Two weeks ago, my friends and I decided to head around Wellington Harbour to Eastbourne for a hike in the hills. We met up on yet another gorgeous Saturday for the drive along the coast. Emma kindly offered to drive and she, Brid, Anna and I set off just after noon.
Eastbourne is directly across the harbor from central Wellington, so you can either drive or take a ferry. I took the ferry about a year ago, and it’s a great trip, but driving was easier for the hike we planned to do. We were headed for Butterfly Creek, an area in the hills behind Eastbourne with a trail that winds up onto the ridge and then down into the valley behind. Here’s a visual of where everything is.
Once we made it into Eastbourne, we parked and set out on the hike. It didn’t take long on the trail before we got great views of the harbor.
The forest was buzzing with cicadas as we ascended higher into the hills.
The day was pretty hot, but luckily there were shady stretches along the path that provided some much-needed relief.
Around one of the bends, we spotted a patch of blackberries and paused for a snack.
Yet again, I was amazed by the fact that you can drive thirty minutes from downtown Wellington and feel like you’re in a different world entirely.
You can make out tiny Ward Island in this next photo. In the background is Miramar Peninsula and the hills of Wellington. Ferries don’t go to Ward Island, but it looks pretty enticing if you have a boat of your own.
Soon, the trail descended into the secluded valley behind the hills.
We decided to take this opportunity to get some group shots. I love how they came out.
The path began to rise again up the ridge, since we inevitably had to get back over it to end up in Eastbourne.
I loved this section of the forest. It was so peaceful.
As we made our final descent back into Eastbourne, the views were incredible.
I wouldn’t mind having this house on the hillside…
Since the path we took wasn’t a loop, we walked through town to get back to Emma’s car. Eastbourne has some really lovely homes.
Everything seemed to be in bloom, too.
Emma and I made a friend as we passed one of the houses.
You didn’t think I’d do a whole blog without a dog picture, did you?
We stopped in the center of Eastbourne for an “iced lolly,” as they’d say here. These Kapiti fruit sorbet ones are my favorite.
Overall, it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon! We contemplated stopping at Days Bay on the way back, but it was extremely crowded considering what a gorgeous day it was, so we made our way back to Wellington.
Just in case you are unhappy with only one dog shot, though, here’s a couple of Higgs to tide you over.
Next up, the Wellington Zoo!