Submitted by Sarah Fisher
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Point to Point (one way)
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestCoastal
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This route is part of the Zeenya People's Choice Collection
The Southern Walkway is a 10km trail along the Town Belt between Oriental Bay and Island Bay. It is a good beginner trail as it is very closed to public transport and in cellphone reception the entire trail. While there are a few steep climbs, they are not particularly difficult or long. The trail is well marked by pink bollards labelled with the Southern Walkway along the entire walkway.
From Oriental Parade, you head up towards Mt Victoria on the trails then hit Alexandra Road. The trail then wanders down through pine trees to Mt Alfred and down towards the bottom of Alexandra Road and Constable Street. You will need to cross Constable Street which can be quite a busy road. The trail then continues above Kilbirnie to Melrose.
From the reservoir at the top of the access pathway, follow the Southern Walkway arrows, which takes you under the pines to Truby King Park bringing you out onto Manchester Street and then to Sutherland Crescent. Walk down the driveway and cross Manchester Street, go 40m uphill then take Sutherland Crescent to Melrose Park. From Melrose Park climb to the ridgeline and follow South to Mt Albert before it descends to Sinclair Park. From here it is a nice descent down to Houghton Bay and then following the road along to Island Bay to the finish of the trail at Shorland Park.
Features of interest
Once you hit Alexandra Road just under Mt Victoria a short diversion back to the left along Alexandra Road leads you up to the Mt Victoria Summit which has amazing views of Wellington city, the harbour and across to Petone. The Bronze Cannon and Byrd Memorial are also point located here. The Walkways passes through Truby King Gardens and past Truby King House. These gardens are really beautiful when in season with blossoms. The extra climb up to the trig on Mt Albert is definitely worth the effort for the views it gives out to the Cook Strait & Tapu te Ranga Island, "Isle of Hallowed Ways” which is near the shore of Island Bay and the finish of the Walkway
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 95%
Sealed Road: 5%
This guide has been done in the North to South direction. The start of the Southern Walkway, if you run it in the North to South Direction, is near the intersection of Oriental Parade and Carlton Gore Road and is well signposted. It has a pedestrian crossing opposite it so you can get across the busy Oriental Parade Road easily.
If you run South to North, the start is at Shorland Park in Island Bay, opposite the last bus-stop for the Island Bay Bus and at the end of the Parade Road right next to Island Bay Beach.
There is plenty of on street parking at either end where it would be safe to park a car. There is a good public transport system from the Southern end at Island Bay. You could park your car at the Northern end then catch the Island Bay bus back into town then walk or catch another bus back around to your car on Oriental Parade.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Ensure you are always following pink bollards as there are purple bollards through Mt Victoria that lead up to the Summit.
The trail continues on the other side of Constable Street so you need to cross this road and then follow the pink bollards up the hill onto Paeroa Street then onto Coromandel Street.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.
There may be a water tap at Melrose Park and Shorland Park.
Wellington can be cold and windy at any time of year but Mt Albert and the road section around the Coast to Island Bay are particularly exposed. The rest of the trail is mostly under trees but the trails can be muddy after heavy rain.
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