On Friday, I undertook a trek to the south coast of Wellington that ended up being about 10 miles and took just over five hours. I started out in Karori, climbing through some dense rainforest to the summit of Wright’s Hill. After that, I followed the Fenceline Track, which you may remember as the one with incredibly high possum/Jurassic Park fences. I passed an ostrich farm (very unexpected) before joining the long trail to the coast.
The views were incredible the whole way, but as I got closer to the coast, the epicness increased exponentially.
I only passed two people on the entire hike to the ocean. They were hiking the opposite direction, which I really can’t imagine doing from sea level. I had the benefit of starting from a relatively decent height, since Karori is in the hills.
Around every bend in the track, the view just got better and better. Time really flew by and the hike didn’t feel nearly as long as it was. I think this is the longest solo trek I’ve done, and I plan on doing plenty more during my time here.
I turned another bend, and WOW, there was the coast in all its rugged technicolor glory.
As I continued on, the path meandered along the crests of hills as I got closer and closer to the ocean, all the time wondering, “When will this path start going down?”
Just when I thought I was headed down to the beach, the path would rise again. When the trail forked, I ended up taking the path that looked more well-worn, but turns out it was the old route that isn’t used too often anymore. Gorse, an invasive species here in New Zealand, lined both sides of the path. Although it is gorgeous, and lead to one of my favorite photos from the trek (below), it’s really prickly and started to close in on all sides. I ended up having to wield a stick and wrap my raincoat around my legs to avoid being stuck with sharp barbs as the path almost disappeared altogether.
That shot was before the going got really rough. Then, I finally hit the last downhill stretch, which was almost all scree and was pretty tricky footing. My ankles were not happy about it, and I now know why this path isn’t in use. Next time, I’ll know to take the side route, but it was still well worth it for all the amazing views.
Finally, sea level!
I ended up on the beach near Wellington’s Red Rocks.
The rest of the walk along the coast was pretty easy going, as I headed towards civilization and a much-needed seat on a bus back to Karori.
What an amazing day! Now, I’m off the beach for some fish and chips before moving into my flat later today. Can’t wait to share some views of the new place.