Wellington City

  • Walking

This section traverses the Botanic Garden, the City and around to Oriental Bay. There are many spectacular views of Wellington’s picturesque harbour, a wander right past the New Zealand Government Buildings and a walk down Wellington's "Golden Mile" shopping strip - passing outdoor shops in Willis and Mercer Streets: Kathmandu, Macpac and Bivouac.

Botanic Garden - 2km / 30 minutes

This section begins at the top of the Botanic Garden. From the north side of Cable Car terminal head north on a sealed level path past the Observatory and a sundial then downhill on the ‘City to Sea’ walkway. There are numerous garden paths but Te Araroa follows the ‘City to Sea’ walkway through the garden. You will pass various sculptures, go through native bush, pass a café, a large rose garden, a playing field and then head downhill through ‘Bolton St Memorial Park’. A pedestrian bridge takes walkers across the main city motorway, then leave the City to Sea by turning hard left.

Walk down past a white 12 storey high rise building to Bowen Street. Just before the Bowen Street exit, take a minute to inspect the cutout steel sculptures dedicated to Te Araroa - these were unveiled in 2017 by the Mayor of Wellington.

Follow Bowen Street down slope to Lambton Quay, passing the New Zealand Government Buildings (aka "the Beehive").

City, Waterfront, Oriental Bay - 4km / 1.5 hours

This route begins at the corner of Bowen Street and Lambton Quay. Turn right and follow Lambton Quay (Te Araroa plaques in pavement) through the main city shopping street (800m) until it merges with Willis Street. Follow Willis Street then turn left into Mercer Street. Cross Victoria Street and enter the Wellington Civic Centre. Walk through the centre and up onto a large wood decorated pedestrian bridge to the harbour. Descend the steps on left then turn right, pass large white water feature and walk out to the waterfront. Turn hard right (south) and follow the wharf past the Te Papa Museum and the boat harbour. Continue left and follow Oriental Parade (and beach) to the far end (east). 

  • Note: In the city, the route is marked with brass plaques in the pavement. Along the waterfront the route is not heavily marked though somewhat obvious - follow the waterfront past Te Papa Museum to the far end of Oriental Bay. If you're thirsty, stop for a drink at one of the Te Araroa-themed drinking fountains en route.  

Potential hazards:

  • Vehicles on road or track Multiple Road crossings through the city
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold


How to get here

Northern Start: Cable Car Terminus, Wellington Botanic Gardens
Southern End: Junction of Oriental Parade and Carlton Gore Road

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

Te Araroa Wellington trail notes, including information about accommodation, transport and resupplying

Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Jan 5, 2021, 2:52 PM