Wrights Hill

Best known for its extensive Second World War fortifications, the reserve is also an excellent viewpoint, with bike and walking tracks.

View of the city from Wrights Hill on a misty day.

Location: South Karori.

Entrance and exit points: The main entrance is at Wrights Hill Road, with other significant entrances off Burrows Avenue and Fitzgerald Place.

Brief description: This reserve provides impressive views of the city and is one of only two Outer Green Belt hilltops accessible by car.

Wrights Hill and adjacent Zealandia wildlife sanctuary form one of the largest expanses of indigenous vegetation in the Outer Green Belt.

The hill is covered in regenerating native bush that will become increasingly important as a habitat for birds as they move out of the Zealandia. 

Parking: Car park close to summit.

Accessibility: The short walk from the Wrights Hill Road car park is accessible by assisted wheelchair.

Dogs: Dogs must be kept on a leash.

Mountain biking: The main trails on Wrights Hill are Salvation (uphill) and Deliverance (downhill). Deliverance is fast, narrow and challenging and for expert riders only. There are other trails  including the Fenceline Track, which links across to Polhill and Te Kopahou.

Features: The area’s network of tracks includes the Zealandia perimeter track, which is linked to nearby Polhill Gully and Te Kopahou Reserve.

A well-constructed bike and walking track (Salvation) links Wrights Hill and Makara Peak. These are part of the continuous walking and riding opportunities from the south coast to Johnsonville. There are several short walks in the fort area.

History: The reserve is best known for the extensive World War II fortifications built to protect Wellington from a potential Japanese invasion.

The fortress is mostly underground and has open days several times a year when the public can explore its numerous tunnels, command centres and gun emplacements.

Friends group: Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society.