Upper Hutt forms part of greater Wellington.
Upper Hutt should not be confused with the nearby Lower Hutt (sometimes erroneously called Hutt City).
There are five roads into and out of Upper Hutt. State Highway 2, which runs the length of the upper Hutt valley, is known as River Road as it runs along the banks of the Hutt River, effectively bypassing the city itself.
The Upper Hutt – Petone (route 110) bus travels from Petone Station via the Lower Hutt Queensgate bus interchange to Upper Hutt every 15 minute during weekdays and half hourly in the evenings and at weekends.
- From Wellington, State Highway 2 travels along the Hutt Road past Lower Hutt and the intersection with State Highway 58 at Haywards/Manor Park to the Silverstream Bridge.
- From the Wairarapa, State Highway 2 travels over the Rimutaka Hill to Upper Hutt.
- There are major intersections and bridges along River Road that provide ready access to most Upper Hutt suburbs. At most times of the day, this means it is about a half-hour trip from downtown Wellington to Upper Hutt, a distance of about 40 km. During rush hour, the journey can take an hour or more.
- The Eastern Hutt Road provides an alternative route between Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt via Stokes Valley.
- Moonshine Hill Road provides a rural alternative route from State Highway 58 at the western end of Haywards hill at Judgeford to State Highway 2 at the Moonshine Bridge in Upper Hutt.
- Akatarawa Road provides a scenic drive between Waikanae and Upper Hutt. The road is single lane for about 30 km, and may take an hour of cautious driving at 30-50 km/h, well below the 50–70 km/h posted speed limit. There are a number of places of interest along this road, including Staglands wildlife park.
Suburban rail services between Wellington and Upper Hutt run half-hourly for most of the day and early evening. Late evening services run hourly on most days but half-hourly on Friday. Off-peak services, between 9.00 am and 3.30 pm, have reduced fares. There are also all-day and week-end passes that will allow unlimited travel on all Wellington suburban rail services.
There are two services:
- Hutt Valley Line - Operates half-hourly most of the day, with express services at peak times. From Wellington services stop at Kaiwharawhara, Ngauranga, Petone, Ava, Woburn, Waterloo (or Hutt Central), Epuni, Naenae, Wingate, Taita, Pomare, Manor Park, Silverstream, Heretaunga, Trentham, Wallaceville, Upper Hutt. All units stop at Waterloo, which is the main Lower Hutt station and a bus interchange. Express peak-time Upper Hutt units next stop is Taita, then all stations. Taita units stop at all stations in the lower valley. Transfers take place at Taita station.
- Wairarapa Connection - Operates daily morning and evening services. Stops at Petone, Waterloo and Upper Hutt, then all requested stations from Maymorn, just before the Hutt Valley entrance to the Rimutaka Tunnel, through to Masterton in the Wairarapa. There is a $10.00 minimum fare on outbound services (from Wellington) between any intermediate Hutt Valley Line stations, to discourage intra-Hutt Valley travel on this express service. Inbound services (to Wellington) don't attract the minimum fare, and the service can be used space permitting by Hutt Valley passengers for the standard fare.
- Bartons Bush in Trentham Memorial Park is the last remaining stand of native bush that once covered the whole of the Hutt valley.
- California Park in the suburb of Totara Park and the Wellington Fault that runs through the middle of the park and the suburb. To find this feature drive the loop around California Drive. When you come to the wide section with the large grassed traffic islands in the middle realise you are driving on an earthquake fault.
- Harcourt Park, the main entrance is about 500 m up Akatarawa Road from the State Highway 2 intersection. You can also see the Wellington Fault escarpment right by the main carpark. There is an information board here about how the park was formed by the Wellington Fault. This park was one of the scenes for shooting the Lord of the Rings films. There is also a 18 hole disc golf course, maps are available from the city council information store.
- Silverstream Railway, a short preserved section of the original 1870s Wellington-Wairarapa line, which bypassed in the early 1950's when the new Silverstream Rail Bridge opened. Steam trains operate on Sundays. Malcolm Campbell is Upper Hutt's most famous train enthusiast with a love for all things "rail". Incidentally, Mr Campbell's mother also has a claim to fame as she featured as one of the Orcs in all three of the Lord of the Rings films.
- Take a scenic drive up Akatarawa Road to Staglands farm park.
- At the top of the Rimutaka Hill you can take a break in your trip to the Waiarapa and climb up to the Rimutaka Trig and see the Wairarapa instead. Choose a calm sunny day as this part of the country can be very windy.
- Tunnel Gully and the Rimutaka Incline walkways. Walk or mountain bike the old railway route over the Rimutaka ranges.
- The Hutt River is easily accessible for most of its length. It is even able to be fished for trout - a fishing licence is required.
- Mountain bike the Karapoti! Every year mountainbikers from around the country and around the world come to take on the Karapoti Challenge - a classic mountain bike race. Mud, steep hills and crazy people. http://www.mountainbike.co.nz/karapoti/
The central shopping centre runs the length of Main Street, with the block on either side also having some shops. There are 3 supermarkets in this area, as well as the oddly named Trentham City Plaza. Generous amounts of free off-street parking can be found in carparks accessed from Fergusson Drive or Queen Street.
There are smaller groups of shops dotted along the length of Fergusson Drive, between Silverstream and Brown Owl, as well as a supermarket in Silverstream and a small shopping centre in Totara Park.
Several restaurants and fast food outlets can be found in Main Street or nearby. The ubiquitous New Zealand Fish and Chip shop, or perhaps a burger bar, dot the suburbs, often near a dairy or one of a group of shops.
There are many great pubs and clubs in Upper Hutt. Amongst these the Totara Lodge is the most widely known. Situated at Trentham adjacent to the train station and Wellington Racing Club the "Tote" has a strong racing connection. The best day of the year in Trentham comes on the 4th Saturday of January each year when the Wellington Cup is run. This race is one of Australasia's premier 2 mile events with previous winners including the great Carbine and Kiwi who went onto success at the Melbourne Cup. The Tote is definitely the place to be come Wellington Cup Day.
- Bristol Motel, 8 Bristol Street, Trentham (Look for the sign on the corner of Fergusson Drive and Bristol St.), ☎ .
- Harcourt Holiday Park, 45 Akatarawa Road, Birchville, Upper Hutt 5018 (600 m up Akatarawa Road from State Highway two. Turn just before the Substation.), ☎ , fax: +64 4 526 7400. This campground sits on the banks of the Hutt river beside Harcourt Park and is only 30 minutes by road from the Picton ferry. Has Motel unit, cabins and sites for caravans and tents.
- Hawks Inn Motel, 704-706 Fergusson Drive, Wallaceville, ☎ .
- Tranquility Homestay, 136 Akatarawa Road, Birchville, Upper Hutt 5018 (1.3 km up Akatarawa Road from State Highway 2.), ☎ , toll-free: 0800 270 787, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Situated amongst native trees and shrubs in a quiet country setting on the edge of the city. The Hutt River is just across the road, for swimming, a picnic or fishing. Or walk the river trails and nearby bush walks. 5 minutes drive from downtown Upper Hutt. 35 minutes drive from downtown Wellington. 3 rooms available, from NZ$70 single to NZ$130 double/Queen.
- Trentham Motel (Trentham Motel on the park), 438 Fergusson Drive (Opposite Trentham Memorial Park), ☎ .
- Totara Lodge Motor Inn & Carvery (The Tote), 68 Ararino Street, Trentham (Opposite Trentham Railway Station and the Racecourse), ☎ .
- Arorangi Country Homestay, 214 Mangaroa Valley Rd (10 mins from Upper Hutt (A map in on our website)), ☎ . Arorangi Studio: Single £100; Double $140. Nestled in the heart of the countryside and yet only forty minutes drive from our capital, Wellington, Arorangi Country Homestay is the perfect choice when you are looking for a much needed break or a place to escape, relax and unwind. Arorangi Country Homestay is the perfect base for walkers, trampers, cyclists, mountain bikers, hunters, fishermen and women.