|- to the north:||Kelburn|
|- to the east:||Te Aro|
|- to the south:||Brooklyn|
|- to the west:||Mitchelltown, Taitville, Mount Pleasant|
The Aro Valley runs between the hills of Brooklyn to the south and those of Kelburn to the north. By some reckonings it includes the side-valley of Mitchelltown. It takes its name from the Aro Stream which flowed down Epuni Street, and which since 1926 has been confined to a drain. The Aro (Wai-Mapihi) Stream first appeared in a plan in 1843.
The Valley comprises part of the bed of the Wai-Mapihi Stream. Aro Street runs through the whole valley, from Willis Street in the east to Raroa Road in the west; major side-streets include Devon Street, Epuni Street, Adams Terrace, Mitchelltown's Holloway Road and Taitville's Norway Street.
First developed by settler Wellingtonians as a working-class residential suburb in the late 19th century, the Aro Valley featured small, narrow sections with closely built wooden or corrugated-iron houses. It gained a reputation for political radicalism and for shady extra-legal dealings.
Gentrification affected the Aro Valley from the 1970s, boosted by urban-renewal planning (the Comprehensive Urban Renewal Area or CURA) after the rejection of a proposal to turn the valley into a main arterial road route: it became a desirable suburb, seen as close to the centre of Wellington and boasting notable community spirit.
The Valley also adjoins parts of Victoria University (mainly to the north), and a large number of Valley residents study there or at Massey University to the east. Despite the "yuppification" of the suburb, it keeps its reputation as a home to politico-social radicals. Politically, it has become a stronghold of the Green Party.
- Aro Park (site of the former Matauranga School)
- Aro Valley Community Centre (complex with public hall and pre-school; former site of Holy Family School)
- William Booth Memorial College (formerly a Salvation Army officer-training establishment)
- Mickey Mouse Motors (as featured in Goodbye Pork Pie, ceased trading since 2003)
- Mitchelltown War Memorial (at the top (west end) of Aro Street)
- Te Aro School (Primary School providing education from years 1 through to 8)
- Lola the Aro Park Cat