Johnston Hill

A public recreation domain since 1942, bush remnants at this reserve form part of the most significant native ecosystems in the Outer Green Belt.

View of entrance to Johnston Hill Reserve.

Location: Karori.

Entrance and exit points: Hatton Street, Hauraki Street and the western side of Karori Cemetery.

Brief description: Johnston Hill Scenic Reserve, in Karori, is at the southern end of the main ridgeline linking Otari-Wilton’s Bush and Kilmister Tops.

The bush remnants on Johnston Hill and nearby Otari-Wilton’s Bush form the most significant native ecosystem in the Outer Green Belt.

The walk from the lookout to the top of Johnston Hill takes about half an hour. Views from the summit include Wellington Harbour, the Hawkins Hill ridgeline, the Makara hills and the South Island.

A track from the summit leads to the Skyline Walkway. Halfway up the hill, side tracks lead to Karori Cemetery and Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

Parking: A sealed road at the end of Hatton Street leads to Fletcher’s Lookout – a large car park in lush bush surroundings with views of the Orongorongo Range, Wrights Hill and Makara Peak.

Accessibility: Walk to summit steep in places.

Dogs: Dogs must be kept on a leash.

History: Johnston Hill was named after John Johnston, who arrived in Wellington in 1843 and later bought the land from the first pakeha owner, Judge Chapman. It was officially opened as a public recreation domain in 1942.