An aerial view of the Willowbank Quarry with work trucks and heavy machinery under a sunny blue sky.

In a secluded location off State Highway 58 in Porirua, is Willowbank Quarry. It was first operational in 1993 before closing for several years. It reopened in 2018 to help supply aggregate for the construction of Transmission Gully, the motorway north of Wellington.

In 2023, it was granted a 35-year consent to continue operating. In 2023, it won New Zealand’s quarrying sector’s premiere environmental award. This was in recognition of a constructed passage that allows native and introduced fish and invertebrates to reach the upper catchments of the hills behind Wellington. 

The quarry sits on the 650-hectare Willowbank Farm, near the top of the Pāuatahanui and Hutt River catchments.

It is not far from Boulder Hill, an easy hike through regenerating native bush up to a summit covered in large and unusual boulders.

The Willowbank Quarry with a white work truck and other heavy machinery under a sunny blue sky.

Location details

Jurisdiction Porirua City Council
Permits required Private land, contact Screen Wellington
Location descriptors Unusual landforms, barren, rock formations, alien landscapes, lunar terrain, extraterrestrial features, mystical geology, chasms, alien terrain, peculiar landmarks, unearthly landscapes, surreal landforms. quarry, rock, remote, mines, mining, rural.