About the Great Harbour Way

The vision

Wellington’s harbour – Te Whanganui-a-Tara, The Great Harbour of Tara – is one of the world’s most beautiful. Its clear waters are ringed by layers of grey-green hills. Its surroundings range from the soaring office towers of the city to the wild, shipwreck shores of Fitzroy Bay. The harbour teems with wildlife, from the seal colonies of Red Rocks, to the blue penguins which seek sanctuary at many places along the coastline, and the dolphins and orcas which regularly visit its waters.

Great Harbour Way, once completed, will provide a continuous, safe, signposted 72-kilometre route for walkers and cyclists around the entire perimeter of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, from Fitzroy Bay in the east to Sinclair Head in the west.

What it offers will be unique – the opportunity to safely walk or cycle the entire coastline of a major city harbour, continually touching the water’s edge. You will pass wild stretches of coast, rocky headlands and sandy beaches, as well as parks, marinas, museums, cafes, theatres, charming seaside suburbs, and the capital’s vibrant business and shopping centre.

Experience it now

Much of the route is already accessible. It can be walked in 3-5 days, and cycled in 1-2. The pathway is mostly flat, and could be safely completed by people of average fitness.

The route stays almost continually on the water’s edge, allowing you to explore a diverse coastal environment while taking in spectacular views of the harbour, city and surrounding hills and mountains.

The Great Harbour Way is a rewarding experience for young and old:

  • explore original and regenerating landscapes including wild coastline, wetland and forest
  • get up close to a range of wildlife including native birds and sea life
  • visit important heritage sites and see modern architecture and sculpture
  • enjoy local hospitality – Kiwi tearooms, cafes, restaurants and pubs abound.

An overview map can be downloaded from this site.

The pathway can be traveled in either direction. And it’s free! Information on transport connections and accommodation are detailed at the end of each leg.

This website provides complete information for walkers and cyclists about each section, including:

  • how to get there and back
  • walking and cycling times
  • safety factors
  • scenic and historic highlights, and places to stop, rest, eat and enjoy the glorious vistas.

The Great Harbour Way Trust is supported by

Our sole aim is to develop and promote this exciting project. We welcome your ideas, information and donations of time, money and services. If you want to help, email us at