Introducing Kilbirnie, Rongotai and Lyall Bay

Kilbirnie

Kilbirnie

Is Wellington’s playground, with the aquatic centre and facilities for indoor and outdoor sport all year round. Combine your game with a quick and convenient shop, check out the craft and op shops, then catch a tasty feed from different world cuisines. You’ll leave a winner every time.

Rongotai

Rongotai

is where the work gets done. There’s a wide range of clever and creative people busily working away on furniture, vehicles, beer, and even ice cream. Plus there’s shopping opportunities big and small, from New Zealand’s biggest brands right through to crafty wee galleries and specialist outdoor shops. Explore!

Lyall Bay

Lyall Bay

Has Wellington’s Freshest Air©. Walk the dog, catch a wave, spot a plane. Don’t leave without enjoying fish & chips or an ice cream (or both!) by the beach. And if the air is too fresh for you, pop into a local café for fresh food and hot coffee. No need to rush home just yet!

History & Heritage

Kilbirnie's History & Heritage

Kilbirnie is named after a Scottish town in Ayrshire, by the farmer James Coutts Crawford, who also gave the streets Scottish names. Crawford owned the land together with the sites of Miramar, Melrose. Kilbirnie remained part of Crawford’s extensive estate until the 1870s when it was sold for housing.

 evans bay area map 

In the early 1900’s land was reclaimed from the harbour. This picture is looking over Kilbirnie with Evans Bay on the right, it marks out the Kilbirnie Reserve reclamation area. Duncan Terrace and the houses in Naughton Terrace are in the foreground; Evans Bay extends as far as Kilbirne Crescent.

 Kilbirnie land reclamation 
Ref: Aldersley, David James, 1862-1928. Kilbirnie and Evans Bay, Wellington.

Original photographic prints and postcards from file print collection, Box 15. Ref: PAColl-7081-56. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23053646

 

Tramways were once an integral part of the area. Here we see workers at the Kilbirnie workshops, alongside the last tram to be built in Wellington.

 

 last tram 

Taken by an unidentified photographer, circa December 1952.
Ref: Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper.

Ref: 1/2-129288-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23073640


This picture shows part of Kilbirnie, taken from a hilltop, looking over houses and towards the tram depot (now the bus depot) on Onepu Road.

 Old kilbirnie aerial 

Ref: Kilbirnie, Wellington. Smith, Sydney Charles, 1888-1972 :Photographs of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-045873-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22897944


Before the Haowhenua earthquake (around 1460), Miramar Peninsula was an island, and the land now occupied by Lyall Bay and Rongotai lay beneath the sea. The earthquake raised the seabed, creating an isthmus linking Miramar with Kilbirnie.

In 1928, relief workers levelled nearby sand dunes to make an airfield. Later the ridge and the airfield became part of Wellington International Airport.

 

Featured Businesses

  • Watermark Signs Ltd is Wellington's finest signage company.  With 19 years of experience and a wide knowledge base we’re here to help you find the right signage solution for your…
  • The Rita Angus Retirement Village provides a full range of retirement options, along with the best of resthome and hospital care. Located in the heart of Kilbirnie on Coutts Street,…
  • At Steere Automotive, we understand your vehicle and your expectations for quality service and workmanship.  We share premises with RAD Car Hire.