Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Eastbourne, New Zealand

Eastbourne (population 4600 (estimate)) may be reached from Lower Hutt by a narrow exposed coastal road via the industrial suburb of Seaview. It comprises of about 2000 residential homes spread over seven small bays along the rugged eastern coast of Wellington Harbour, opposite the city of Wellington, New Zealand. Close to the sea and catching afternoon sun, the area has a reputation for isolation, wealth and exclusivity. It also has sheltered sandy swimming beaches that are a major attraction.

There is a regular trans-harbour ferry service between Wellington and Eastbourne. The ferry docks at the Days Bay wharf in the heart of Eastbourne and at Queens Wharf, close to down-town Wellington. The ferry supplements, and is normally faster than bus links - besides it's a lovely trip - even on rough days. The trip time for the ferry service is about 25 minutes one way, while a bus or car from Wellington can take 40 minutes, or even 60 minutes or more at rush hour. A bus service from Lower Hutt takes about 25 minutes.

Prior to its amalgamation into Lower Hutt, the Borough of Eastbourne was a separate town, with its own council and civic administration. The Eastbourne Community Board is a remnant of the town council and remains vocal on local issues.


Days Bay

Days bay was originally called Hawtrey Bay. It was settled by George and Anne Day and their family, who had emigrated in 1841 from Kent aboard the Arab. William Tod appears to have employed George Day to look after his interests in the area while he went south. They had permission to cut and sell firewood and timber. The Days built their house in the bay and operated a schooner that ferried early settlers between the Hutt Valley and Wellington. After their house was severely damaged by an earthquake, the Day family left the bay in November 1849, aboard the schooner Flirt, which was captained by their eldest son George Fredrick Day, and sailed to Lyttelton in Canterbury where the settlement of Christchurch took place. By December 1849 the family had settled in Sumner and George Day had become a road construction overseer, while the rest of the family appears to have continued their firewood, timber and shipping activities.

Source for early history of Days Bay: Rescue: The Sumner community and its lifeboat service, Colin Amodeo (editor), Sumner Lifeboat Institution Incorporated, Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand (1998)

Associations with New Zealand personalities

Further Information: Eastbourne Online, Maps of Eastbourne, Eastbourne Herald website