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.’ The existing Outer Green Belt Management Plan is currently under review.