I stumbled across a little secret the first time I visited Wellington; Mount Kaukau.
Most visitors opt for the look-out point that is Mount Victoria but the locals will tell you that Mt Kaukau is the summit you really should visit, and how true I have found that to be!
Kaukau is on the western side of Wellington harbour near the pretty districts of Johnsonville and Khandallah. The summit is 445 metres above sea level and is the most visible point in the Wellington area.
It provides stunning views of the city, harbour and the Rimutaka and Tararua Ranges.
Every time I go back to Wellington I make a point of walking up Kaukau. I have also at different times run up it and biked down it - it's fantastic for mountain bikers!
The view is inspiring; the green rolling hills of Crofton Down, looking down into Wellington city and harbour, or looking across the Cook Strait to the snow-capped Mt. Tapuaeoenuku on the Inward Kaikoura Ranges in the South Island, Mt Kaukau demands solitude and silence to fully appreciate its glory.
On a sunny day the view is endless and majestic. When the storms roll into Wellington from across the Tasman Sea, the power of the wind and rain makes Mt Kaukau not for the fainthearted. Yet if anything, it adds to the mystique and grandeur of the place.
Go there and you won’t be disappointed; I never am whenever I go back.
Train: Johnsonville Line train from Wellington Station to either Simla Crescent, Box Hill or Khandallah.
Buses: From Courtenay Place or Lambton Quay in Wellington. Services 43, 44, 45 to Khandallah or 53 to Johnsonville West.
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