Day Walks in WellingtonDay Walks New Zealand

The Skyline Walk: Wellington Day Walks

This is another great Wellington day walk with spectacular views of Wellington region. I would recommend doing this walk on a clear day, 90% of this walk is above the bush-line with no protection from the wind and rain. And lets face it, if you can’t see anything its just not worth doing. Starting in Khandallah Park and finishing at the top of Chartwell Drive next to the Wilton Substaion…its 7 Kilometers in distance, allow 2 to 3 hours. The full Skyline walkway runs between the Old Coach Road in Johnsonville and Makara Saddle in Karori (12K’s). This walk can be walked in either direction and requires an average level of fitness.

Skyline Walkway

Track Description

Starting in Khandallah Park which is at the end of Woodmancote Road, Khandallah. There is plenty of parking here, the other option would be to park in Simla Cresent and walk up to Mt Kaukau that way, definitely easier if using public transport…check-out the maps below.

From the car-park follow the path past the cafe and the swimming pool, continue on through the park and into the bush. An easy to follow track with a couple of turn offs, follow the signs that say Mt Kaukau. A steep climb of 45 to 60 minutes through native bush will bring you to the top. Enjoy the view and rest…head south along the ridge towards the Makara Saddle Road, following the yellow markers on metal poles. In the distance to the left you should see the Wilton Substation, the turn off sign says Chartwell Drive allow 1 to 1.5 hours to reach this point and then 30 minutes down to the substation. Take time to enjoy the stunning rural, city and coastal views along the way. On a clear day, views of the Kaikoura ranges, Wellington city and harbour, and the Tararua and Orongorongo ranges can be seen.

Getting There

If traveling by car, head for Woodmancote Road in Khandallah, there is a carpark at the end of the road. If possible leave another car at the end of the walk. There’s an area on the side of the road at the top of Chartwell Drive to park. If not its a 17 minute walk (1.3K’s) down hill to Croften Downs Railway Station.

If using public transport, take the Johnsonville Line Train to Khandallah Station…it’s a 10 minute walk via Box Hill and Woodmancote’s road to the start of the walk. Or train to Simla Cresent Station and entry the track from Simla Cresent, re the below map for more details.

There’s also bus 43 or number 44 to Clutha Avenue in Khandallah…the walk to Khandallah Park is 12 minutes from there.

To print the above map, click on 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 map. Once you’ve clicked on mapometer, the link will take you to the printing or export option. If mapometer asks for your location decline, otherwise it will take you to your location and not the above map. This map gives great information for getting to the start of the track, however it’s only a guide of the route, for more detail on the track click on the topomap below, this can also be printed.

For more information on where the ascents and descents are. Plus the distance and height at any point on the map, run your cursor over the elevation graph, this will display on the map where the ascents and descents are. It will also give you the distance and height at any point on the map. It’s a useful tool for planning your walk. The topomap below gives similar information, especially the ascents and descents. However, you need to know how to read those maps to get that information. The mapometer map gives you that information and more by simply moving the cursor over the graph.

View Larger Topographic Map

Wellington City

Other Information

  • Take food and plenty of water
  • Warm clothing, raincoat and good foot wear.
  • Map

For more information on what to take walking, check out my blog on hiking gear.

Walking Times

Expect some variation in times depending on conditions and personal fitness levels. In the summer tracks are dryer 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 with an average level of fitness required. The tracks are well defined and well marked, there are no stream or river crossings and the duration of this walk is between 2 and 3 hours. 

There are a number of alternative routes if things get difficult and you need to shorten your walk. Refer to the above maps and always carry one with you.

Have a great walk 🙂

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10 thoughts on “The Skyline Walk: Wellington Day Walks

  1. This is a very well written article, and I enjoyed the read. I especially enjoyed the detailed topography of the trail, which allows for someone to prepare for the trek, or to determine if they are in the appropriate condition to make the journey. It is unfortunate I do not live in this location because it looks absolutely beautiful, but I will definitely have to put it on my bucket list going forward! Great read!

  2. That is a beautiful track. I wish I can go there some day.

    What is the temperature average on Summer and Winter?
    Will there be any wildlife that a hiker should take precautions?

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a message. To answer your questions,the average temperature in summer is around 20 degrees celsius, however this summer its been exceptionally warmer. Winters are about 10 degrees. You’ll be quite safe from the wildlife here, there’s no wild animals to speak of…lots of birds 🙂


  3. Wow, it looks beautiful! Definitely a great idea for a hike some day. =)
    Thanks for all the tips, and especially the info on how to get there, and the time it may take! If I ever go there, I will be sure to let you know how long it took me, haha, hopefully around the amount you stated!


    1. Hi Kylie,
      Thanks so much for visiting my website and leaving a message…definitely is a great walk, hopefully you will walk it some day 🙂


  4. Love this walk. I do it from the Old Coach rd Johnsonville to Parkvale in Karori for a coffee. Takes about 3-4hrs depending who I take with me or if I go alone. Summer or winter it’s tops.
    Love your site, well done.

    1. Hi Luke, thanks for your comments, much appreciated. It is a fantastic walk. Sounds like you do the full Skyline Walk. Certainly can’t beat it on a fine day, the views are amazing, aren’t they!

  5. No wild animals, but the karori end of the track is working farmland and there are occasionally cows in various legs of the track which should be avoided.

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