Looming out of the land at the end of Courtenay Place, Mt. Victoria is deeply embedded in the life of Wellington’s central city. Standing at more than 640 feet (195 meters) at its highest point, the Mt. Victoria Lookout offers 360-degree views of Wellington stretching out past the scenic harbor.
The Mt. Victoria Lookout is a popular Wellington spot and provides impressive views extending on a clear day out to the Hutt Valley in the north, Remutaka Range to the east, and the Cook Strait in the south. A memorial to Antarctic explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd, who used Wellington as his base during his second Antarctic expedition, stands atop the lookout, where there are also information panels detailing the history of the city and the summit.
Mt. Victoria is located in the Town Belt, a series of parks, forests, and green spaces protected from the advances of the city. There are numerous walks in the area, including the steep trail to the lookout, as well as many challenging mountain bike routes. Half- and full-day sightseeing tours of Wellington, as well as shore excursions, frequent the lookout. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Mt. Victoria Lookout is a must-see for first-time visitors to Wellington. It’s also great for families, as there are several playgrounds on the mountain, including an obstacle course just a short walk from the summit.
- If walking to the lookout, come prepared for a steep and sometimes-exposed climb—pack water and sunscreen, and wear appropriate footwear.
- Many of the mountain paths are suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, but some (including the lookout walk) can be steep. The lookout itself can be accessed only by some stairs from the summit’s parking lot.
You can walk to the lookout from any part of Mt. Victoria—just follow the maps along the various paths. Alternatively, catch the number 20 Kilbirnie bus from Courtenay Place to the summit, or drive up along Marjoribanks Street. There is plenty parking at the summit and around the mountain.When to Get There
Mt. Victoria is a perfect place to watch the sunset. Whether you head up to the lookout moments before or you take some fish and chips up to one of the many parks on the western slope, you’re almost always going to enjoy uninterrupted views of the city. Mt. Victoria is an easy walk year-round, although it can be shrouded in fog on a cloudy day in Wellington. LOTR on Mt. Victoria
A number of Lord of the Rings
tours in Wellington stop at Mt. Victoria, where an early sequence from The Fellowship of the Ring was filmed. The hobbits first encounter the ringwraiths on a leafy path just off the Hataitai to City track. The now-immortalized path is clearly signposted at either entrance.