Wellington City to Sea Walkway(13km)

We much prefer small cities to their larger bustling sisters. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is a compact and attractive city on a beautiful harbour, but its reputation as a wet and windy place was upheld. However, wild weather provided us with the opportunity to do other things, such as visit the remarkable Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, and listen to a local band playing old Cuban salsa - straight out of the Buena Vista Social Club. Wellington prides itself in a modern cafe-scene sophistication and, weather aside, it seemed a great place to live.

One of the many good aspects about Wellington is the urban walkways that have been developed through different areas of the city. When the rain finally stopped, we chose the City to Sea Walkway, a 13 km path from centre of the city to Island Bay, a laid back suburb on the southern shore.

The modern civic centre

"The Beehive" - housing New Zealand's parliament

Classic view of Wellington from the Cable Car Lookout

19th century houses (and a few more
recent ones) clinging to the hillsides

The undulating walkway took us past old settler cemeteries; through the Botanic Gardens to vantage points overlooking the city and harbour, past the Victoria University and down into historic old quarters of the town (where we stopped for a latte in trendy Aro Road with its 19th century weatherboard houses and shops).

Te Aro Road

Where else would you see
medieval knights at play?

From Te Aro, we wound up through suburbia where houses clung to the steep hillsides, along streams, and across the playing fields and golfcourses that formed the green green grass of The Town Belt. Leaving the houses temporarily behind, we crossed over steep windswept coastal hills, where gorse, broom and boneseed bloomed golden in their weedy splendour.

Overlooking the hills and grassy belt of outer Wellington

Suburbia meets the heath covered hills

Descending from the windswept Tawatawa Trig

Finally, the track led us down to sleepy, but beautiful Island Bay, a jewel in the crown of Wellington. We had reached the shore and the end of our walk and, after a bit of time enjoying the surrounds, we caught a local bus back to the city. These walkways are great way to get to know Wellington.

The beauty of Island Bay

This photo is included ......

.... just because I like it!