This popular Eastern Hills walk, offers great views of the Wellington Harbour and surrounding suburbs. The Kaikoura’s to the south can be seen on a clear day, along with some of the cities highest peaks…Mt Victoria, Mt Kaukau, Belmont Trig and Mt Matthews to the East. Butterfly Creek is one of many walks in the East Harbour Regional Park. An easy 2 – 3 hour walk, starting in Eastbourne, there are 4 tracks that lead to the creek. Two at the northern end of the valley…Mackenzie Track and Muritai Park Track. In the south the Bus Barn Track and the Kowhai Street Track. Both the Mackenzie and Kowhai Street Tracks are the steeper and more direct routes…the Muritai Park Track is a good place to start, the climb is gradual and the easier route onto the ridge…finishing with either the Bus Barn Track or the Kowhai Street Track.
Butterfly Creek is a small peaceful valley on the Eastern side of the main ridge, the valley was used by the Maori as one of their routes along the Eastern Hills before the European settlers arrived, this peaceful valley follows the creek to an intersection where you can either walk onto the picnic area or climb back onto the main ridge and descend back to Eastbourne. This Wellington day walk is easy to follow and the track is well-marked.
To print the above map, click on mapometer.com at the top of the map. The printing and PDF option at the bottom of this page will print or download the post except the maps. Once you’ve clicked on mapometer, the link will take you to the printing or export option. If asked for your location decline, otherwise it will take you to your location and not the above map. Remember this is only a guide of the route, for more detail click on the map below. This can also be printed.
The Muritai Park Track starts just before Karamu Street, approximately 700 metres south of the Eastbourne Village. Look for the yellow sign that has the East Harbour Regional Park written on it.
Follow the sign from Muritai Road to the edge of the bush…from this point its a gradual climb through beech forest to the top of the ridge, 30 to 60 minutes depending on fitness level. There is a look out point not far into the climb…it offers low level views of Eastbourne and the harbour. Once at the top, take a well earned break and enjoy the view. The Mackenzie Track that starts opposite the village meets the track at this point. Continue on down the other side to Butterfly Creek, the track follows the creek to an intersection where you can walk on to the picnic area or climb back onto the main ridge. From the main ridge take the bus barn track which continues along the ridge, then descends to the bus depot and Muritai Road, about 40 minutes. Or take the Kowhai Street Track which descends directly to Muritai Road and follow back to the starting point.
If traveling by car there’s a number of places to park depending on which track you plan to start with. I’ve suggested the Muritai Park Track, so parking on Muritai Road near Karamu Street or in Karamu Street is the best place, check the map above.
Public transport is a good option, buses run regularly to Eastbourne. Take bus No. 81 or 83, for times check Metlink’s journey planner. Bus stops are marked on the map above. The Dominion Post ferry runs between Queens Wharf and Days Bay (Mon-Sun) a great way to view the harbour and Wellington’s surburbs….a good option for visitors wanting to experience more of Wellington. Check here for the ferry timetable.
If using the Ferry it’s a short walk from Days Bay to the beginning of these tracks or there’s a bus stop to the right of the wharf.
- Days Bay to Mackenzie Track, 1.4 K’s, 15 minutes.
- Days Bay to Muritai Park Track, 2 K’s, 25 minutes.
- Take food and plenty of water
- Warm clothing, raincoat and good foot wear.
- Map, topo50 BQ32 map.
There are a number of cafes and restaurants in Eastbourne and Days Bay…a nice location and great way to unwind after your walk 🙂
Expect some variation in times depending on conditions and personal fitness. In the summer tracks are drier providing much firmer footing than wet muddy winter conditions. A fit experienced walker will be able to walk this much quicker, please provide feed back if this time needs to be extended. I’ve graded this an easy walk. The tracks are well defined and well marked, there are no stream or river crossings and the duration is of 2-3 hours. Where as, a hard walk is one that is more than 6 hours, will have longer steeper climbs, have river crossings and requires good navigational skills. A medium walk is somewhere in between.
Enjoy your walk.
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