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Top 5 walking trails

There’s nothing like getting out in the fresh air and stretching your legs. Whether you’re looking for an hour-long blast through the town belt, a half-day hike or a full-day adventure in the wilderness, Wellington’s network of trails has something that’ll perfectly fit your time and fitness levels. Here’s some of Wellington’s favourite walks – much-loved by locals and visitors alike.

1. Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk

A wonderful day walk, the Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk has it all: stunning views, steep hill climbs, swing bridges and more. The trail runs from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay, taking in sweeping views of the spectacular Kāpiti Coastline and the region’s famous Kāpiti Island. There’s plenty of steep climbs and the track is narrow, so it’s not recommended for those with vertigo or heart conditions. Pack some snacks, plenty of water, warm clothing layers and sunblock; you’re in for an unforgettable day out. 

2. Remutaka Cycle Trail and Hutt River Trail

Don’t let the name fool you – the Remutaka Cycle Trail is for walkers, too! With walks ranging from short to intermediate tramping tracks, this 110km trail can be completed in stages or over several consecutive days, or you can choose to travel in the opposite direction. As you walk, soak up the rich cultural heritage of the region, take in stunning scenery of native forests, rivers and some of the country’s most stunning wild coast scenes.

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walking remutaka cycle trail 1

3. Te Ara o Whareroa – Queen Elizabeth Park

Walk along the wavy dune lands of the Kāpiti Coast, from Raumati South to Paekakariki. Te Ara o Whareroa is an easy 6km trail that traverses the sand dunes of the Kāpiti Coast, just one hour’s drive from Wellington. The trail extends from Queen Elizabeth Park in Paraparaumu all the way through to Tilley Road in Paekakariki. This popular shared route provides stunning ocean views along the way and once you finish, take the train or bus service to return you to your starting point or to get back to the city.

queen elizabeth park walking Photo credit: Jay French

4. Greytown to Woodside Trail

Take a walk along the original railway line between Greytown and Woodside. The Greytown to Woodside Trail is a family-friendly pathway that connects the quaint Wairarapa township of Greytown to the historic Woodside Railway Station. The wide limestone pathway weaves its way through an avenue of mature oak trees and is surrounded by views of the Tararua Ranges and Gladstone Hills. The trail is suitable for walking, biking, prams and wheelchairs. 

Greytown to Woodside Trail

5. Waikanae River Trail

Take a stroll along the banks of the Waikanae River on the Kāpiti Coast. The Waikanae River is one of the distinctive natural features, the river meanders through a diverse landscape – from the ranges, through alluvial plans, coastal dunes and down to the sea. It’s a flat and easy 10km walk or the trail can be broken down into small loop tracks. In the warmer months, pack your swimming togs to take advantage of the opportunity to stop and take a dip in the Waikanae River or a swim in the surf. 

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waikanae river trail 1