The 4.5km walkway begins on Courtenay Pace. Wind your way up through turn-of-the-century Mount Victoria villas and historic pines to reach a lookout with panoramic city views. The climb through the town belt can be steep, but it’s definitely worth it for the view at the top.
Watch ferries make their way into the harbour or planes land and take off from the airport. The Ōrongorongo Ranges can be seen to the north, as can the peaks of the Southern Alps in the South Island. Continue the loop down to return to Oriental Bay. The whole walk takes about 1.5 hours.
At the lookout, there are information panels and a carved wooden pou. Just below the summit, you’ll find the Byrd Memorial, dedicated to American polar explorer and aviator Richard Byrd. There is also a bronze cannon that used to be fired at noon each day between 1877 and 1900, so colonial Wellingtonians could set their watches and clocks to keep time.
Start the walk from the city, either at Oriental Bay or Mount Victoria.
You can also take the Number 20 bus up to the lookout. Bus timetables are available from the Metlink website.
If you’re driving, there is a large car park at the summit and a parking area near the toilets.