Wellington Walks: Queen Elizabeth Park

When Jamie and I started this blog, one of our goals was to create a document of our travels, so we have a reminder of the best and worst moments.

Recently I feel like we’ve been failing at this goal. We’re guilty of writing lots of serious, long posts about travel and anxiety and we’ve kind of forgotten to document the fun we’ve been having. To try and counteract that we’ve decided to start a series of posts called Wellington Walks.

When it’s a nice weekend here in Wellington, we find the best thing to do is to go for a walk! One of the things I love about the city is that it’s so close to the country. Within 10 minutes you can feel like you’re really out there in nature. Jamie – admittedly – isn’t the biggest fan of walking, but I manage to drag her along and force her to enjoy it, usually by packing a picnic.

With this series we’ve decided to try to be as concise as possible. In all honesty, we’ve found that a lot of travel blogs waffle on about boring shit that doesn’t really matter. Too many bloggers try to grasp for meaning in moments where really there is none. Sometimes a walk is just a walk! Often there’s nothing more that needs to be said.

With that in mind we’ve decided to focus more on photos and less on the writing. Simple documents of our walks. Not much boring writing.

Enough blathering. Onto our first walk:

Queen Elizabeth Park

With the Bloody Legend recently passing it’s Warrant of Fitness (WOF), we thought we should celebrate by driving an hour north of Wellington to Queen Elizabeth Park. A coastal park well known for its sand dunes.

Standing along the beach at Queen Elizabeth Park in Wellington, New Zealand.

The cool thing about the park is that it encompasses a bunch of different environments. We started by walking along the beach, which is littered with thousands of small shells.

Collection of shells on the beach in Wellington, New Zealand.

Horse prints on the beach near Wellington.

Horse’s hoof prints leading us along the beach.

jamie doing handstand in front of kapiti

Jamie has started to post “Hump Day Handstands” on our . Every Wednesday she posts a photo of herself doing a handstand. This is the biggest pain in the arse as we try to find somewhere scenic to take a handstand photo each week. Thankfully it’s not so hard in New Zealand.

The coast seen from Queen Elizabeth Park in Wellington.

Getting off the beach – which was a bit chilly in the wind – we headed up into the sand dunes. Before arriving this was the main reason we decided to come to the park. The park is one of the only stretches of dune-land left on the nearby coast. All the other dunes have been destroyed through development.

Kapiti Island in the distance from Wellington.

When we thought of dunes, we imagined lots of white, Sahara like peaks. But instead these are covered in greenery and just look like…er…hills. When does a dune turn into a hill, I wonder?

Purple wild flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Spring has started and the wild-flowers are starting to open up.

Wellington walk at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Walking up a sand dune. Honestly, it’s a sand dune! I promise.

Walking through farmland in Wellington, New Zealand.

Once you cross over the dunes you immediately end up on a lovely stretch of green farm land. Notice how much greener this is than the last picture? It’s only a 5 minute walk away.

Cows in Wellington, New Zealand.

COWS! Nothing makes me feel more like a tourist than taking a picture of a cow…

whareroa stream in queen elizabeth park

The farmland quickly turned into a wetland with lots of marshes. Perfect for birds.

Heron standing in the wetlands in Wellington, New Zealand.

Grey heron.

pukeko in wetland

A pūkeko. One of our favourite birds, even if we don’t know how to pronounce it. This one was hanging out in the wetland with a couple of little pūkeko chicks. We didn’t want to get too close in-case we scared the little fluffy black balls, so no good photos I’m afraid.

The wetlands at Queen Elizabeth Park in Wellington, New Zealand.

Through the wetlands, our hike ended near a small lake, which looked surreal. With lots of palm trees around it it seemed more like something from Hawaii. A stark contrast to the trees far in the background. I suppose this is closer to what New Zealand should look like though.

We made our way back to the car but not before spotting one last thing.

hedgehog under cattle grate

I was walking over a cattle grate when I glanced down to see this little hedgehog shuffling below me. I almost shit myself. The poor thing was stuck underneath the grate as the walls were too smooth and tall for it to get up. We found a small post and laid it down to make a ramp for it.

Hopefully it managed to clamber its way out and it’s now back at home with the family telling them about the kindly pale gentleman that helped him escape. I can but hope.


  1. says

    I have never visited this park, I’ve still got about 8 months of living in Wellington, so maybe I’ll get there. I’m sure the hedgehog found the ramp!

    • Dan says

      We’ve got 4 months left then we leave. Thankfully the weather is starting to improve so we can get out and enjoy ourselves more!

      So far I’d say Queen Elizabeth park is pretty low down of the list of places we’ve been. If you haven’t already you should walk up to the top of Mt Kaukau. It’s quite easy to get up and well worth it!

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