Wellington Regional Trails

Walking time

3 hr






Single track

Walking difficulty

Intermediate: Easier tramping track


230m climb

445m highest point


Yes (on lead)

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About the trail

Mount Kaukau is a Wellington favourite. At 445 metres above sea level, it is the most visible high point in the Wellington landscape. Its summit is home to Wellington’s main television mast and also boasts classic views of Wellington hilltops, the harbour, and on a clear day - the South Island.

The trail begins at Simla Crescent and traces the Northern Walkway up to Mount Kaukau, where there are picnic areas. On your climb, you’ll encounter grassy hills, steps, original native bush, and open farmland. The descent returns you back along the Skyline Walkway to Simla Crescent.

The most direct route to Mt Kaukau Summit begins at Simla Crescent. The first main trail on the left follows the main ridge to the summit. Allow an hour to get there and back.

A person wearing a yellow jacket sits on a wooden bench over looking the bay from the Skyline Walkway at Mount Kaukau in Ngaio in Wellington at sunset.

How to complete the loop

Start at Simla Crescent Khandallah. Follow the Northern Walkway from the entrance of Khandallah Park to the summit of Mt Kaukau. Continue all the way to the top, taking a break at the picnic areas and seats on the way if you need.

At the summit, the Northern Walkway joins the Skyline Walkway. You will walk along a 4WD track toward Sirsi Terrace. Stay on the track until you see a sign pointing to the swimming pool. Head back into the pines down a flight of steps, and you’ll end up behind the Khandallah Swimming Pool car park on Woodmancote Road.

Walk past the playground in the park and take the walkway to Clark Street. From the car park in Clark Street, follow the signs back into the bush and return to Simla Crescent.

Three people and a dog walking along the Skyline Walkway to the summit of Mount Kaukau / Tarikākā.

The trail begins at Simla Crescent, Khandallah, follows the Northern Walkway to the summit, and returns down along the Skyline Walkway.

Khandallah is a short bus or train ride from the city centre:

  • You can catch the Johnsonville Line train from Wellington Central Station to Simla Crescent Station (15 minutes).
  • After you get off the train at Simla Crescent Station, the entrance is a 4 minutes walk further along the street.
  • You can also catch Bus No. 25 to the Clutha Avenue bus stop and then walk about 5 minutes to Simla Crescent. The bus ride takes about 25 minutes from the city.