Walking with Kids in Wellington

A local family shares their favourite walks with the kids

Walking with kids in Wellington

Walking with kids in Wellington

Walking with Kids in Wellington

Adventures around the Wellington Region

by Mr and Mrs Walking with the Kids

Researched, enjoyed and written by a young family of four who live in the Wellington Region and love the outdoors.   We share excerpts from their Walking with the Kids blog, which features all these local walks and more.  Plus you can filter your searches by locations around Wellington, how long are the walks, whether they are buggy friendly and which walks around Wellington allow dogs. 
The walks descriptions on this page are excerpts from the blog ~ click on the link at the bottom of this article for the full run down ~ highly entertaining and informative!

Butterfly Creek Loop (Kowhai Street to Muritai Park) - Eastbourne

Location: The end of Kowhai Street, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt 5013
Time: 1 hour 40 minute loop
This is a great half day walk which includes a well maintained track, amazing views of the Wellington Harbour, beautiful native bush and a lovely picnic spot. There are picnic tables and a long drop toilet at Butterfly Creek.

Gentle Annie/River Ridge Loop - The Tararua's (Day Walk)

Location: Mount Holdsworth Road, Carterton 5791
Time: 5 hour tramp
Note: you're heading into the Tararua's so we'd class this as a Tramp (limited cellphone coverage, unpredictable weather, rough terrain)

You begin at Mt Holdsworth carpark where there is a toilet and information site. Take the main track up and make sure you fill in the Intentions Book.  First stop, Rocky Lookout via the Gentle Annie Track (not so gentle and a 500m climb over 4.5km).
At the top of the Gentle Annie you come to Rocky Lockout which is a great spot for lunch and some respite - the big climb is over!
After lunch head up to the top of the ridge with great views.

You'll hear the river before you see it. Once again you're on the flat and will come across the Atiwhakatu Track where you  head back towards the car park.

Gentle Annie walk

Petone Foreshore

Location: The Esplanade, Petone, Lower Hutt
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Petone foreshore (as with all foreshores) is a great place to go exploring. We spend a bit of time down there doing a variety of activities, but inevitably foraging and stone throwing are always involved.

There are two pretty interesting dog parks at both ends, the one by the river has a frisbee golf course which is a constant source of fascination to our two. There's also a playground, the settlers museum and the wharf down the western end.

Eastern Walkway ~ Wellington's southern coast

Location: Southern end of Mantell Street, Seatoun, Wellington
Time: 2-3 hours
The paths are good and all the way up and all along the top walkway the views are amazing.

We wound down through the Rangitatau Reserve, made a quick stop at the Ataturk Memorial which I would recommend for the adults (kids weren't bothered), then down to the Great Harbour Way or Te Aranui o Poneke. The stroll back along the beach was the longest part of the walk with every rock and rock pool requiring immediate exploration.

This was a brilliant walk! Check out this brochure for more info (Wellington City Council)

The Escarpment Track ~ South Kapiti

Location: Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay.
Time: 4 hours

Firstly, this is an awesome walk! Although it is definitely not for anyone who has vertigo or is remotely afraid of heights.

There are lots of steps (1,200) and steep drop offs. A lot of the way we had the children hold our hands and walk on the inside of the track (especially as we neared the top). The views are spectacular!   The kids loved the 2 swing bridges and there’s also some nice forest walks once you start nearing Pukerua bay (as well as a playground by the station).



Southern Walkway ~ Oriental Bay to Island Bay

Location: near the intersection of Oriental Parade and Carlton Gore Road
Time: 4-5 hours
The Southern Walkway has to be one of the most iconic Wellington City walks. It's a one way walk between Oriental Bay and Island Bay which follows the Town Belt. It offers beautiful views, lots of interesting things to explore and multiple playgrounds for the kids (definitely check out this brochure before you go).

Otari ~ Wilton's Bush

Location: 160 Wilton Road, Wilton, Wellington
Time: 1 hour
We walked from the Information Centre down to the Troup Picnic lawn and then up the Blue Track to the 800 year old Rimu. We then meandered back down the track to the Troup Picnic lawn and
the kids wandered down to the bridge over the stream where they watched the eels - a big highlight.  Wilton Bush is such a beautiful little sanctuary.

Rimutaka Rail Trail (Upper Hutt Side)

Location: Turn off SH2, 9km north of Upper Hutt. The carpark is 1km along a metal road.
Time: 4.5 hours
The kids were right into it and the idea of getting to the summit tunnel was an inspiration to keep walking. There are 1km markers along the track, super helpful and fun for the kids to track how far they've gone.
Wide, well maintained track. It's pretty flat at the beginning but then starts a gentle climb after Ladle Bend bridge.

Hutt River Trail, Hikoikoi Reserve/Sladden Park Loop

Location: Hikoikoi Reserve, Petone.
Time: 1 - 2 hours

The Hutt River trail runs all the way from the river entrance in Petone to Upper Hutt. It's 29km's long and has lots of points where you can access it. It's brilliant for bikes, buggies and scooters.

There is a nice loop walk from Hikoikoi Reserve in Petone to Sladden Park and back.

If you park in Hikoikoi Reserve in Petone and walk northwards you stroll past some interesting boat sheds then along a boardwalk as you wrap around under the bridge.

River Walk


Northern Walkway ~ Botanical Gardens to Johnsonville

Location: Cable Car in Upland Road, Kelburn, Wellington
Time: 4-6 hours
This was another great day out, it's a similar walk to the Southern Walkway and City to Sea where you're exploring Wellingtons Green Belt. This time between the Botanical Gardens and Johnsonville. There are beautiful panoramic views and a whole lot of exciting things to see along the way (check out this brochure before you go).

Orongorongo Track, (day walk) Remutaka Forest Park

Location: Catchpool Valley - 1039 Coast Road, Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt 5373
Time: 3 hours return
Walk along the Orongaronga track to the river and then back out again. It was such a fun day, the kids loved it. There are lots of bridges, stunning trees and a beautiful river at the end.  Things to be aware of: There is no cellphone reception in the Catchpool Valley, treat it like a tramp and tell someone where you're going, check the weather forecast, make sure you have some basic first aid equipment and ample of food and water as well as warm layers. Never cross the river if it's flooded.

Mt Climie - Tunnel Gully

Location: Tunnel Gully, Te Marua, Upper Hutt.
Time: 3.5 hours
The track is a gravel 4WD road so it isn’t technical. However, it is steep and it doesn’t let up. Essentially it's 6km straight up...not for faint hearted children. The view at the top is spectacular, we celebrated with lollies and victory dances before carefully walking back down.

Mt Climbie

"Getting out on big walks has shown us how important it is to get away from screens, the daily grind and to have uninterrupted connection with one another and our environment. We need strong resilient Tamariki to lead the world of tomorrow, what better way to do this then to teach them through walking. They learn perseverance, how to support each other, celebration of successes, the pain of failure, teamwork (we're all in it together) and most importantly a sense of wonder at how beautiful and precious our Aotearoa is."

Aroha to everyone,  Mr & Mrs Walking with Kids

Read the whole blog and discover more walks and outings here >>
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Our favourite destinations…


New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!


Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.


With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.


With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.


Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!


Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.