The township of Plimmerton is adjacent to one of the more congenial beaches in the northwest part of the Wellington urban area of Porirua in New Zealand. Its population (including Hongoeka Bay) at the 2006 census was 2058, little changed from 2052 in both the 1996 and 2001 counts.
The area was first settled by the M ori people early in their occupation of New Zealand, and the major Taupo Pa was nearby.
In the 1840s it was the home of Te Rauparaha, who was captured by the British in Plimmerton in 1846. Near the southern end of Motuhara Road, a tiny historic reserve contains a cabbage tree that may be descended from the one he was said to have been captured near, and a plaque.
The original laying-out of streets and naming was done for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company, which built the railway link from the capital, Wellington, to Longburn, near Palmerston North. Several towns were established along the way to encourage settlements that would contribute to the line's business. John Plimmer, after whom Plimmerton was named, was a director of the company.
By the late 1890s Plimmerton had become a popular holiday destination.
For a long time Plimmerton was part of Hutt County, on 1 April 1973 the still-growing area became one of the northern suburbs of Porirua. Though small, it was one of the most lively. For a time it had the only active Residents' Association in the city.
The largely M ori (Ngati Toa) settlement at Hongoeka Bay to the northwest is part of Plimmerton for most purposes.
North of the industrial area is the Taupo Swamp, a flax swamp, one of the largest of its type in the southern half of the North Island.
State Highway 1, here named St Andrews Road, separates Plimmerton and the late-20th-century suburb of Camborne.
A shopping area about two blocks long adjoins the railway station and includes two churches, a medical centre, Plunket rooms, a craft shop, a beauty salon, a real estate agent, a grocery store and several eateries. School, kindergarten, and tennis courts are close. Plimmerton Library, part of Porirua City Council's library system, moved in December 2007 from the single-room building near the school to the Plimmerton Pavilion, opposite the Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade building.
South-west of the shopping area is a fairly sheltered, gently graded beach, which has been a popular recreation area for over a century. It is popular with windsurfers; some world champions have trained there. Another popular beach is Karehana Bay, at the foot of the Airlie Road/Cluny Road valley about 1.5 kilometres north-west of the shops. Poet Denis Glover mentioned the settlement in his poem Threnody: "In Plimmerton, in Plimmerton, the little penguins play, and one dead albatross was found at Karehana Bay".
Panorama of Plimmerton from Camborne