Mount Victoria

view of downtown Wellington from mt victoria

Mount Victoria is a highlight of any visit to Wellington. It is located below Point Jerningham, roughly between downtown and the airport. The mountain is the equivalent of the must-do walk up Mt Eden Maungawhau in Auckland. It offers panoramic views of the city and harbour and, curiously, is the same height at 196 metres.

You can drive or walk up. Off-road walking tracks start from Oriental Parade on the north side of Mount Victoria and several suburban streets on the west side. These run through the mainly exotic pine-clad town belt on the mountain's west side, dating back to Wellington's establishment.

The easiest way to drive up is from the south on Alexandra Road through the town tree belt. Use Google Maps for other driving options, with several windy routes.

The mountain has a fun origin story. Wellington Harbour was home to two taniwha (water monsters). One created the entrance to the harbour. The second became stranded and died, hence Tangi-te keo, which Europeans named Mt Victoria, as if Queen Victoria lacked namesakes in the mid-1800s!

Try to be there at sunset or sunrise.

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