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Wellington's Khandallah Park And The Khandallah Walkway
Dorothy - 17/08/01

Staying in Wellington with a free day and not quite sure where to go, but not wanting to go far afield?

I strongly recommend going to Khandallah, letting the children play in Khandallah Park, walking up Mt Kaukau, or going for a swim in season. If the weather is not suitable for walking, or you aren't fit enough to climb a hill don't let that put you off. Visit the picnic ground and view the bush setting from flat ground.

Getting there by train, bus or car
If you haven't got a car the area can be reached Monday to Saturday by taking a train to Khandallah Station and walking about five minutes to the end of Woodmancote Rd.


On Sundays catch the Wellington-Johnsonville bus - Number 49.

The train journey itself is a worthy tourist attraction as it goes up the attractively wooded Ngaio Gorge and through a number of short old tunnels which are always regarded as exciting by children for whom train travel is a special treat.

Swimming pool and picnic area
What a pleasant way to spend a free day - walking, swimming, watching the children enjoy the children's playground, as you relax in holiday mood!

Children's playground at Khandallah Park
Click here for a larger version
Photo source Peter Hunt
The outdoor swimming pool is in a truly beautiful setting with its bush surroundings. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day from mid November to the end of March.

The picnic area is spacious and the children's playground is very popular.

Another attraction is the old engine which has had children on it every time we have visited. A clear shallow stream flows nearby.

Walk up Mt Kaukau
The walk up Mt Kaukau takes about an hour, but I would allow more time as on clear days there are excellent views which tempt the photographer to pause.

View from part way up the track showing the Cook Strait ferry in Wellington Harbour
Click here for a larger version
Photo source Peter Hunt

All but the very fit will want at times to pause to get their breath as it is quite steep in places. The walk takes you through native growth which regenerated a century ago and then through less dense growth of native and exotic trees before entering farmland. As you walk you see native birds such as fantails (piwakawaka), wood-pigeons (kereru), tui, and occasionally other native birds, and also thrushes, and blackbirds.

city view
View of Wellington from the top of Kaukau
Click here for a larger version
Photo source Alister Hunt

At an altitude of 430 metres (1410 feet) there is a lookout from which you get a 360 view - Kapiti Island, the South Island, Cook Strait, the Rimutaka Range and the Hutt Valley. In the clearest weather you may even see the snow clad top of Mt Tapaeoenuku in the Inland Kaikoura Range in the South Island.

TV aerial
Television transmission tower at the top of Mt Kaukau
Photo source Peter Hunt
After pausing on the viewing platform and noting the 122 metre (400 feet) television transmission tower you can return by a round trip along the northern edge of Khandallah Park.

Do put Kahandallah Park on your list of places to visit in Wellington
If possible choose a clear day, take your camera, enjoy the views and have impressive photos to show people on your return.

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