News | 8 March 2024
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Friday Five: Celebrate the great parks of Pōneke

Celebrate the vital role parks play in creating liveable cities and thriving communities, and boy are we lucky to have great spaces to visit in Pōneke. Our Rangers spend a lot of their time outdoors, and have shared their favourite parks to visit.

Waimapihi Reserve.
Walk through Montgomery Reserve to get to the Skyline Walkway.

1. Park Ranger Martin recommends Montgomery Ave Reserve 

Have a look at the artwork on the water tower, then head south along the Skyline, walk past the area marked 98 Downhill to explore more walking tracks that lead towards Percy Dyett or onto Karori Park. If you head towards Percy Dyett, be sure to take the adventure through Fairy Lane.

2. A bird spotting walk through Waimapihi Reserve is Park Ranger Rachel's pick

If you're looking for awesome views of Wellington, Rachel recommends heading to Waimapihi Reserve. Keep an eye out for the native birds, including tīeke, toutouwai, hihi and kākā when you come to Zealandia's sanctuary fence line of the 7.3 kilometre loop track. You can find all the details on our website.

Mākara Peak platform and view of the park.
Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park.

3. Park Ranger Mark shares his tips for visiting the Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park

Head to Mākara Peak Nature Summit and take a ride or walk up the recently renovated Koru trail, which passes through some of the best remnant forest in South Kaori. After conquering Koru, head up the Sally Alley trail, and join the Three Brothers trail. 

Once you have made your way up the Three Brothers trail, after 350m, turn left onto the Upswing trail. Upswing is appropriately named after the 73-metre-long swing bridge you cross to reach the summit of Mākara peak. The views of the surrounding area and valley floor below are breathtaking. 

Aratihi is your final pathway to the summit, with incredible views of Te Wai Pounamu and the wider Wellington region. If you’re an early bird, the sunrise at the summit is magic.

There are several ways back to the valley below so follow the park maps and trails signposted at the summit, and at the park's entrance on South Karori Road. Visit Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park for park information.

4. For those riding horses, Park Ranger Denise has an equestrian bridle trail to try out

Ranger Denise loves riding horses and believes the Spicer Forest Bridle Track is one of Wellington's best kept secrets. To start, head to the end of Ohariu Valley Road to access. Plan your trip in advance and email the ranger team at so the Northern Area Ranger can let you know the code for the gate. 

5. Park Ranger Adam reckons you should take a walk around Red Rocks 

We have recently closed the gate to motor vehicle access at Te Kopahou Reserve to prevent the risk of fires. This is the perfect opportunity to explore this area any day of the week without having to keep an eye out for vehicles. Whether you’re keen to explore the rocky coast or take in the views of the South Island, this popular coastal route is for you. Follow the rugged shoreline of the South Coast around to Red Rocks on Te Kopahou Reserve.  

Watch out each Friday for a fun list of five great activities to do, places to explore, or things to discover in our awesome city.