There are some fabulous walks in and around Wellington. It never ceases to amaze me how we live in the capital city of New Zealand, but nature is right there. We have so many different options surrounding us if we want to immerse ourselves in some nature; everything is really accessible. It doesn’t take much to feel like you have escaped the hustle and bustle of the city. Outlined below are some of my favourite walks (this blog post is a work in progress, so I will keep adding to it as I do new walks. It’s also a chance to show off some of Wellington’s incredible scenery, so excuse the photo overload!):
- Red Rocks
A pleasant walk along the south coast of the North Island, a good day will expose you to some glorious views of the South Island, some seals, and some sound fresh air – but on a bad day, you will just be exposed to massive winds (and plenty of fresh air) so I would avoid at all costs! It is easy to get to; just head out to Owhiro Bay and once at the ocean, take a right and drive around until you spot the car park at the end of the road. If you don’t have a car, you can bus to Owhiro Bay and walk from there. Nearby is the The Beach House and Kiosk if you need a snack.
The walk is basically along the beach front; but expect stones, not sand and definitely keep your eyes peeled for seals. The rocks are quite literally red (formed by underwater volcanic eruptions many years ago) and you can keep walking basically for as long as you want. A common turnaround point is Devil’s Gate which is about 1 hour from the carpark, making for a 2 hour return walk.
- Butterfly Creek
Located out in Eastbourne, this walk is definitely easier if you have a car to get there (although catching a bus, or even a ferry, is entirely an option). It begins with a dramatic incline that definitely levels out as the walk goes on (use the panoramic views of the harbour as an excuse to stop if you need!); it had us panicking that the walk was going to be super hard, but thankfully it wasn’t. It is a path that winds through a lot of native bush; it is very refreshing and makes your lungs feel wonderfully revitalised and healthy.
The track is well sign-posted, just keep following your way to the picnic area. The track ends at a lovely little campsite / picnic area with a stream nearby. It is easy to find your way home; just turn around and walk the same track back. You could stop off for an ice-cream in Days Bay on the way home if it’s a nice day.
- Paekakariki Escarpment Trail
This is an absolutely beautiful walk stretching from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay and rising above the Kapiti Coast, with stunning views that stretch out to Kapiti Island and beyond. It is almost 10km exactly, and takes a couple of hours to do. I would definitely recommend taking some snacks, and a jersey – it can get pretty windy up there at times. You can do the walk in either direction; either by catching the train out there or by driving to one of the car parks nearby the start of each end of the track. Parts of the track are quite flat and boring, but embrace it; you’ll be wanting that back when you climb the immense number of stairs that are spread along the trail.