Although, Peta Wilson was born in Sydney, she actually spent most of her childhood years in Papua, New Guinea. Since the family had no TV or radio, Peta and her brother entertained themselves by putting on musical shows for their parents. Peta's father was in the Special Services, so she had to learn to adapt to new situations and people fairly quickly, as the family moved frequently.
While growing up, Peta became a sports enthusiast, especially liking netball and swimming. Her mother, wishing Peta to be more feminine, sent her for deportment lessons. Peta learned how to conduct herself on the catwalk there and soon found herself earning a living as a model.
In 1991, Peta moved to Los Angeles where she began to study theatre. She also found herself being cast in small roles in independent movies, such as Loser and One of Our Own. As well as in the HBO television series, Strangers.
In 1996, Peta got her biggest break when she was cast in the role of Nikita in the the TV adaptation of La Femme Nikita which ran for five seasons. She was nominated twice for a Gemini Award.