Where: Mt Victoria, Wellington
Distance & Time: 6.5km loop walk, 1 hours 30 minutes
Take: water, snacks, wind jacket for the Wellington wind
Amenities on route: some car parking at entrance to the loop
Cost of the walk: Free
I’ve walked tracks on Mt Victoria a hundred times. But it seems like each time I do I still manage to find a new path I haven’t come across before and manage to not follow the track I want to be on. This was a loop walk so I figured it was going to be well signposted, which it was. Mostly. But I still managed to get off the loop, but I found my way back on to it, purely by accident!
Wellington Council is promoting a Wellington walk every week, and after looking at the map of this walk, I realised this was one walk on Mt Vic I had yet to do in full.
To start this walk you actually have to walk up a hill. So at least your legs are warmed up by the time you actually start the loop (also, bonus is that there is a dairy at the bottom of the street to top up your chocolate supply for energy)
There’s multiple entry points to all the walks on Mt Victoria, but this loop is best accessed from the top of Majoribanks Street.
I did the loop anticlockwise, for most of the track you’re on the same path as the Southern Walkway, so there’s lots of signage. However. and this has happened to me before, once you come to this sports field it’s a mission to figure out where to go as the signage is either non-existent, or super confusing! I still haven’t figured out where this loop is supposed to go but I somehow found my way back on to it (when you’re looking south at the field, go to your left and follow that pathway south – it seemed to work).
There’s loads of awesome views on this walk – looking down to the South Island, towards Cape Palliser, over the harbour towards the Hutt Valley, and overlooking the city. It’s stunning.
Some of the tracks are shared with mountain bikers – so if you’ve got headphones in, don’t have them too loud so you can hear the bikes coming up behind you (learn from my experience!)
There’s another confusing bit of the walk once you’ve rounded the loop and start heading back towards the Summit – I was attempting to follow the written instructions on the council’s map, but I still somehow managed to get off the proper track and onto another one. I eventually found my way back to the right track (not through anything I did, it just somehow happened). I suppose that’s one of the best parts of this walk, you’ll eventually get back on to the right path if you end up off it!
Amy’s advice – stop off at Moore Wilsons or New World on your way to pick up some gourmet goodies. There are heaps of glorious spots to sit in the sun and enjoy both the view and some culinary treats!
I hadn’t walked much on this side of Mt Victoria as I hadn’t even known you could walk alongside the Hataitai velodrome! But suddenly, there it was right in front of me. I hadn’t been there since the days of One Love concerts years ago.
I liked this part of the walk as there was not nearly as many people as there are on the main walkways. Once I rounded the loop I had a good 20 minutes without seeing anyone else.
Then it’s time to head back up towards the Summit. The Council have done a fantastic job by installing all these interesting attractions for kids (and adults!), which adds interest to the area, and educates visitors on the wildlife and stories of Mt Victoria.
The Summit on a sunny day is crazy busy. There are cars, buses, bikes, runners and walkers everywhere. And a water fountain (that’s the most important part!) The view is spectacular though. There’s loads of storyboards to tell you what you’re looking at and to share some of the local history.
Side note: I’ve run to the Summit exactly once in my life . But I feel such an accomplishment in telling everyone I go there with that I’ve done it, and now you know too – #humblebrag
How could you not adore this city, with views like this:
Coming down you’ll have heaps of sneak peaks of Wellington harbour between the trees. There’s loads of little hidden fields too, which are perfect spots to have a picnic on one of those rare non-windy Wellington days (of which we’ve been having quite a few of lately, I hope writing this doesn’t jinx that!)
And then you’ll round a corner and find you’re back where you started. Then it’s a quick stroll down into the city for a much deserved ice cream. Or wine. Or both!
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