Wellington Central, Tinakori Hill and Mount Victoria


I've been to a few cities in the world but few offer the opportunities that Wellington does to get out and about so close to the CBD

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Northern Walkway

Mount Kaukau

The Northern Walkway links a number of tracks and stretches of road to form a walkway between Truscott Av in Johnsonville and the Botanical Gardens in Wellington central. Unusually the track breaks out into civilisation in a few spots around Ngaio and Wadestown so it's possible to have a latte and nibbles along the way. You'll need a reasonable level of fitness but on a good day most should be capable of completing the walkway, just allow more time and take in the spectacular views. Unfortunately it isn't well signposted in places so take a long a map.

Time and Difficulty

Allow anywhere between 4 and 7 hours depending on your fitness and ability.

Distance and Height

The track is around 16km long and it is possible to use the trains and buses to make the loop.

Polehill Reserve - George Denton Park

Polehill Reserve This loop track runs to the ridgeline above Aro Street then round towards Highbury and back down the hill towards Aro. The track is generally in good condition although some of the exposed slopes can get a little overgrown. At the top end you can opt to take a short loop to the Karori fence then back past some WW2 gun emplacements to the bottom of the Windmill access road. Views are spectacular. The track is best done as a loop starting and finishing in Aro St however you can also join at Ashton Fitchitt Dr and Highbury Cr

Time and Difficulty

Allow around an hour and a half to walk or around an hour if you're going to bike

Distance and Height

This track runs for around 3km for the round trip

Wellington Waterfront Walkway

Waterfront Walkway This well trodden track runs round the Wellington waterfront past such tourist attractions as TePapa, Frank Kitts and Waitangi Park but is alot better than the sum of its parts. Over lunchtimes and weekends the area is positively buzzing and its not uncommon to find more people here then wandering in Courtney Place nearby. Keep an eye out for the poetry murals hidden in various locations around the walkway, you might even learn something. What is today known as Wellington Harbour was originally named Port Nicholson by Captain James Herd in 1826 and prior to that Whanganui Atara by the Maori locals. The Waterfront can be accessed all along its length although you will need to get across the busy roadways if you're in the CBD.

Time and Difficulty

Allow between 15 to 20 minutes to walk the entire route one way or about half this to bike.

Distance and Height

The track is around 1.9km long

Tinakori Hill

Tinakori Hill This group of tracks runs up, down and around Tinakori Hill giving excellent views of the city and a good workout. The maze of tracks is difficult to follow but you're unlikely to get lost provided you keep going up or down. For those who want a longer workout you can also include the Botanical Gardens and Ngaio Gorge to form loops. The main access is from Weild St or Orangi Kaupapa at the top of the hill or Tinakori Rd at the bottom

Time and Difficulty

It generally takes around 40 minutes to get from the bottom to the top and back down again

Distance and Height

The area includes around 10km of tracks with vertical heights between 80m and 300m

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden This area is a favourite amongst families and tourists alike. While it doesn't cover a huge area it is well organised and offers lots of variety. Definitely worth a visit if you're trying to come to grips with native plant and tree names or have an interest in outdoor art. The botanical garden can be accessed from the main entrance on Glenmore Rd or the top entrance from Salamanca Rd or the Cable Car. You can also use Marin Rd and Glenn Rd. The cable car museum at the top is also well worth a visit.

Distance and Height

The area includes about 7km of tracks with vertical heights between 30m and 140m at the cable car

Mt Victoria

Mt Vic Known locally simply as Mt Vic, there are loads of tracks available. some you'll find on the maps and lots you won't. One of the highlights is the lookout at the very top with panaramic views of the CBD, Hutt Valley and everywhere in between. Mt Vic is well used by locals commuting to and from town along with those out for some exercise. The tracks are well built and maintained although some are getting rutted in places. An added bonus is the Mt Vic Lord Of The Rings filming sites if you can find them. The main access points are Lookout Rd, Alexandra Rd and Majoribanks Rd but you can also get onto the tracks from other streets

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 20 minutes to walk the track one way and about half this to bike. This track is often combined with Ara Harakeke Plimmerton to form a loop.

Distance and Height

The track is around 2.4km long

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