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With so many scenic reserves, forests and farm parks literally minutes away from our urban streets, it couldn’t be easier to get back to nature.
In the foothills of the Tararua Ranges just north of Upper Hutt, this is a wild and delightful playground for nature-lovers. Walkers can enjoy bush trails of various lengths such as the Swingbridge Track. Kaitoke is also the perfect setting for lazy days of picnicking, ball games on grassy lawns, river swimming and camping. A feast of family fun!
Amongst the high jagged ridges rising up to the east of Wellington Harbour, picnic or camp in Catchpool Valley. Hike the popular Orongorongo Track (2 hours each way), with overnight stays possible - plus a chance to hear (if not see) one of more than 120 kiwi that now roam wild here.
Covering 15,000 hectares of wilderness this is the home of the iconic Karapoti MTB race. Explore rugged forest popular for walking, mountain biking, quad biking and horse trekking. Cannon Point Walkway is the easiest way in.
Highway signs show the way to Tunnel Gully Recreation Area just north of Upper Hutt. Find grassy picnic areas as well as trailheads for walking and cycling. Fit walkers who love summits can conquer Mt Climie (830m), a 3 – 4 hour return trip with epic views.
Seaside bush-clad hills, sheltered valleys, wetlands and rocky coastline – all offering walking and cycling trails with plenty of lookouts across the harbour, picnic spots, and Pencarrow Lighthouses which are the oldest in New Zealand.
In the middle of Wellington Harbour, this regenerating, predator-free island is home to native birds, tuatara and giant weta. Take a ferry over where walking tracks offer wildlife encounters, fabulous 360-degree views, and stories of rich human history, starting with the island’s discovery by Māori explorer Kupe. Limited overnight stays are available in a campsite or simple lodge.