While the capitol city of New Zealand can feel more like an outpost then a metropolis, the surrounds of the Wellington region are the perfect place to satisfy your thirst for adventure.
If you find yourself wanting to do more with your day then spending it within the city limits, in one of the many outstanding eateries or walking the semi-suburban woodland trails spiderwebbing the central parklands, then there is no better place to get an eyeful of the majesty of the wild coast of New Zealand, then Makara.
Thirty minutes easy driving to the west from downtown Wellington will bring you to the rocky shores of Makara Beach.
A small collection of houses are gathered above the beach and it feels like the kind of place you spent your summers as a kid. The parking lot always has extra space and feels relatively safe, but take your valuables with you!
The water is a little rough unless you're a very confident swimmer, but if you follow the marked shoreline trail south you'll be led up toward the highest lookout in the area. The path on your ascent frays out and allows you to move closer to the cliff face for better views or further from it for safety on windy days.
One hours hike uphill from the carpark you will reach shells of WWII observation posts. Perfectly placed to grant views over Cook Straight, the North Island Wind Farms and the tip of the South Island.
After dark the area is secluded enough to grant stunning starlight photography or observation. Use the app PhotoPills for iOS to plan your shoot.