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Most of the central ridge of the Outer Green Belt skyline was known to local Maori as Te Wharangi (broad open space) and was a route between Wellington harbour and Ohariu. After the arrival of Europeans almost all of the surrounding dense forest was cleared for sheep and cattle farming.
From 1976 Wellington City Council recognised the need to protect the skyline encircling the outer city suburbs. It proposed creating an outer town belt that would preserve bush-clad hillsides and open spaces on the city’s rural fringes for public recreation.
Map of the Outer Green Belt (346KB PDF)
In the 1980s the Council began a process of purchasing land from Brooklyn and Karori through to Johnsonville and Churton Park. The Skyline Walkway finally opened in 2006, allowing people to walk, run or bike up to 12 kilometres from Makara Saddle (on Makara Road) to Ohariu Valley or Johnsonville.
The current vision for the Outer Green Belt is to create ‘a continuous green belt following the ridges west of the city from the south coast to Colonial Knob, in which indigenous vegetation is restored and an informal recreation network is widely accessible.’
A home to threatened native plants and rare insects, lizards and birdlife.
A key native ecosystem, this reserve is part of one of the largest areas of continuous native vegetation in the city.
A public recreation domain since 1942, bush remnants at this reserve form part of the most significant native ecosystems in the Outer Green Belt.
This park is part of one of the largest areas of continuous native forest in the city. It features 9km of walking tracks in 60ha of bush.
This reserve is part of the Skyline Walkway and is used for walking, running and mountain-biking.
Featuring a 40-kilometre network of tracks, the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park is recognised as a world-class area dedicated to mountain biking.
Mount Kaukau is the most visible high point in the Wellington landscape. It is part of the Northern Walkway.
A varied and remote landscape that extends from the hill tops of Te Kopahou and Hawkins Hill, down to the south coast beaches.
Best known for its extensive Second World War fortifications, the reserve also features a bike and walking track.
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