Johnston Hill

A public recreation domain since 1942, bush remnants at this reserve are part of a highly significant native ecosystem 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 Te Wharangi ridge which links Johnston Hill, Kilmister Tops and Mt Kaukau.

The bush remnants on Johnston Hill and nearby Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush are part of a significant native ecosystem: - the native forest that extends from here all the way to Khandallah and Johnsonville Parks. 

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 Ōtari-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.

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