Great Harbour Way hails opening of Cobham Drive path

The opening today of the Cobham Drive walking and cycling paths has transformed this section of Te Aranaui o Pōneke, the Great Harbour Way, into a feature of the harbour perimeter pathway.

Opening of the Cobham Drive path
The opening ceremony of the Cobham Drive walking and cycling paths – starting with the wiata and blessing to open the path

“This fills in an important jigsaw piece in the completion of Te Aranui o Pōneke/the Great Harbour Way,” GHW Trustees Chair Graeme Hall said.

Opening of the Cobham Drive path
Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor speaking on behalf of  Transport Minister Michael Wood, with Mayor Andy Foster and Deputy Mayor Sarah Free.

“With breakthough approvals recently granted for Te Ara Tupua (the Petone to Ngauranga path) and the Eastern Bays (Eastbourne) path, the dream of having a walking-cycling path around the entire 72km perimeter of our wonderful harbour is almost a reality.”

GHW has recently had constructive talks with Centreport about the prospect of a path through, over or under the port, the only section of the GHW where the path doesn’t touch the harbour, Mr Hall said.

“Wellingtonians love the waterfront and that linear park will soon stretch from Red Rocks to Baring Head. In one of Wellington’s gateways, the new Cobham Drive walking and cycling paths showcase what is possible – to make walking, cycling, scooting or whatever, attractive options for commuting and leisure.”

Former Mayor and GHW trustee, Celia Wade Brown congratulated the City Council for recognising that cycling and walking are integral to making Wellington one of the most liveable cities in the world.

Opening of the Cobham Drive path
A large attendance of people celebrated the official opening of the path.

Founder of the Great Harbour Way concept, Mary Varnham, said that as the Great Harbour Way nears completion, it will become a magnet to locals and domestic tourists alike. 

“The completition of these harmoniously-designed walking and cycling paths on Cobham Drive, taking in Meridian Energy’s Wind Sculpture Walk, has transformed this section into one of the features of the Great Harbour Way.”  

For further information, contact Graeme Hall 021 606 101

The Great Harbour Way/ Te Aranui o Pōneke is a 72 km walking and cycling route around Te Whanganui-a-tara, the harbour of Wellington, from Ōrua-pouanui /Baring Head in the east, to Te Rimurapa/Sinclair Head in the west. Few, if any, opportunities exist elsewhere in the world to walk or cycle the entire coastline of a major city harbour, continually touching the water’s edge.

Great Harbour Way hails fast tracking for Te Ara Tupua

“Completion of this cylcing-walking path, Te Ara Tupua, will plug the biggest gap in Te Aranui o Pōneke,” said GHW chair Graeme Hall. “We have battled decades for this and to see we are now on the downhill slope for construction starting this year is a huge win for the region.”

Trustees of the Te Aranaui o Pōneke, the Great Harbour Way, welcome the fast track, green light given to construct the “shovel-ready” seaside path between Ngaūraunga and Petone.

“We congratulate Te Waka Kotahi on its excellent design that is a winner for ecology, active transport, recreation, heritage interpretation and storm protection.”

Former Mayor and trustee Celia Wade Brown said this section of the Great Harbour Way path will be transformational for commuters, walkers, runners, cyclists and wheelchair riders.

“It will remodel an ugly endurance trek into a path of pleasure beside our beautiful harbour.”

The project also makes the Wellington-Hutt Valley rail link more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Founder of the Great Harbour Way concept, Mary Varnham, says: “The Great Harbour Way will become a magnet to locals and domestic tourists alike. Cafes and businesses will benefit substantially.”

“Walking-cycling paths to Lower Hutt, the Remutaka Incline and the Wairarapa South Coast will help give Wellingtonians huge, new adventure, recreational and commuting opportunities.”

New images and videos show updated Te Ara Tupua design

Click to view an animated fly-through of the Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua

From Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency:

In the lead up to making our consent applications, we are sharing updated images and videos that show the tweaks and changes that have been made to the project’s design since we shared plans last year. 

One of the key design changes is a move to protect and preserve sensitive habitat areas. Located along the coast, existing gravel ‘beach’ areas provide valuable habitat for native species.

To reduce the project’s footprint in these beach areas, a vertical seawall will be incorporated into the path’s coastal edge. Ecological screens on top of these seawalls will prevent people from accessing the beaches, and reduce disturbance to the birds and other species that use these habitats.

You can see the locations of these habitat areas, as well as the path’s ūranga (landings) that provide space for people to gather – along with the project’s other key features in our new fly-through video.

You can get another view of these changes and the overall design in our new image gallery, and check out the project team explaining the work they’ve been doing on our videos page

Letter of support for resource consent application for the Te Ara Tupua path

The trustees of the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke Trust (GHW) 100 percent support the NZTA submission for resource consent for Te Ara Tupua shared pathway.

The GHW vision is a continuous harbourside walking and cycling route around the entire 72km perimeter of Te Whanganui-a-tara, Wellington Harbour. This route will be a scenic and history enriching recreational attraction for locals and tourists, and an active commuter path,
linking the sea with the land, the past with today, and the natural environment with human- made infrastructure.

Few, if any, major harbour cities in the world can match Wellington’s opportunity to allow residents and visitors to safely walk or cycle a large and continuous Harbour coastline. No private land needs to be acquired to achieve this vision. Already, this unique perimeter shared pathway is being enjoyed by a wide range of users –walkers, runners, skaters, scooters,
bikers; children, young people and adults; local national and international; able and disabled; commuters, recreationalists, exercisers, environmentalists, sportspeople, fishers, socialisers, fresh air lovers.

Since the inception of the Great Harbour Way project in 2003, the trust’s vision has moved progressively closer to realisation. Crucial sections of the Great Harbour Way, such as the Cobham Drive path, will soon be complete. Consent for the Eastern Bays Shared Path to Eastbourne has been lodged. Building Te Ara Tupua, the Petone to Ngaūranga link, will be an essential step towards realising that vision. Te Ara Tupua will create a linear park that will double as a safe commuter route between the Hutt Valley and Wellington while also becoming part of one of Aotearoa’s great urban walks and rides.

Closing the gap between Ngaūranga and Petone has been the biggest challenge and the focus of the GHW Trust’s efforts for over a decade. We are delighted that this project will now be fast-tracked. Since the high-level intention to invest was announced, the project team has worked through the stages of needs analysis, benefit investigation and assessment,
community and stakeholder consultation, innovation and design, and subsequent consultation. GHW trustees have been consulted and involved throughout.

We have had numerous positive interaction with the project team, and provided opportunities to input our thoughts and ideas, including on the linkages to other trails such as Hutt River Cycle Trail and the Remutaka Rail Trail, as well as the section of Te Ara Tupua from Petone to Melling. We are particularly pleased the concept for Te Ara Tupua is for a linear park along the lines of the Lambton Harbour section – wide enough for multiple activities, not just a single function commuter thoroughfare.

The quality design, with its ground-breaking incorporation of Māori art and values, its close attention to safety, and its determination to provide exciting community experiences, has our full approval and admiration. We also see many tourism opportunities arising from this project, such as cruise ship passengers ferrying to Days Bay and biking or walking back to the boat, and small companies setting up services to assist people experiencing the full
harbourside route. These opportunities and experiences can only enhance the strong Wellington brand.

We consider the investment in Te Ara Tupua will lead to substantial behaviour change and modal shift; for the first time there will be an alternative link between Wellington and the Hutt, to the current vehicle and rail modes. This is likely to benefit the whole region socially, recreationally, economically and in terms of health, well-being and social cohesion. Te Ara
Tupua will truly be a linear park for the people.

We continue to fully support the project team and look forward to the opening of Te Ara Tupua this in 2024.

For more information, contact GHW Trustees Chair Graeme Hall
( +64 21606 101)

Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke – a spectacular plan coming ever closer to reality

Today’s government decision to help fund the Eastern Bays Shared Path through Eastbourne is fantastic news for walkers and cyclists, and a major leap forward for pioneers of Wellington’s visionary Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke trail.

“This is another piece in the jigsaw that will make the Great Harbour Way one of the finest walking and cycling paths in the country,” GHW chair Graeme Hall said. “We expect the experience of walking or cycling this astonishing trail, with its varied landscapes and historic sites, to attract
outdoor enthusiasts of all kind and greatly boost the Wellington region’s economy.”

The announcement comes on top of June’s decision to fund Te Ara Tupua, the section of the Great Harbour Way linking Petone and Ngāūranga, as one of the government’s 11 large infrastructure projects.

“The vision is being realised,” Hall said. “We will have a pathway to match the great trails of Aotearoa, as well as an alternative way for people to get to work. “Cyclists and walkers will within the next few years not only be able to safely walk or ride from Baring Head to Red Rocks, but also to link into the Remutaka Cycle Trail and the Wairarapa Five Towns Trail.”

The new path will serve a double purpose, including seawall protection and reinstatement of power, gas and fibre lines, Hall said. Hutt City Council will need to match this level of government investment to deliver the tremendous benefits of this project to the Hutt and Wellington region
communities. “When the project is completed, all Wellingtonians and visitors will have the opportunity to catch the ferry to Eastbourne and safely walk or cycle back to the city and beyond.”

Contact: Graeme Hall, Great Harbour Way Trust Chair, +6421606101