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5 trails with a view

These trails are the ones to head to when you want guaranteed knock-out views. Whether you’re looking for some stunning photos for your Instagram or just fancy sitting and soaking up a spectacular view, these are the trails for you. Good views tend to go hand-in-hand with hill climbs, but we’re sure that you’ll agree that the views are worth the effort.

1. Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk

Take in spectacular views of Kāpiti Island from high above the Kāpiti Coastline on one of the region’s finest walking experiences. The Paekakariki Escarpment Walk is 10km in length and runs from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay but can be done in either direction. Expect steep hill climbs (you’ll scale around 2,000 steps!), swing bridges and narrow pathways and, of course, jaw-dropping views the whole way along. 

2. Southern Walkway

This is the walk to do on those ‘Can’t beat Wellington on a good day’ blue sky days. Starting in Mt Victoria to take in the panoramic views of the city and harbour, you’ll walk through the town belt, passing by Lord of the Rings filming locations as you head towards the rugged South Coast. With a wild grandeur all of its own, on a clear day you can see the South Island from the rocky shores of the South Coast.

3. Skyline Walkway

It ain’t called the Skyline Walkway for nothing – this trail boasts skyward views across the nearly all of the Wellington region. One of Wellington’s premier trails, the Skyline Walkway is a journey along Wellington’s highest ridgelines and peaks from Makara Peak all the way to Mount Kaukau. With many entrances and exits along the way, the Skyline trail makes the perfect adventure either on bike or on foot. This trail involves some challenging terrain with plenty of steep bits, but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with pretty sweet views. A great bus and train service can help get you home at the end.

4. Polhill Reserve - Brooklyn Turbine -Te Kopahou Reserve

This group of trails have it all: from beautiful native bush full of native birds, thanks to nearby Zealandia eco-sanctuary, to stunning panoramic views of the city from the Brooklyn Wind Turbine, to the rugged wild grandeur of Wellington’s South Coast and the South Island beyond. Whether you’re travelling on bike or on foot, you’ll cover varied terrain and landscapes in a short space of time. Embark on a full day’s adventure by linking trails together or take it one stage at a time.

5. Rangituhi/Colonial Knob Summit

Te Ara a Rangituhi in Porirua is a huge reserve set on 110 hectares of farmland slowly regenerating into indigenous vegetation and features a range of trails, including the Te Ara Utiwai Track. Enjoy the gentle climb to the Rangituhi Lookout, as you run through stunning native bush. The trail connects with the Colonial Knob Walkway to form an 8km half-day walking circuit.

colonial knob
Colonial Knob Summit
Photo credit: Jay French