Views, forests, parks and gardens keep things interesting along these signposted Wellington walkways.
Signposted walkways have been established through attractive and interesting areas of Wellington's parks and large green belts. Their wilderness feel is all the more fascinating, given their close proximity to the city.
The northern walkway is 16 kilometres long and takes about four hours to complete. It is steep in some places, but not difficult overall. Exits to suburban streets along the way allow the walk to be taken in stages. Beginning in the suburb of Johnsonville, it passes through several parks and on through the green town belt before entering the inner city via the Wellington Botanical Garden. Attractions along the way include spectacular views, picnic sites, unused tunnels and the Khandallah Summer Pool.
The southern walkway provides a four to five-hour journey with contrasting scenery along its 11 kilometre route. Beginning in the harbour-side suburb of Oriental Bay, it rises through turn-of-the-century wooden houses to the top of Mount Victoria. From this magnificent 360 degree viewing platform, the walkway enters the forest of the town belt. This forest provided shelter for the hobbits from the approaching dark riders in the movie The Lord of the Rings. The setting changes once more as the route passes Wellington Zoo, before meeting the ocean at Island Bay on Wellington's rugged south coast.
The eastern walkway is shorter, at 2.5 kilometres, and takes about one and a half hours to complete. The route passes along the southern half of the Miramar Peninsula, from the Pass of Branda to Tarakena Bay. The gravel track is largely exposed, allowing spectacular views of Wellington Harbour. Along the way you'll see many Maori historical sites and learn about the fascinating geology and local history of this peninsula. There is a recommended option to increase the length of this walk by looping back to the start along the sealed road around Breaker Bay.