The Hutt Valley is the large area of fairly flat land in the Hutt River valley in the Wellington region of New Zealand. Like the river that flows through it, it takes its name from Sir William Hutt, a director of the New Zealand Company in early colonial New Zealand. The river flows roughly along the course of an active geologic fault, which continues to the south to become the main instrument responsible for the uplift of the South Island's Southern Alps. For this reason, the land rises abruptly to the west of the river; to the east two floodplains have developed. The higher of these is between 15 and 22 km from the mouth of the river. Beyond this, the river is briefly confined by a steep-sided gorge near Taita, before the land opens up into a long triangular plain close to the outflow into Wellington Harbour. The lower valley contains the city of Lower Hutt, administered by Hutt City Council, while the adjacent, larger but less populous city of Upper Hutt has its centre on the smaller plain above the Taita Gorge. The valley forms a major dormitory suburban area for Wellington, and is a location for manufacturing and heavy industry, educational and recreational facilities, and the region's motor camps. Petone, on the Wellington Harbour shoreline, was proposed as the initial site for the settlement of Wellington by the New Zealand Company. However, as the chosen site was soon seen to be prone to river flooding, early settlement was relocated to Wellington. A small settlement remained at the Petone site as the whole valley was believed to be well suited as farm land. In 1846 there was fighting between Māori tribes and the Government, known as the Hutt Valley Campaign. Almost the whole valley was clearfelled and converted to pasture or market gardens before the urbanisation of the 20th century. A small remnant of the early podocarp forest is preserved in Barton's Bush in Upper Hutt.
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The Hutt River flows through the southern North Island of New Zealand. It flows south-west from the southern Tararua Range for 56 kilometres (35 mi), forming a number of fertile floodplains, including Kaitoke, central Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt.
There is a trail alongside the river bank in which you can walk or bike. The Hutt River Trail starts at Hikoikoi Reserve on Petone's Marine Parade or you can enter at many points along the Trail to Upper Hutt, 29 km away.
Along the trail you can discover two sites where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. In Harcourt Park you will find the site of Isengard, the ancient Gondorian fortress at the southern end of the Misty Mountains, facing Rohan. Between Moonshine and Totara Park the river was the site for The Great River Anduin.
The Hutt River Trail runs as far as the Te Marua area of Kaitoke Regional Park and links into the Rimutaka Rail Trail.
The Dowse Art Museum is a free public gallery for people to enjoy contemporary art and culture. The Dowse has one of New Zealand's largest and significant public art collection numbering over 2000 items. Visitors expect to be challenged by our programmes and we aim to explore new ideas and initiatives with insight, imagination, and intelligence.
Matiu/Somes Island is a predator-free scientific reserve. It is also a historic reserve with a rich multicultural history. Matiu Somes Island is owned by local iwi (Te Atiawa) following a Treaty settlement. It is governed by a Kaitiaki Board and managed by DOC. Matiu/Somes Island Campsite is a small, low key site suitable for small groups and individuals. It is located in a sheep paddock surrounded by historical buildings. The historic ova transplant building from the maximum security quarantine station provides the campsite facilities. A maximum of 12 campers in total are permitted to camp
Discover where Wellington began - where settlers stepped ashore in 1839, where New Zealand's first organised European settlement began, local industry, fashion and Maori culture inside the New Zealand Centennial building.
Matiu/Somes Island is a predator-free scientific reserve. It is also a historic reserve with a rich multicultural history. Matiu Somes Island is owned by local iwi (Te Atiawa) following a Treaty settlement. It is governed by a Kaitiaki Board and managed by DOC. Matiu/Somes Island Campsite is a small, low key site suitable for small groups and individuals. It is located in a sheep paddock surrounded by historical buildings. The historic ova transplant building from the maximum security quarantine station provides the campsite facilities. A maximum of 12 campers in total are permitted to campVisit Matiu/Somes Island
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