News | 30 September 2021
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Explore the Matairangi Nature Trail

Make the most of a nice day in the capital by visiting the new extension of the Matairangi Nature Trail with the tamariki!

A young girl with black curly hair and a purple outfit siting on a log, while another young girl with a blond bob and green jersey leans over the log looking at a tree trunk in the foreground.

We’ve recently completed the extension of the Matairangi Nature Trail on Mount Victoria. We may be biased, but we think it’s pretty awesome.

To confirm this, we asked some seasoned play experts to give the new trail a whirl.

Guided by a friendly pīwakawaka (fantail), Papili, Adrian, and Sethunya enjoyed a fun afternoon exploring, imagining, and playing, and they ultimately gave the trail the all-important seal of approval.

A row of logs neatly laid out upwards in inverted triangles, as a girls with black hair and purple clothes navigates her way stepping through them.

Stage Two of the Nature Trail ventures down under a canopy of leaves, where you’ll bump into some exciting native creatures. From the shy pekapeka (short-tailed bat) to the sparkly titiwai (glow worms), these sneaky creatures prefer to move about under the cover of night.

Venture a little further and you’ll meet tītipounamu (the rifleman) and kōura (freshwater crayfish) hiding between the stones. These aren’t the only friends you’ll meet along the way, but you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled to spot them.

The backs of three small children running towards some short cut stepping logs in a shady pine forest with pin needles on the ground.

Along the trail there are several play stations, all created using natural materials to blend in with the environment.

You’ll encounter stepping logs, balancing beams, a wobbly bridge, and all sorts of other fun challenges.

A new green and brown octagon-shaped tree house located with a very tall gum tree towering over it, situated on metal polls and with a ladder on each side with two children climbing up the ladder on the right side.

Three reasons to support kids playing more:

  • Researchers say 'free play' and 'outdoor play' can significantly improve children's problem solving skills and connection with nature.
  • Regularly playing with their nearby friends helps kids to build community and a sense of belonging.
  • If more than half of a child’s playtime is physical, it improves their overall wellbeing and resilience.
A young boy with black hair in dark blue jacket and track pants, stepping onto the top of a steep slide that has large bright blue handles at the top and is perched on a hill covered in native grass.

Find out more about our playgrounds at out the latest Our Wellington - Tō Tātou Pōneke magazine to find this story and others which highlight some of Pōneke's special natural spaces.