Walking tracks in Ngaio and Crofton Downs
Ngaio and Crofton Downs have many walking tracks of varying length and difficulty.
- Ngaio walking track map and notes (Sep 2014) PDF A3. This map includes the new Silversky Track in Crofton Downs, track notes and more.
- Ngaio walking track map and notes (July 2013) PDF Print in landscape format. This map includes part of the Silversky Track in Crofton Downs, track notes and more.
Part of this walkway runs north-south along the ridge between Mt Kaukau and Chartwell. It is four kilometres long and takes around two hours at an easy pace. On a clear day there are spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges, the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington city and harbour, and the Tararua and Orongorongo ranges. With Bell’s Track, it is part of the Te Araroa national walking track.
The Skyline is open to walkers and mountain bikers. It can be accessed via:
- Bell’s Track at the end of Awarua St (no bikes)
- The carpark at the end of Chartwell Drive
- Truscott Park in Johnsonville
- Sirsi Tce in Broadmeadows
- Khandallah Park via Mt Kaukau
The track begins at the top of Awarua St and continues to the Skyline Walkway. The top of the track gives fantastic views of Wellington and the South Island.
Waikowhai Street to Wadestown
Begin at the Waikowhai St entrance to the park, by the railway overbridge. The track descends to Wightwick’s Field, a flat grassed area with a picnic table and seats. It then follows the Korimako Stream before ending at Hanover St in Wadestown.
Lower Ngaio Gorge Road
A track to lower Ngaio Gorge road branches off the Waikowhai to Wadestown track at the Wadestown end, near the bridge.
Upper Ngaio Gorge Road
Past the lower Ngaio Gorge track, heading away from Wadestown, there is another track branching off and running around the steep hillside to upper Ngaio Gorge Road. This is a very steep track and requires care.
Piwakawaka Track (Odell Reserve)
Accessed from alongside 14 Punjab St, or Old Porirua Rd by the entrance to the Harbour Lights subdivision. The track passes through regenerating bush and its highest point, by the water tanks, provides spectacular views of the harbour, city and Ngaio. It is an excellent viewing point for Guy Fawkes fireworks.
Huntleigh Park Reserve
The reserve is in Crofton Downs, between Silverstream Rd and Huntleigh Park Way. Access is from behind the Playcentre in Silverstream Rd or alongside 29 Huntleigh Park Way. There are two main tracks, marked with small coloured posts. Care is needed as some parts are quite steep.
Orleans Makererua Reserve (Pukatea Track)
The track runs through the reserve from Makererua Street (off Heke Street) to Orleans Street (0ff Chelmsford Street). There is a sloping grassed area at the Orleans Street end. The reserve contains remnants of the native bush which originally covered Ngaio, including pukatea, kahikatea and titoki trees.
The reserve can be accessed from Heke St, Collingwood St, and Thatcher Crescent. A track just above the railway line goes from the end of Collingwood St in Ngaio, to Thatcher Crescent in Crofton Downs. A side track goes up to Heke St.
This is a well-graded walking and biking track from Downing Street up towards the Crofton Downs transformers. From there you can follow a track to the Skyline Walkway or head to the end of Chartwell Drive. A later section connects Downing St with Silverstream Road. Access is from the top of the ROW at the end of Downing Street or the top of the ROW at the end of Silverstream Road.
The Green Belters restoration group is developing a delightful picnic area at the entrance to Chartwell Reserve near the top of Chartwell Drive. From there you can walk to Otari Wilton’s Bush or the Skyline Walkway passing beehives and a horse paddock on the way.
Access is near the top of Chartwell Drive, on the left, just at the point where it narrows to 1.5 lanes.
A sanctuary in nearby Wilton, dedicated to indigenous plants, this is one of New Zealand’s finest showcases of native flora. It is accessible from Churchill Drive, Wilton Rd, or John Witton Drive. It includes forest, gardens, open spaces and picnic areas.
- Wear sensible shoes
- Take a waterproof jacket and warm clothing
- Tell someone your plans
- Check MetService’s local weather reports
- Tracks.org.nz has a long list of Ngaio walking tracks, complete with information on access and grade.
- Nature Space has contact details for local restoration groups, including Trelissick Park Group, Bell’s Track, Makererua St Reserve Care Group and The Green Belters.
- The Te Araroa Trail site has comprehensive information on the Ngaio stretch of the trail (Skyline walkway and Bell’s track), including downloadable maps.
- Adventure Smart has outdoor safely information.
- Wellington City Council has maps and brochures on some of our reserves and walkways such as the Northern Walkway, the Skyline Walkway and Trelissick Park. Two heritage trails go through Ngaio.
- The Regional Council’s cycling and walking journey planner.
- Guide to wheelchair- and baby buggy-accessible walkways in Wellington.