Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wellington Trip, Part 5 - Southern Walkway (2)

So now I was halfway through the walk (at least map wise - not actually sure this map has anything close to resembling a scale). Here is the second half anyway:

This part of the map gets more complicated because there are several other walking paths which cross it. They are quite difficult to tell apart on the map, and even more difficult to tell apart in reality, because all the arrows are the same colour (obviously never heard of colour-coding in Wellington...) Hence, I managed to get myself lost 3 times from this point onwards.

The patch of grass just above the cyclist is where I eventually stopped for lunch. Lunch consisted of 2 muesli bars and 3 apricots. I should probably plan these things a little more...

Funny looking trees!

This was my second choice of path, the first turned out not to be a path at all. (First time I got lost, due to fork in the path not being signposted at all!)

The view from Mount Alfred.

At this point my track crisscrossed several others, and because they are all marked with the same colour arrows, I ended up walking along the wrong one. I should have been walking along the ridge line but I was further down in the forest. This meant when I finally worked out where I was, I had a helluva lot of uphill climbing to go. Not fun. I also found arrows pointing to a Lord of the Rings film location, which I followed too, but then those signs disappeared as well.

Finally I made it back onto the right path (in the photo above) and then of course promptly left it to go up to the summit of Mt Victoria. Mt Victoria is one of the most popular lookouts over Wellington and was one of the reasons I chose to do this walk. The views did not disappoint me, but the crowds of bus tourists did...

This is the Byrd Memorial, which honours the memory of Admiral Richard E Byrd, a polar aviation explorer. Due south of this piece of land lies Antarctica (and there is no other land in between).

I can't remember the significance of this rock, but it is at the summit of Mt Victoria.

Buses of tourists showed up while I was here, they all climbed dutifully up from the car park, took some photos and then drove off again. I felt so good for walking all this way to get here, even if I did look like a sweaty, filthy hobo by that point.

I started my walk from somewhere behind that distant headland. I think.

Back down Mt Vic and I was back on the track. I headed towards Charles Plimmer Park where I swiftly lost the track again (although I've no idea how!) and ended up much further down than I was meant to be. I ended up walking back up the main road to Mt Vic until I eventually found the track to lead me back downhill again....

Finally finished!! Only took me about 5 hours.... but that did include losing the track several times. I was really pleased I'd done it, and reached Oriental Parade. It was, however, another couple of km or so back to the hostel, so at this point I cheated and opted for the bus....

All in all, another great day in Wellington. I definitely recommend doing the walk the way I did it - as it is so much nicer to walk towards town, rather than getting out to Island Bay and then having to worry about getting home again.

There are heaps of free walks around the Wellington area - other ones I contemplated were the Northern Walkway and the City to Sea Walkway. Check out this site for more info on the walks around Wellington.

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