The very best of Breakfast and Brunch in Wellington, NZ.Read More
Down in Wellington there are a lot of beautiful locations tucked away down empty country roads.
Finding out about them can be tricky, but here is a story about one of the prettiest coastlines in the country just 20 minutes drive from downtown Wellington.
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.
Here in the small town capital of New Zealand, Wellington, weekends are best spent on the coast.
The land-linked island of Mirimar at the mouth of Wellington harbour has a small two lane road circling it. This is the most accessible way to see the north and south coast in an hour or two. Usually the wind is rolling in hard from either North or South and you'll want to take shelter on the opposite side.
There are regular stopping bays for you to pull into, each with it's own rocky cove or hillside lookout. The diversity of this coast means that after exploring it almost every weekend for a year it always feels fresh and unfamiliar.
Stop for your weekend fix of hollandaise at Scorch-a-rama in Scorching Bay. You'll see divers ducking fro Crayfish and Kina around Breakers Bay. Ascend to Moa Point to get the best views of planes sweeping in from the South Island and see the surfers and dog walkers braving the cold waters of Lyall Bay.
Before or after, make sure you refill your stomach at Gypsy Kitchen with some of the best fresh food and coffee this side of the Equator.