Peninsula History

“Miramar” means “behold the sea” or “wonderful sea” in Spanish and was named by the first settler on Watt’s Peninsula area, James Coutts Crawford, who arrived in Wellington in 1840.

The suburb is known for its film industry. Film director Sir Peter Jackson and his colleagues Sir Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk have built a series of multi-million dollar studios, sound stages and pre- and post-production facilities in Miramar. Miramar has been hailed by Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro as “Hollywood the way God intended it”.

Miramar is home to six primary schools, the Miramar Rangers soccer club and a wide range of eating establishments.


The great Maori explorer, Kupe, is credited as the first person to discover Aotearoa (New Zealand), and also the first person to land on what became the Miramar Peninsula.

Kupe’s descendent, Whatonga, captained the Kurahaupo waka and settled in Whanganui a Tara (‘the great harbour of Tara) early in the 12th Century. European settlers began arriving in Wellington in the early 1840s and by the end of that decade James Coutts Crawford and others had purchased much of the Peninsula’s land.

By the early 1850s, most indigenous vegetation had been cleared and by the 1890s almost all the Peninsula was farmland. By then the Peninsula was also a popular sporting resort with recreation grounds, a hunt club, polo field, golf links and trotting club.

In 1902, an auction of 132 residential sections attracted huge interest and signalled the beginning of urbanisation on the Peninsula. In 1904 the Miramar Borough Council was formed, the first electric tram reached the Peninsula in 1907, and the suburb was incorporated into the City of Wellington in 1921.

For several decades the area remained a family oriented, predominantly working class suburb with a strong manufacturing base. Today, many of the old industries have gone and the area is home to a number of internationally recognised, creative industries employing a work force from around the world.


The Miramar Peninsula is home to around 20,000 people and sits at the south-eastern edge of Wellington – the capital city of New Zealand. Its an area of rugged coastlines, sheltered bays, bushwalks as well as being the center of the film industry. All of those creative people like to eat, so the Peninsula offers some of the best coffee and dining experiences in the city.

The Peninsula is made up of a number of suburbs, each with its own unique character: Strathmore Park, Seatoun, Maupuia, Breaker Bay, Moa Point, Miramar, Shelly Bay, Scorching Bay, Karaka Bay.

The Peninsula sits close to Wellington International Airport and is well serviced with bus and ferry services into the city.

A wide range of excellent educational facilities are available on the Peninsula including the long standing Scots College, a private all boys school for Years 1-13 located in Strathmore and the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Mokopuna Kohanga Reo in Seatoun.

A great aspect about living on the Peninsula is not having to rely on the City to get things done. Whether you need garden supplies, gourmet sausages from the butcher, a panelbeater, camera repair, personal trainer, dog day care, hair cut or even to book a holiday… you can do it all in your own neighborhood. Check out our business directory to read about all the handy services on the Peninsula.