EXPLORE Old Co
d 1 Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park
This dual use track runs north
EXPLORE MAORI HISTORY AND
SKYLINE and south along the ridge Wellington City Council set aside 200
TRACK between Old Coach Road in
SIGNIFICANCE Carmichael St
hectares of retired farmland south
Johnsonville and Makara Saddle west of the city for a mountain bike
in Karori. While European settlers named parts of the skyline, park in 1998. Volunteers immediately
most of the central ridge was known to local Maori began development of the Makara
Allow up to five hours to traverse 12kms of Wellington’s ridge tops 2
as Te Wharangi (broad open space). This ridge was Peak Mountain Bike Park by planting
following the Outer Green Belt onto Mt Kaukau, the Crow’s Nest, SKYLINE TRACK Truscott Ave
not inhabited by Maori, but they traversed frequently trees and cutting new tracks. In the
Discover Wellington’s Town Belt, reserves and walkways Kilmister Tops and Johnston Hill. Take time to indulge in the stunning Reserve and
first year six tracks were built and
by foot when moving between Te Whanganui-a- Johnsonville Park
rural, city and coastal views along the way. On a clear day, views of NORTHERN
4,000 native seedlings planted.
the Kaikoura ranges, the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington City and
Tara and Owhariu. WALKWAY
MT KAUKAU 3 A significant effort was also put into
harbour, and the Tararua and Orongorongo ranges will take your
The Old Maori Trail runs from Makara Beach all the controlling possums and goats,
breath away. way to Thorndon Quay which is categorised as a which were destroying the pockets
landscape track and is of medium historic significance. Sirsi
Tce of native forest in the park.
Please be aware that the route is challenging in areas and weather
conditions can be extreme on this very exposed ridgeline. Awarua Street Kanp
ur Rd 25km of track was built by 2006,
Recreation Reserve ranging from 'Easy' to 'Extreme'.
This track can be completed in stages as there are many entry and aR
Bu For an up-to-date map and other
exit points along the way to plan a safe and enjoyable walk. Reasonable 7 information, refer to
fitness is required for completing the entire trail, it can be strenuous.
THE CROWS NEST
Warm clothing and stout footwear are essential as potentially harsh
weather conditions can occur. Bring lunch and plenty of water. There Cre
are no toilet or water facilities along this walkway. Sim
SKYLINE TRACK VIA
KILMISTER TOPS 4
JOHNSONVILLE AND KARORI The completion of the track link between Makara Saddle and Chartwell KHANDALLAH
was made possible with the support of Meridian Energy who agreed NGAIO
to grant public access over their Otari property and shared the costs
of the track development. Silv
Follow the yellow directional signs along the track.
This track runs north and south along walk up the hill. This will lead you to It is the primary source of television along the Skyline ridge to the
the ridge between Old Coach Road the Johnsonville Reservoir on the west and radio coverage for the greater Kilmister Tops. Photos: View of Chartw
in Johnsonville and Makara Saddle side of the track. Take a 2 minute walk Wellington region and is supported Khandallah from Mt Kaukau 1940
in Karori. You can start the track at down the Truscott track you will arrive by more than forty translators (Alexander Turnball Library,
either end and follow the yellow at a tunnel in the bank that once scattered around the district providing Wellington, New Zealand). nB
Otari Farms Otari-Wiltons Bush Wi
directional signs. accommodated the (now disused) in-fill coverage. (privately owned) 6
outlet pipe from the Reservoir. 4 Kilmister Tops
The area surrounding the television
1 Old Coach Road In 1910 the Johnsonville Town Board tower and lookout is privately owned.
John and Henry Warwick St
Heritage Trail purchased land on the northern and Please respect the landowners and
Kilmister, sons of the
their wishes. Tinakori Hill
Old Coach Road was the eastern slopes of Mount Kaukau to build
a high-pressure water supply to all
early settler John Kilmister, bought Sky WILTON
first formed road that Farm or Kilmister Tops from the Crown
properties in their area. Water was 3 Mount Kaukau
connected Johnsonville in the 1860s and split the land in half.
pumped up from a dam in the Karori
with Ohariu Valley. Built Johnston’s Hill
Climb onto the Cemetery
Heading south from Mt Kaukau at Reserve
between 1856 and 1858, its popular Ohariu Valley to the reservoir, built 5
viewing platform for
name is flawed as no coaches ever used 314 metres above sea level. It flowed the first set of pines, approximately
360 degree views. START/FINISH
the road. under considerable pressure to the 1km past the turn off to Chartwell
township below. Experience views of the entire city, Drive, was Henry’s half known as Reservoir
Nevertheless, it is recognised as one of
Wellington Harbour, the Rimutaka and Henry’s Pines. ri
the finest horse-era roads in New Follow the trail up to Mt Kaukau. 9 Karo
Zealand and has a Category I Historic
Tararua ranges, Porirua Basin, Kaikoura Park KARORI Frie nd St
1km further on is the
ranges and the Tasman Sea. On a clear and a
Places Act registration. The road was second set of pines, Ma A re
3 BCL TV Transmitter day you can see the snow-capped
ra R Play d
altered by earthworks at the d riR
John’s land. John
Johnsonville end but is otherwise Mount Tapuaenuku 2885m (see picture
Constructed in 1965, the sawed the timber from
well-preserved. The purchase of land below) on the South Island, the first
Broadcast Communi one tree to build his Johnsonville to Makara Saddle in Karori.
either side of Old Coach Road has significant peak climbed by New
cations Limited TV house (which still stood in 1920-1930s) The Skyline Track guides you from Old Coach Road in
allowed Wellington City Council to Zealand’s most famous mountaineer,
transmitter on Mt Kaukau Sir Edmund Hillary. From Mt Kaukau, with the roof built level to the ground
protect and manage this area.
stands an impressive 122 metres tall.
It is the site that replaced the initial
head west and follow the for shelter from the wind. Lawrence
Kilmister (grandson of John Kilmister
NORTH and some early history of the area.
yellow directional signs 8
2 Johnsonville Reservoir and son of Frederick) built the
discover picturesque views, stunning flora and fauna,
television service WNTV1 broadcast from where you can exit the
Leaving the farm land behind you, Mt Victoria, and greatly improved the track onto Bells Track, chimney-like structure that still stands Walk through some of Wellington’s beautiful parks and
cross over the stile and take a short coverage for Wellingtonians. Awarua Street or continue today for mustering in the 1930s.
Kilmister Tops is a peneplain remnant This is the house that Face west towards Makara and you (and still contains) infrastructure Gold prospecting excavations 1930s (Alexander Turnball Library,
which is high, broad and largely clear can be seen today. will see the entrance to the cemetery. forming part of the Wellington City A number of former gold prospecting Wellington, New Zealand). SAFETY AND REGULATIONS
SKYLINE of tall vegetation. This seems more water reticulation system. excavations and other remains exist in
dramatic close-up rather than at a The Wiltons cleared Makara Hill Windbreak The Skyline Track is a very exposed trail with very little shelter. We strongly
the Outer Green Belt. There is a well
TRACK distance, despite the glimpses of green and farmed most of 7 Makara
The remaining features of historical preserved drive on the ridge between To reduce the impact of strong winds recommend considering all weather conditions to be prepared for your journey.
their land that stretched almost to the Cemetery Warm clothing and stout footwear are essential as weather conditions
and golden pasture at the top of the hill interest are the two dams and their on traffic passing the summit of Makara
Ohariu and Tawa. The remains of shafts
top of Tinakori Hill, but fenced off an associated structures, including the Hill Road, the Makara Road Board built can be extreme on this very exposed ridgeline
that contrast to the dense bush below. In 1940 the Board and drives of the more intensive mining
area of 17 acres of forest near their of Health required iconic valve tower in the middle of the period from 1869 to 1873 can be seen a timber windbreak on the north side Be Sunsmart – take a sun hat and sunscreen
homestead allowing public access. This Wellington City to locate another burial lower dam. Development of the in the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. of the road in 1894. In 1913 the rotting Bring water for hydration
5 Parkvale Road
Discover Wellington’s Town Belt, reserves and walkways became a popular leisure destination for site as Karori Cemetery edged towards Generally, the excavations have the structure was replaced with concrete. Pack food
sanctuary provided public access to
John and Henry Kilmister people from the city. The Wilton’s land form of horizontal shafts 20 metres or It has remained there ever since. The
full capacity. Makara was the chosen this formerly closed area and the Reasonable fitness is required
built a farm road extension was put together with other forested more in length. These suggest beliefs views towards Makara from this site are
location. Land was bought under the opportunity to fund and carry out Mountain Biking is prohibited on Bell’s Track, Johnston’s Hill,
worth the trip.
JOHNSONVILLE to Parkvale Road that links areas purchased in 1905 by Wellington Public Works Act in 1951 and 1955, and restoration and interpretation of the
in the 19th century that Wellington was
Otari-Wilton’s Bush and the Woodmancoate Road, Simla Crescent and
to the Crow’s Nest. They would start City Council and is still operated today the first burial occurred in 1965. The likely to contain significant gold
resevoir. Native Birds Truscott Avenue exit trails of the Northern Walkway.
work in the morning and continue as a recreational destination known as cemetery is now roughly one third full. deposits. Nothing of any significance
through the night, setting fallen bush Otari-Wilton’s Bush. was ever found. At the Makara end of There are no toilet or water facilities along the Skyline Track
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary is a safe haven
NGAIO on fire to allow them to dig in the dark. for endangered native birds and other
the Skyline you may
This is the only botanic garden in New 8 Karori Reservoir 9 Makara Road see Kereru, Tui,
Zealand completely devoted to native
Prior to becoming a wildlife sanctuary
wildlife, located minutes from
Fantail, Morepork, Grey Warblers, FARMING OPERATION HAZARDS
6 Wilton Farm downtown Wellington. The world’s
plants. It consists of 100 hectares of plant
in 1995, this valley was traditionally first predator proof fence surrounds
Makara Road was Silvereye and even North Island Robin.
1. There is animal grazing in the area, please do not disturb the stock.
collection. The forest nestles in the deep one of the three
part of the city water supply system. the Sanctuary, protecting wildlife and New Zealand Falcons may be seen in 2. Use gates and styles, please leave gates as you find them.
Following on from valley formed by the Te Mahanga major roads built by
In recent years the area ceased to be the vicinity. There is a small population 3. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times while using this track. Unleashed
Kilmister Tops look branch of the Kaiwharawhara Stream ensuring forest regeneration. the Provincial
a resource for the water supply system. of Kaka from the dogs may frighten stock or ground nesting birds.
flowing north-east towards Ngaio Gorge.
KARORI south-east towards Wilton locating one However, the lower valley contained Rare and endangered wildlife roam
Council in the late
of Wellington’s oldest houses, Wilton The long, straight north-western 1850s to open up 4. On-going predator control.
free in their natural habitat. Many Sanctuary that
Farm Homestead, looking over the Wilton boundary borders steep rural land outlying farm areas. The road was
WELLINGTON Bowling Club green. stretching up to the Te Wharangi ridge species have been returned to the maintained for many years by the
the city by day.
CITY on the Skyline. New Zealand mainland for the first Makara Road Board. Apart from sealing
The original two bedroom cottage was time – including tuatara, little spotted and widening, the road has barely These may also be
built in 1861 and later developed into a Photos: Waugh Family Collection in 1920, kiwi, Maud Island frog, hihi and North changed since its construction. Photo: sighted along the Dogs must be kept No Fires
two story five bedroom house in 1880s. then 2006 (above). Island saddleback. View along coastline at Makara Beach Skyline. on a leash
No Litter No Mountain Biking
south of Colonial Knob behind Porirua. it joins the Skyline Track. This route Khandallah Park and Johnston’s Hill Karori Park
OTHER TRACKS 1. From here it joins into Spicer forest and originally provided access between farms in Karori. TOPOGRAPHICAL PROFILE No Camping
In 1911 the Karori
then onto Oharui Valley Road, meeting in Ohariu Valley and the Ngaio Railway 500
Otari-Wilton’s Bush includes a short 75 Borough Council
up with Rifle Range Road. From here Station.
metre walkway through the forest acquired several
along Old Coach Road and up to Mount
Te Araroa canopy, a wide range of native plants dairy farms and
ce r y A
Kau Kau. 400
Wright’s Hill from around New Zealand and several formed Karori Park. Cricket, hockey,
ra n m e
For some kilometres 2. Via Bells Track.
Fortress off shore islands, 10km of walking tracks, bowls & croquet were soon established
ra n r
ent ell D
along the ridges behind
3. From here if you wish to walk to the
and some of Wellington’s oldest trees with a refreshment tent provided. 300
FLORA AND FAUNA
ra n t
ent rua S
ay j o e rn
the city, the Skyline Track
south coast you can join onto the City to
ra n d
including an 800 year old Rimu. The Park was considered too windy
ent ale R
lkw Nor th
Hill is best known for
merges with Te Araroa, Sea Walkway. This will take you to the
for tennis. Descending to the south of the BCL TV Transmitter, the trail passes through an
Wellington’s most extensive World War
the National Walkway. Depending on
coast at Island Bay. This at last will give area of low and in places continuous growth of shrubs that are sheared and
PARKS & RESERVES
your route, Wellington is the beginning a walk from sea to shining sea – from II fortifications. The fortress was built Photo: Hockey match at Karori Park grooved by violent gales. The twigs of these small-leaved shrubs are so
or end of the North Island sector of this Cape Reinga*. from 1942 to 1949 to service the 9.2 inch 1950s (Alexander Turnball Library, abundantly branched and interlaced that they provide comfortable seats.
magnificent project – a defined track battery gun to protect Wellington from 100
* Known to Maori as Te Rerenga Wairua Wellington, New Zealand). 5 10 15 It may appear that only one species of shrub exists in the area, but there are
from North Cape to Bluff. Te Araroa “the leaping place of the spirits” it is a potential Japanese invasion. This is Khandallah Park Distance (kilometres)
at least a dozen, as well as a variety of vines.
means ‘the long pathway’, and that is believed that after death Maori spirits one of three such installations built in
The Northern Johnston’s Hill
certainly what this will become: a legal New Zealand. Restoration of the Fortress Scattered logs indicate low forest once existed in the area, cleared for farming
travel to Cape Reinga where using Walkway follows
thoroughfare for footsloggers. It is nearly began in 1988 and is continued today many years ago. Eventually, such a forest may return.
Lying above Otari-Wilton’s Bush are
3000km long across mountains and
seaweed as ropes, they slide down the
hill to the 800 year old Pohutukawa by the Wright’s Hill Fortress Restoration
down from Mt
the higher eastern slopes and the main
purchased the land from the first pakeha
owner Judge Chapman. Johnston, a
Kaukau to one of
lowland, through bush and pine forest, tree at the northern most tip of the Society Inc. who host open days. Society ridgeline that links to Johnston’s Hill. Scottish settler with his wife, arrived in
New Zealand’s oldest parks – Khandallah
by way of all varieties of farm country members guide one Onslow Historical Society Inc.
cape. The spirits make their final leap Park, first designated as a domain in Wellington in 1843. The “lookout” was
and local communities, from north to hour tours showcasing The campaign to acquire Johnston’s Brian Kilmister & the Kilmister family
from the tree down to the roots and 1909. It has more than 60 hectares of named after Mr Fletcher, today we
south of New Zealand. The aim is to a fascinating insight Hill as a reserve was led by Mr S.S.B. Karori Historical Society Inc
then return to Hawaiiki, the Maori native bush with 9km of walking tracks know it as “Fletcher’s Carpark”.
have it completed by 2008. into the measures taken Fletcher and Mr George Penlington, Department of Conservation
Ancestral Homeland. winding through dense bush and passing Mr Penlington’s name was given to the
to protect New Zealand both long time residents of Karori.
Follow the footsteps! several lookouts. main track through the bush – an Dr John Dawson
A small team of local enthusiasts are Johnston’s Hill was officially opened
during World War II. appropriate recognition of the work both
working with Wellington City Council Karori Wildlife Sanctuary
Bell’s Track Photo: Khandallah swimming pool, as a public recreation domain in the
men had done. The Kennett Brothers
and other regional councils to establish middle of World War II, 28 March 1942.
Otari-Wilton’s Bush tea kiosk and park, 5 January 1931
and mark the Te Araroa trail from Levin This re-established route starts at the It was named after John Johnston who Ornithological Society of New Zealand Inc.
(Alexander Turnball Library, Wellington,
to the top of the Cable Car. Walkers will top of Awarua Street and joins a farm Waugh Family
Nestled on the Outer New Zealand).
enter the Wellington City Council section track up to a saddle on the ridge where
Green Belt between