Food, fashion and nightlife are some of the first things that spring to mind when thinking of New Zealand’s capital city. Wellington’s beautiful harbour, wind and eclectic style usually make the list too. But surprisingly enough, the scenic and rugged south coast located near the Wellington airport is rarely mentioned and we think that’s a good thing. Visit any of the 5 Wellington AccorHotels and they can point you in the direction of the Red Rocks Walkway. One of the North Island’s most southern beaches for a visual experience that definitely requires a camera!
Just 17 minutes from our 5 Wellington hotels is the unique and rugged beauty of Wellington’s south coast. The Wellington Airport is located on the south coast and you can explore the bay suburbs, marine reserves and walkways nearby. Just a 10 kilometre ride to the west of the domestic or international terminals is the Te Kopahou Visitors Reserve.
Along the way, you’ll pass local favourite coffee shops and surf shops in Lyall Bay where surfers catch the break off the airport runway.In the historical suburb of Island Bay, look out the window towards the fishing boats and Taputeranga Island. Bring a jumper with you all year round as “the Southerlies” usually blow quite strong here.
The Esplanade dead ends at the Te Kopahou Visitors Reserve or also known as the Red Rocks Walkway. This trail lies between the red cliffs to the north and the ocean on the south.You can take an easy one hour stroll or hire a 4x4 from the local sightseeing companies to extend your reach.
Driftwood and massive strands of kelp wash up on shore at the water’s edge. Pick a good log as a sitting and resting spot to stare out. It is not uncommon to have a whale, dolphin or penguin spotting.
Looking south is the Cook Strait, the body of water that separates the North and South Island. Car, passenger and freight ferries travel between both islands throughout the day. On clear days, you can see the Kaikoura Mountains of the South Island.
At the end of the Red Rocks Walkway, you’ll find the resident seal colony. They’re cute but they are also dangerous and smelly, so make sure to keep your distance.Returning from your adventure is just as fun as the walk out. It’s great knowing that when you return to an AccorHotel, all the fantastic amenities and services will be waiting for you!