Nourishing the soul

A climb up Tarikākā/Mount Kaukau is just what Rona needs after a busy day at the office

Soul searching

Rona is a contractor in the talent acquisition/leadership space and after work if she’s not at the gym or playing sport she can be found climbing to the summit of Tarikākā/Mount Kaukau.

Mount Kaukau is part of the Skyline Walkway which journeys along Wellington’s highest peaks, from Mākara Saddle via Mount Kaukau summit, ending in Johnsonville, with epic views along the way.

“For me Mount Kaukau is so accessible, it’s on my back doorstep, and it’s a bit of a spiritual place for me – it’s been a place I have gone to when I need to clear my head and reset,” says Rona.

“I love walking up by myself with my headphones on blasting some music if I need a bit of time out but equally, I love walking up there with my family or group of mates.”

One of Rona’s favourite moments to date was a recent walk up to the summit with a group of school mates.

“We went up at dawn to watch the sun rise at the start of the year, it felt like a new beginning, it was great for the soul.

“I also enjoy walks up there with the family and having chats about what’s going on for them, it’s a great place to reconnect,” says the mother of three young adults.

Views worth the effort

Rona is a proud born and bred Wellingtonian whose love for walking tracks began living in the eastern suburbs in a house that backed onto the Eastern Walkway.

She only discovered Mount Kaukau and the Skyline Walkway on her move to Wilton a few years back and it still amazes her just how many Wellingtonians still haven’t made the climb up to the summit.

“You can be at the top of Mount Kaukau summit in 20-25 minutes and back down within the hour, but the fact that it’s part of the Skyline Walkway means you can go for a quick walk or a longer trek depending on the route you take – the options are endless and there are lots of places to enter/exit.

“On a great day the views over the Wellington region and beyond are spectacular but it can also be great on a windy, cold day if you want to blow out the cobwebs!

“Getting to the top makes you feel like Rocky – it’s a fantastic feeling and never gets old!”

On the way up Rona encourages walkers and runners to keep an eye out for painted rocks, fairy doors and toadstools along the trails.

Winding down

Re-energised, Rona likes to finish her walk with a coffee from Café Du Parc by the Khandallah summer pool entrance to Mount Kaukau.

Surrounded by bush at the bottom of the hills, it’s the perfect place to catch your breath, enjoy a coffee and order off the all-day menu, counter food featuring lunchtime favourites or bite into a well-deserved sweet treat.

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