News | 15 November 2022
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New Ōtari track ready for summer visitors

Work is complete on the first new track at Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush in 15 years.

Image of rimu in Ōtari-Wilton's Bush credit Phil Parnell
Moko at Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush. Credit Phil Parnell.

The new track makes Moko, the 800-year-old rimu and oldest tree in Wellington, more accessible says Ōtari Manager Tim Park. 

“Moko is truely an awe inspiring rakau. It is fantastic that more people are now able to visit and enjoy the journey through the ancient forest that once cloaked all of Wellington.” 

Due to the ecological sensitivity of the area, staff worked with expert trail builders, the Kennett Brothers, to build up the trail through old growth forest rather than ‘cutting in’. 

This involved using local materials where possible, as well as flying in gravel to protect tree roots along the route. 

Track in Otari-Wiltons Bush.
New track to Moko

Before the new section of track was built, the walk up to Moko meant climbing up 156 steps. The new route up from the Kaiwharawhara Stream can now be completed with only 36 steps. 

Some of the few new steps constructed were made to specifically to protect sensitive tree roots and vines. 

To access Moko, people can easily follow the Blue Trail, says Tim.

“The easiest route is to follow the signs from the Circular Walk along the Kaiwharawhara Stream. Walk up the lower Yellow Track just downstream of the Troup Picnic Area and then head along the Blue Trail.” 

Troup Lawn at Otari Wilton's Bush.
Drinking fountain in the Troup Picnic area

Ōtari staff and contractors have also installed a drinking fountain at the busy Troup Picnic Area and have opened the popular Kaiwharawhara Track from Ian Galloway Park to the Troup Picnic Area for those sunny days. 

Summer is a great time to visit the oldest forest in Wellington and the only public botanic garden in Aotearoa dedicated to native plants. Head along to see birds and the many eels in the awa.