Makara Walkway is a 6 kilometre loop that begins and ends at Makara Beach. A half hour drive from Wellington city, this popular 3-4 hour walk offers fabulous views and good swimming at beaches sheltered in a southerly. This is one of three tracks in the Meridian West Wind Recreation Area.
Follow a rough track from Makara Beach up past an ancient Ngāti Ira pā site to the Fort Opau gun emplacements, and experience views from Kapiti Island all the way to the South Island.
The Walkway then descends along short sections of rough road to Opau Bay. Return to Makara Settlement north along the rocky coastline.
The hills are often shrouded in cloud or fog and the winds can be gale force, so check the weather before you go. Sturdy footwear and wind-proof clothing is essential, and you must stay on the tracks at all times. Cellphone coverage is limited and there’s nowhere to fill a bottle, so take water and food.
From Wellington, go through Karori township to the end of Karori Road, then turn right and follow Makara Road all the way to the beach. There’s no cycling beyond the gun emplacements or around the coastline, and no dogs are allowed for most of the walk.