There are a lot of free walks around Wellington, and i-Site has handy little maps for many of them. As I was already pretty broke before I even came to Wellington, I was looking for something free to do. I read about the Southern Walkway and decided that it would be a good way to spend a day, whilst incorporating some other things I wanted to go to, such as the Mount Victoria lookout.
The Southern Walkway is an 11km walk through the Town Belt between Oriental Bay and Island Bay. It is supposed to take about 4-5hrs, which I thought was a bit generous, until I realised how many hills I would have to climb....
I decided to take the bus out to Island Bay and then walk back into Wellington, rather than the more traditional starting point at Oriental Bay. I guess I felt better about walking towards home base than away from it.
Here is the first part of the map:
It is a bit hard to see, but basically the first part of the walk goes along the coastal walk from Island Bay to Houghton Bay and then winds up the hill into the Town Belt. I took way too many photos on this walk, so I'm mostly going to document the walk in photos...
The start (or end) of the walk is Shorland Park - this Band Rotunda was built as a memorial to the 106 soldiers from the area who served in WW1. The following photos show my walk from Island Bay to Houghton Bay:
Then I veered away from the coast up the hill to start the climb up to Mount Albert.
At the top of Mt Albert is this telecommunications tower and some reservoir tanks. Not the prettiest of sights, but if you ignore them then there were some other great views. The walk took me along the ridge then downhill again towards Wellington Zoo.
I was planning on stopping off at the zoo for a break and for lunch, but the walkway actually just takes you around the baboon enclosure at the back, and then away across a playing field to Truby King Park. I didn't really feel like leaving the path to walk down another hill (which I would inevitably have to walk up again..)
Truby King Park is named after Sir Truby King, the founder of the Plunket Society back in 1907. The Nurse Geek in me stirred again, as my first practice placement in NZ was at Plunket, so I got very excited to see the Karitane hospital and factory he built here. Sir Truby King and his wife are also buried here.
The building above is the Plunket factory.
Then I headed through some woodland and zigzagged down to some streets (that's the funny bit at the very top of the map above).
Well, I've now walked the first part of the map. Now onto the second map and a second blog post....