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Wellington City

Wellington City

2. WCC pic Otari Waharoa at entrance2
Entrance to Otari-Wilton's Bush


Zealandia is one of the best places to see and hear New Zealand's native wildlife in its natural environment. Its fenced sanctuary valley protects endangered birds, reptiles and insects plus offers over 30km of walking tracks and guided tours free with admission. A fascinating indoor exhibition explains why NZ’s natural heritage is so special and how it can be saved. Night tours can be booked for your chance to see little spotted kiwi in the wild. See Zealandia's website for further information. 

Otari-Wilton's Bush (PDF, 1.66MB)

Otari-Wilton's Bush is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. Otari consists of 100 hectares of native forest and five hectares of native plant collections. It is classified as a Garden of National Significance. Also see Wellington City Council's website for further information about Otari.

Oruaiti Reserve (Breaker Bay / Point Dorset) (PDF, 1.8MB)

Oruaiti Reserve is a prominent, undeveloped, coastal escarpment at the entrance to Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour). Enjoy stunning views south across the harbour, up the Hutt Valley and across to the Pencarrow Heads and the Lighthouse. Also see Wellington City Council's website for further information on Oruaiti Reserve and the management plan for the Reserve.

Makara Coast and Estuary (PDF, 1.5MB)

Wild, windswept Makara on Wellington's rugged west coast is an iconic site for people around the region. Follow the winding road past the wind turbines, walk the foreshore or explore one of the many tracks on the beautiful Makara coast. A range of shore birds can be seen on the shore, while the estuary is an important feeding and spawning ground.

Khandallah Park and Mt Kaukau (PDF, 1.5MB)

Mount Kaukau is the highest point overlooking Wellington Harbour. To the east you will see the Remutaka Ranges, the city and harbour. To the north the Tararua Ranges. To the south Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku, a beautiful 2885m mountain in the Kaikoura Ranges (South Island) is visible.

Makara Peak (PDF, 700KB)

Makara Peak has become Wellington's premier mountain biking destination containing 30km of tracks, and only 15 minutes drive from downtown Wellington. Makara Peak's hilltops are clothed in manuka/kanuka shrub land transitioning to native tree lined gulllies and on to a restored stream aquatic habitat. See the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park website for more information.

Trelissick Park (PDF, 1.8MB)

Trelissick Park contains 20 hectares of native bush and a wide variety of native tree species and native birds. It is located in Ngaio Gorge and includes Kaiwharawhara and Korimako streams and a number of walkways. Trelissick Park Group is very active in the protection of the area.

Red Rocks (Te Kopahou) (PDF, 1.5MB)

Red Rocks is located on the rugged south coast of Wellington. The Red Rocks are ancient pillow lava formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. Small amounts of iron oxides give the rocks their distinctive colouring. You can walk to Sinclair Head, a winter 'haul out' (resting place) for NZ fur seals fattening up ready for the breeding season.

Taputeranga Marine Reserve (PDF, 1MB)

This 854 marine reserve is located on Wellington's south coast. Taputeranga Marine Reserve lies in the confluence of three oceanic currents. This brings a wide range of habitats and a rich mix of plants and animals together. See the Department of Conservation website and Friends of Taupteranga Marine Reserve website for more information.

Related Links:

Greater Wellington's cycling and walking journey planner website will automatically map the shortest route from your starting address to your destination address while avoiding unnecessary hills. You can use this website to plan your route to the biodiversity site you wish to check out.

New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy website. This website provides information about NZ's native biodiversity, what is being done to help conserve and manage it, and who is involved. It also explains what actions are being taken within NZ to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Greater Wellington Regional Council's biodiversity pages

Wellington Regional Native Plant Guide This guide provides advice on how to use native plants to help our native ecosystems survive and flourish, while beautifying your garden or rural property.

Department of Conservation

Ministry for the Environment's biodiversity page

Maritime New Zealand

Wellington City Council's website provides an overview of biodiversity in the Wellington city area, the council's role in biodiversity, projects the council is working on and WCC's Biodiversity Action Plan. Wellington City Council's website also provides an overview of walkways in the city. website provides in depth detail of biking/running tracks around the Wellington City.