Kaitoke Regional Park is north of Upper Hutt, just before the road heads over the Rimutaka Ranges. Taking a sharp turnoff, the road ends at a massive campground, and is also the starting point for several short walks around the hills here. For the past 20+ years, it has also been a stopping point for Lord of The Rings (LOTR) fans, as some filming took place here.
A hut where you are guaranteed to have the whole place to yourself? Where you have to cross a river numerous times to get there? Where you don’t have to carry crockery or cooking equipment, leaving room for a bottle of wine in your bag? Sign me up!
I don’t know of many capital cities where you can drive 10 minutes from the city centre and see seals. And not just one seal, but heaps of seals, sunbathing themselves on rocks and generally just being rather adorable!
The number one reason I like this walk is because it starts in the heart of the city, but within 30 minutes you can look around and not see any sign of people. That’s my kind of walk! The second reason is that it ends at the beach. And not just that, but a beach with seals!
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.
Mt Kaukau – the big mountain in Wellington with the giant transmitter on top. It’ s the one place that you can see from pretty much anywhere in Wellington, and one of the places that makes most people say ‘oh Mt Kaukau, I keep meaning to walk to the top but I haven’t done it yet’.
Makara Beach is one of those spots that you can imagine yourself retiring to live, where you spend your days walking along the beach, collecting driftwood and paua shells, before returning to your cosy house to read books and drink cups of tea in front of the fire. It’s that kind of place.
On a weekend where most people were curled up at home, watching Netflix and keeping dry, we decided to go for a hike and stay overnight in a 60+ year old Hut.
This gem of an island is in the middle of Wellington harbour and provides the perfect 360 degree view around the harbour.