Explore the Historic Pauatahanui Village

For New Zealand travel ideas, visit our Pinterest page and explore other travelers’ blogs. To view more of our New Zealand photos, visit our Instagram page.


Staying in Whitby, we found the small busy village of Pauatahanui. Furthermore, it’s only a short walk from Whitby. The Village is located on the travel route from the Kapiti Coast/Porirua to the Hutt Valley.

Explore the Historic Pauatahanui Village
Explore the Historic Pauatahanui Village

While there is very little street parking, extra parks are available behind Groundup Cafe or over the one-way bridge. Also located over the bridge is the Taylor Stace Cottage.

Pauatahanui Village
Pauatahanui Village

Pauatahanui Village History Trail

At both ends of the Village is the History Trail board that shows historical points of interest. At each point of interest is an information board explaining the historical background of the building/land.

Pauatahanui Village History Trail
Pauatahanui Village History Trail

Taylor Stace Cottage

William Taylor (1795-1870) build part of the cottage in 1847, and he and his family lived in it for a year. He sold it to Thomas Hollis Stace (1820-1890); hence the name Taylor Stace Cottage. The front part was added around 1855-1860 (see photo below). Furthermore, it was lived in for over 100 years, at one time housing a family of 13.

Taylor Stace Cottage
Taylor Stace Cottage

By 1969 it had become derelict. Fortunately, it was restored and became an art and craft gallery. The cottage has been moved several times, while in 2010 it was raised above flood height. Additionally, it is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in the Wellington region.

Taylor Stace Cottage
Taylor Stace Cottage

Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve

Pauatahanui Inlet is the most extensive relatively unmodified estuarine area in the southern part of the North Island. The area around the inlet has been inhabited for at least the last 600 years and the area is rich with wahi tapu, archaeological sites, and historic places.

Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve
Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve

There are various tracks into the Estuary, however there are none that loop all the way around. On the tracks, there are two estuary viewing hides which are excellent for bird and wildlife watching. The hides are big enough that you can watch with the whole family or with a group of friends.

One of the two hides at the Estaury
One of the two hides at the Estaury

St Alban’s Anglican Church

Built in 1896, the St Alban’s Anglican Church is still open on Sundays for services. St Alban’s Church is described as ‘a simple, but elegantly composed and proportioned, Gothic Revival timber building‘. They call it an eloquent expression of the style executed in local materials.

The bell-tower is sufficiently tall to be seen over the wider Pauatahanui area, despite the many mature trees surrounding the building. The bell from the ship Inconstant was given to St Alban’s by John Plimmer, one of the subscribers to the new (1895) church building fund. 

St Alban's Anglican Church
St Alban’s Anglican Church

Pauatahanui Public Burial Grounds

Beside the driveway to the Church is the Pauatahanui Burial Ground which dates back to 1860. In 1991 a group of volunteers tidied up the overgrown and neglected burial ground. They decided to plant heritage roses. Some roses discovered during clearing are believed to date from early settler times. The early and mid-summer months are when the blooms are at their best. However, in the autumn many of the roses have beautiful hips and others throw blooms well into winter. A return visit when the roses are in full bloom is definitely on our list of things to do.

View from the Pauatahanui Public Burial Ground towards the Church
View from the Pauatahanui Public Burial Ground towards the Church

Emily Bettany (1854-1947)

Emily is the only woman buried there that signed the 1893 Suffrage Petition, though she was living in Marton at the time. She was one of 23,991 women who signed the Petition in New Zealand. The Petition led to a new law that gave women the right to vote. ‘Thanks Emily’.

Emily Bettany (1854-1947)
Emily Bettany (1854-1947)

Poppy Plaques

Five men from Pauatahanui who served in the First World War were killed overseas. Additionally, each man is commemorated by a small poppy plaque on a family grave.

Henry Death was killed in action in France in 1917
Henry Death was killed in action in France in 1917

For more info about On The Road Kiwis, please read our About Us page


Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links and there is no cost to you if you click on any of these links.  However, we may receive a small commission should you make a purchase.  This commission helps us create, build and grow our website. 

Please follow and like us: