s a nice place where life is excellent. But as we are all aware, tiny, constrained spaces like these may have advantages and disadvantages. The saying “the grass isn’t always greener next door” is true for a reason.

For its inhabitants, there isn’t much of a need to commute to Wellington unless you have a job in the city or you need to do more extensive shopping because Island Bay has practically everything you could possibly need.

Boats at Island Bay Wellington

Island Bay is a well-liked vacation spot for both new-zealanders and visitors because of its stunning beaches and coastal walks. 

In addition, Island Bay is home to a variety of parks and reserves, including the well-known diving and snorkelling location Taputeranga Marine Reserve. Fish, octopuses, and sea urchins are just a few of the many types of marine life that may be found in the reserve. 

How to get to Island Bay from Wellington?

From Wellington, there are several ways to commute to Island Bay, including by bus, car, or bicycle.

  1. Bus: From Wellington (Courtenay Place at Courtenay Central bus stop), take the bus #1 or #N1 and get out at the Island Bay – Reef Street opposite Shorland Park stop. It should take no longer than 30 minutes to get there, at a cost between $2,5 and $5 NZD for a single ticket.
  2. Car: Using a car will get you to Island Bay in less than 20 minutes. You have a choice between 3 roads (Via Happy Valley, through Wakefield park or via Melrose).
  3. Walking: If you like to walk long distances, then you can get to Island bay from Wellington in just over 80 minutes.
  4. Cycling: Cycling to Island bay is absolutely feasible under half an hour. 

What to do in Island Bay?

Here is the unmissable things to do if you ever plan to spend a day in Island bay:

The Island Bay Marine Education Centre

The Island Bay Marine Education Centre, located in the neighbourhood, provides visitors with the chance to learn about the local marine life and conservation initiatives. 

The centre doubles as a research facility where academics and scientists may investigate the maritime environment and diverse marine creatures.

Island Bay Lighthouse

This Lighthouse was auto-built and it was turned into a guest house. It it located only 10 minutes drive away from Wellington airport, and close to shops.

Amazing walks on the beach, rock-fossicking excursions, and lengthier strolls along the coast or to the Red Rocks seal colony are all options should you want to have a memorable stay. 

I have stayed at the lighthouse for one night. It was both enigmatic and beautiful. The host (Bruce) was extremely kind and welcoming. The lunch and dinner options were plenty, and the breakfast was superb. 

I highly recommend using the balcony to enjoy the unique panoramic view of the bay, and Taputeranga Island, as well as all the boats coming in and out of the bay. 

The lighthouse can host up to two guests, making it the best option the best option if you want to have a romantic experience with your other half.

Taputeranga Marine reserve

Taputeranga Marine Reserve is a protected marine area. Fish, invertebrates, seaweed, and seabirds are among the many marine species and ecosystems found in the reserve.

Island Bay Beach Wellington

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts frequent the reserve to get up close to the marine creatures and observe the ecosystem’s diversity. The reserve is crucial in defending the island’s aquatic life and ecosystems from human activities like overfishing and pollution. 

To understand more about the distinctive marine species found in the reserve and the conservation measures being taken to conserve it, visitors can join guided excursions.

Taputeranga Island

Taputeranga Island is a gem in Island bay. It is one of the islands that make up Wellington Harbour’s Southern Islands. The island is well-known for its abundant animals and beautiful scenery, making it a favourite vacation spot for both visitors and nature lovers.

Taputeranga Island at Island Bay beach Wellington

Numerous bird species, including the critically endangered tiny spotted kiwi, as well as reptiles, insects, and marine life may be found on the island. In order to save the marine species and ecosystems on the island, a marine reserve was created more than a decade ago.

The island and its reserve may be explored on guided tours, and divers and snorkelers can go on excursions to observe the aquatic life up close. The island also has a walking path that allow tourists to take in the beautiful scenery. 

The Maori, a group of New Zealand’s aboriginal people who used the island for food collection and fishing, see it as a significant location.

Island Bay to Owhiro Bay Walk

The Island Bay to Owhiro Bay Coastal Walk is one of Island Bay’s most well-liked activities. You may enjoy breathtaking views of the water and the surroundings on this lovely walk along the shore. All fitness levels may finish the walk, which takes around an hour.

Main road at Island bay Wellington NZ

Can you swim at Island Bay?

Island Bay beach is a well-liked location for picnics, swimming, and tanning. The beach, which is on the city’s southern shore, has stunning views of the hills around and the Cook Strait. 

Island Bay - Wellington New Zealand

The beach is a fantastic place to explore tidal pools and rock formations because it is relatively tiny and bordered by rugged shoreline.

Swimming is really enjoyable here, especially for kids because of how calm the water is most of the time. It’s the ideal location for a family excursion because there are so many playgrounds and picnic places around. 

Overall, Island Bay beach is an excellent area to take in Wellington’s natural beauty and spend quality time with loved ones.

Final Thoughts

In summary, Island Bay is a lovely neighbourhood that provides tourists with the opportunity to discover the marine life, magnificent coastal walks, and a lively community. Island Bay is undoubtedly worth a visit with its charming beaches, parks and reserves, and variety of stores and eateries.

Individual Houses at Island Bay Wellington NZ

The neighbourhood is also a thriving one, with a variety of stores, cafés, and eateries to discover. With a wide selection of small companies selling everything from apparel and gifts to food and drink, the Island Bay Village is a terrific location to start exploring Wellington.

You won’t have to worry about missing anything around here, not even breakfast small talk or local gossip. 

I had the opportunity to meet Mayor Hawkins, who has been chosen by an overwhelming majority for more than fifteen years, who is expertly handling all of her responsibilities . She is very appreciated by the locals. 

She frequently visits the market on Sunday mornings to conduct her grocery shopping or to welcome the local business owners like any Island Bay resident would.

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