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West Wind Makara, Wellington

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West Wind MakaraBeginner - Intermediate

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands

Beginner - Intermediate

2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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From the car park head towards and past the closest wind turbine. You'll pick up the signs for the WW2 gun emplacements soon with plenty of information panels on route. At the gun emplacements head north down the ridge towards the beach. This can be slippery and steep in places. Once at the beach turn left and follow the coast for approximately 3km. The trail turns into a route around the point where you have to scramble over the rocks, but you can't get lost, just keep heading south.

When it's time to head inland you'll see some DOC signs at Opau Bay pointing inland from the beach. Take the semi-sealed 4WD track steeply uphill past the Opau Loop track exit. At the top of the climb take the entry to the Opau Loop track on your left (the lower track), taking you back to the bottom of the 4WD track you just came up. Head back up the 4WD track but this time take the Turbine Short Walk on your left just above the entry to the Opau Loop track. This will take you back to the car park.

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Features of interest

This run takes in the superb views of the rugged west coast, looking out over Cook Straight to the South Island, and both Mana and Kapiti Islands to the north. It contains a bit of everything taking you through open farm past the Meridian Energy West Wind Windfarm, past some old WW2 gun emplacements and camp, along the rocky Makara coast line, through protected native coastal bush and past a wetland. The whole area is full of history and there are plenty of information panels around if you are interested.

More info here: https://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/assets/About-us/Our-power-stations/Wind/West-Wind/West-Wind-Recreation-Area-.pdf

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 5%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Sealed Road: 15%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Drive through Karori heading to the end of Karori Rd, into Allington Rd and right into Makara Rd where you'll pick up the signs for West Wind Recreation Area. Head through Makara towards Makara Beach making the left turn at the signed intersection. Shortly after take the net left turn into Opau Rd (signposted for the West Wind Recreation Area). The car park is at the end of the road.

    There is a large car park at the West Wind Recreation Area with security cameras. The car park is gated and gates open at 9am daily and close 4pm April - September and 6pm October - March. Alternatively, park at Makara Beach and join the trail there. Car parking is less secure but generally fine during daylight hours. There is no public transport available.

    17 km

    33 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    The Opau Loop track can be overgrown in places. Generally there is a well trodden path through the grassy sections and there are sign bollards every so often. The track is widely benched so just stick to that if you are unsure.


    Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.

    There is no reliably safe drinking water available either at the West Wind Recreation Area or at Makara Beach. However, if the cafe is open at Makara Beach, you may be able to fill up there. There are toilets available at both car parking areas.

    Be careful in very heavy swells as the coastal section may get swamped. Generally this isn't an issue unless there is a storm warning in place.

    The weather can change rapidly, especially with approaching southerly fronts. Due to the exposed nature of most of the run it can be cold and windy even when it's warm in town.

  • Post run indulgence

    Cafe Makara
    1084 Makara Rd, Makara Beach
    The only place in the area for food, ice creams and drinks. Currently open Thursday to Sunday but may change during the seasons.

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