Kaukau & Chasing Cows

The weekend after our Makara Beach outing, Andy and I decided to take Higgs on a long walk. It’s been a while since I’ve done the great skyline trail that goes all around the hills of Wellington, so we decided to start at Mount Kaukau and walk all the way back home along the ridge line, which is about a three-hour trek. Luckily, our flatmate Scott was kind enough to drop the three of us off at the starting point, and we were soon on our way. This was the walk I did a few months back when the clouds rolled in and I found myself lost amidst frightened sheep. Luckily, there was nothing but sunshine this time.

We made the steep but relatively quick climb up Kaukau and enjoyed the wonderful views out over Wellington from the top. Higgs again didn’t know what to make of the self timer. Maybe if we set up one of our phones near the camera to make a cat noise, he’d actually look at the camera… or chase it.


We began our walk along the skyline trail from Kaukau’s peak.


The view out toward Makara and the South Island was gorgeous.


When we came to the first cattle grid, Higgs wasn’t too excited about crossing.


His little legs aren’t made for this type of thing.


Although we could hear sheep, we didn’t see many. There were, however, quite a few cows. At first, Higgs was oblivious, but pretty soon he perked right up.


His herding dog instinct told him that it was HIS job to put these weird giant beasts in their place. He gave them a piece of his mind, but the leash kept him from going any closer.

Looking back, we’d already come a good way from Kaukau. The radio tower in the distance marks the peak.


Time flew by since the weather was so beautiful and the trail was relatively flat.


I managed to find a lone tree, as usual. Bonus points for a fence in the same shot.


I love this rocky part of the path.



Wellington spread out below us in all its springtime glory.


The hillsides were seas of yellow and orange, covered in gorse and Darwin’s barberry. Although they’re both highly invasive and prickly plants, they do make for some colorful pictures.



We also passed one of my favorite groups of trees, which I photographed on my walk a few months ago in the fog.


Higgs got fed up with the cattle grids, so Andy helped him out when we came to the next one.


Oh, Higgs.

Soon enough, he regained his sense of manhood when he was able to tell some cows off.


They barely reacted, but I’m fairly certain Higgs felt like a really big deal.

You can tell in this next picture that he’s on top of the world.


As we continued on, we came across a cow in the path. We didn’t really want to get too close, so we were hoping she’d move. Higgs did his best to urge her along with his incessant barking.


She eventually ambled to the side and we skirted around and walked a bit further down the path. Andy figured it was safe to unleash Higgs at that point, but boy, were we wrong. He immediately turned and took off like a bullet towards that poor cow, chasing her all the way back to the rest of the herd while nipping at her heels. He wouldn’t respond at all to our shouts, so Andy had to run after him. I was terrified he’d get trampled, but he knew enough to not take on the whole herd. Needless to say, he got leashed up for a good while after that. I’m pretty sure it was the most fulfilling day of his little doggy life. He finally knew what his true purpose was.

After that fiasco, we came upon the trail leading down into Karori. It was a gorgeous descent through a forest of pines before we emerged into the cemetery.



The hike was about 12 kilometers in all (7 1/2 miles) and was a great way to spend the afternoon. Here’s a map to show what we did from start to finish.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 5.45.43 PM

Next up, Andy and I take on the wineries in Martinborough.

4 thoughts on “Kaukau & Chasing Cows

  1. I believe Higgs may actually be a Swedish Kauhund. So nice of him to reunite the cow with the herd, which is what a Kauhund should do. What a beautiful hike on what looks to be a cloudless day. Great scenery all about.


  2. All hail Higgs, cowherder extraordinaire. Great photos of a great adventure. So glad you didn’t get lost this time.


    1. Thank you! Yes, I’ll bring Andy and Higgs from now on.


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