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.
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.
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 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 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.
- Take food and plenty of water
- Warm clothing, raincoat and good foot wear.
For more information on what to take walking, check out my blog on hiking gear.
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 🙂