Wellington Off The Beaten Path Tips by craic Top 5 Page for this destination
Wellington Off The Beaten Path: 36 reviews and 47 photos
It is not exactly off the beaten path - but I am going to use this section to describe suburbs which seem worth devoting some time to. Thorndon is actually close to the CBD. The pretty part with all the cafes and quaint wooden houses and antiquey shops starts about half way up Bowen St (near the railway station) and continues along Tinakori Rd. Take a number 03 bus to Karori Park and get off at the top of Bowen St and then walk back down - but it really isn't a difficult walk up the hill. The cute pretty part isn't very huge! Perhaps get a map of all the historic places from the Information Centre at Civic Square to give your wanderings some point and purpose.
Stop off for refreshments at a cafe or at the Shepards Arms Pub - rummage through the bookshops and galleries and shops full of ye olde stuff (one shop thinks the 60s is a source of ye olde stuff) some clothing boutiques, couple with second hand designer stuff - vintage?
But it is the pretty pretty typical Wellington houses, all buffed up, perched on hills or down in gullies which are the main attraction I think.
This area had descended into being almost a slum - but then was rescued and gentrified.
I got a swag of booklets at the info centre in Civic Square for the more serious tramping type of walking.
Like there is the Skyline Track and the Southern and Northern Walkways.
There is a map so you are not just wandering aimlessly.
Mind you when I was out wandering on Mt Victoria today I kept coming upon signs directing me to the Southern Walkway. (And also to filming locations for Lord Of The Rings.) So it was hard to be aimless and get lost.
I would very much like to do the Eastern Walkway out Seatoun way by the Pass of Branda and get to see the Ataturk memorial.
Mind you, most walking in Wellington is of a fairly serious nature. Not a stroll in the park sort of city. As I was descending to Oriental Bay today it was just like walking to Portofino (see my San Fruttuoso page). Walking to Portofino has become a catchcry in my family for an extraordinary walk. "It was like walking to Portofino!" Today Wellington was just as beautiful - and steep.
There is a plan afoot to get a walkway system (the Te Araroa Walkway) from Cape Reinga to the Bluff (except for Cook Strait of course LOL) and I believe extensive stretches of it are completed.
Here is another example of something I must do on this trip.
Catch a lovely day and catch a number 23 bus Southgate-Mairangi. (They don't go all that often, so check a timetable.)
Get off in View Road, Houghton Bay.
Keep in mind they call it View Road for a reason.
Walk along the ridge line then head down - either to Lyall Bay and stop of for refreshment at the Maranui Cafe on the beach which used the be the Surf Lifesaving Club - or head towards Island Bay and find a cafe there.
I went out to a friend's place in View Road with an American and an Australian who had not been there before - and did delight in their squeals of amazement as the bus driver swung the bus along this goat track!
If you are really fit you could do it the other way round and come down by the Wellington Zoo.
A spectacular walk.
This is one of the most interesting things to do of all. As long as the weather is good enough -so do take advantage of a lovely day.
Even walking in the hilly suburbs can be fascinating - what with quaint staircases and zig-zags, quite an adventure.
But we are also fortunate in that we have the town belt - Mt Victoria and Tinakori Hill which were designated to be left as nature reserves in about 1900.
The possibilities are endless but just as an example let me tell you about a lovely walk I took today.
I got the number 2 bus to Miramar and got off at the Hataitai Shops, 2 stops past the tunnel.
Then I headed up Waipapa Rd and into Arawa Rd. I was now on the ridge of the hill and the walking was easy and the view was stunning! The harbour, the Oronorongas tipped with snow, the planes coming in to land at Rongotai Airport.
I was about to head down to Oriental Bay but I noticed the signs pointing to Byrd Memorial and Mt Victoria Lookout so I headed upwards. And I was not sorry I did. Wellington has never looked more beautiful.
Then I found a rough track with a sign pointing to the Southern Walkway and Oriental Bay so I headed off downhill. Bit steep and muddy - but I coped so anyone with a reasonable head for heights and and level of fitness should cope.
I did see a young girl on the uphill climb hanging over a rail exhausted being exhorted by her friends to show a bit of spirit - and she was barely 100 metres into her climb. The younger generation! Tsk tsk.
Then I hit Oriental Bay and had a well deserved snack and a coffee at the Parade cafe. Very nice indeed it was.
This is just an example. I could have made many variations on this walk. Spoilt for choice really.
It is just a short hop along the motorway from Wellington CBD. Go by train or by bus.
You can use a Discovery Pass or a Starpass for all day travel on the bus in Wellington and out to here. ($12 and $10 - you can also use these tickets on the Airport Flyer.)
If you are staying within Wellington then you only need a daytripper ticket. ($5 and there is an equivalent day tripper for the Hutt Valley.)
Petone (pronounced Pe- Tony) is the gateway to the Hutt Valley.
Catch an Eastbourne bus, or the Valley Flyer or the Airport Flyer. Other buses go through here too.
It is a great little area, nice shopping, lovely foreshore one block from the main drag which is Jackson Street. Cafes, pubs, and restaurants.
May I suggest a good day trip.
Morning tea in the Screaming Turtle Cafe. Check out the shopping and the foreshore and the Settlers Museum. Perhaps wander some back streets to see the cute old cottages.
Lunch in La Bella Italia (you will think you are in the beautiful country) then catch a 3-15 matinee at the Lighthouse Cinema.
Round it all off with a coffee at their cafe.
Then hit the pubs!!!!!
I have a Petone page so check out the fine details.
Petone - It rocks!
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