From Mount Victoria east, Pencarrow and Barings Heads are edged with frothing water, the wave crests shipped to white horses with ever-present wind.
After Coromandel Street, there are close glimpses of the dodgy student accommodation, given away by colourful wall hangings and the general state of disrepair of many houses.
Mount Albert offers stunning views south, which include the peak of Tapuae-O-Uenuku, snow capped in winter.
Much of the track passes through the Town Belt, an idea borrowed from England, and aimed at sparing urban areas for public recreation in the face of development.
The start of the track is signposted in Oriental Bay by Hotel Rafaele’s.
The conclusion of the walk is signposted in Shorland Park, Island Bay.
Visit https://wellington.govt.nz/recreation/enjoy-the-outdoors/walks-and-walkways/across-the-city/southern-walkway to download the map and brochure.
This description applies to the start in Oriental Bay.
The entire track is comprehensively marked with orange directional arrows and signposts. Initially the track zigzags above Oriental Bay with views of the city, port and majestic turn-of the-century houses built on impossible sites.
The detour to Mount Victoria is a must for views of Wellington Harbour and its flanks.
Pass the memorial to Admiral Richard E. Byrd and the bronze cannon to rejoin the main track, which now skirts the edge of Alexandra Road to the junction with Crawford Road. The grassed track is well matted with pine needles.
Cross Manchester Street and skirt the fence at the edge of Wellington Zoo. Traverse Melrose Park above the baboon enclosure on the way to Mount Albert.
From Sinclair Park, it’s a descent to Houghton Bay Road, passing Houghton Bay and the eclectic mix of architecture on The Esplanade. Continue to Shorland Park and the conclusion of the walkaway.
North Island ▷ Wellington Region ▷ Wellington
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