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16° & RAINY ON SUNDAY 8 DECEMBER IN WELLINGTON
TRAVEL & LEISURE

Five Green Spaces Where You Can Escape the Hustle in Wellington

These scenic spaces in the (almost) great outdoors let you get away from it all.
By Greta Yeoman
November 26, 2019
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Five Green Spaces Where You Can Escape the Hustle in Wellington

These scenic spaces in the (almost) great outdoors let you get away from it all.
By Greta Yeoman
November 26, 2019
  shares

Now summer is fully on its way, it is the perfect time for post-brunch strolls and to grab a coffee on the way to find some green space, or just the season to realise you do actually want to find some place scenic that does not involve joining every other Wellingtonian on the waterfront at the weekend. Here, we've rounded up a small collection of scenic spaces in the wider Wellington area that will get you away into the (close) great outdoors.

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ARO VALLEY

Possibly the best place for green space just out of Wellington's CBD, Aro Valley is filled with cafes, quirky shops and what, presumably, must be one of the few video hire shops remaining in the country. The valley, which is less than 20 minutes walk from Cuba Street, is the perfect starting point for a pre-walk coffee, as there are many cafes to take in before taking to the trails and spaces in the neighbouring bush off to the side of Aro Street. Many of these tracks connect into the wider Polhill Reserve area, along with the Zealandia Ecosanctuary and the Brooklyn Wind Turbine track, making it the perfect chance to either wander at leisure or make a trip out of it. You can also access the Brooklyn side of the reserve by car from Ashton Fitchett Drive (Google Maps estimates it is about a 10-minute drive from the Wellington CBD), if a shorter walk is preferred.

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WELLINGTON TOWN BELT

While Mt Victoria's lookout is a popular spot, particularly in good weather, the greenery that it backs on to provides plenty of less-frequented green space. The lookout marks the edge of the Town Belt, and is about a 30-minute walk from Cuba Street, or can be accessed by car. The Town Belt stretches from Mt Vic, through to Berhampore and Island Bay, offering plenty of space to either wander, picnic, or simply sit in the sun.

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WELLINGTON BOTANIC GARDEN

Back on the opposite side of the city is the Wellington Botanic Garden, which can be accessed by cable car from Lambton Quay, by car, or on foot. The garden includes a duck pond, rose gardens, artworks and many plants across its 25 hectares, as well as the Carter Observatory for those interested more intergalatic things. Another garden — this one consisting of native plants — is Otari-Wilton's Bush in Wilton. It takes just over an hour to walk there from the city centre, but the number 14 bus runs right past the entrance, or it's less than 15 minutes by car. 

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EASTERN BEACHES

As a coastal city, beaches definitely require inclusion on this list. While they are not technically 'green' spaces, for those wanting a seaside site other than Oriental Bay, there are plenty of beaches easily accessible by bus or car. Breaker Bay in Seatoun can either be reached by car, or by the number 2 bus, which ends at Seatoun Park and then involves about 10 minutes of walking up some steps and down the roadside to reach the grainy seaside spot looking out over the harbour mouth. Another option slightly further north along the Miramar Peninsula is Scorching Bay, which has a domain on the other side of the road, or Lyall Bay, which also has several busy cafes nearby.

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WellingtonNZ.

TE WHITI RISER

For those out in the Hutt, or city-dwellers up for taking a short train ride, Lower Hutt's Te Whiti Riser track is a 15-minute walk from the Waterloo Train Station. Parking is also available at Te Whiti Park. The hour-long track is open for both walkers and mountain bikers (so people are advised to keep an eye out for cyclists), and includes plenty of bush and fernery, as well as views back out over Lower Hutt. 

Top image: Sam Hamlin.

Published on November 26, 2019 by Greta Yeoman

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