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Houghton Bay facts for kids

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Houghton Bay / Valley
Basic information
Local authority Wellington City
Coordinates 41°21′S 174°47′E / 41.350°S 174.783°E / -41.350; 174.783Coordinates: 41°21′S 174°47′E / 41.350°S 174.783°E / -41.350; 174.783
North Melrose
South Cook Strait
West Island Bay
Northwest Southgate
South Coast view to South Island
Houghton Bay Panorama
Houghton Bay Panorama

Houghton Bay and Valley is one of the southern suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand. It is located between Island Bay and Lyall Bay, on the rocky shores of the Cook Strait. It has two beaches, Houghton Bay and Princess Bay, used by surfers, swimmers and divers.


Houghton Bay was named after Captain Robert Houghton, who was the person responsible for the powder magazine on Matiu / Somes Island, and later the signal station at Mount Albert above Houghton Bay.

In the 19th century The Hermit of Island Bay lived in a nearby cave.


Houghton Bay and Valley is predominantly a residential area, but also contains the southern part of Wellington's Southern Walkway, the Buckley Road reserve, Houghton Valley Playcentre, Houghton Valley School and the Southern Headlands Reserve.

Along with other parts of Wellington's South Coast it is a popular recreational diving spot, within the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. In 2005 the decommissioned frigate HMNZS Wellington was sunk off Houghton Bay, and is now an artificial reef and dive location. Houghton Bay is also a surfing spot, like nearby Lyall Bay.

Houghton Valley and Bay are home to musicians and artists, and to the Haewai Meadery and Wind Farm.

On the hill overlooking the breakers is the Wellington dance and dining venue, The Pines.

The Aurora Australis can be seen, as the light pollution is shielded to some degree by the range of hills along the coastline. A dark sky is necessary as most aurorae are weak and barely visible to the naked eye at this latitude.


Houghton Valley School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 6 students, with a roll of as of July 2016.

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