Red Rocks Reserve

Let’s flash back (again) to New Zealand! To my hometown of Wellington, Windy Wellington, located at the bottom of the North Island of New Zealand there are too many things to share with you all. I think when you spend so much time in one place you start to take for granted what you have. So lately, one thing I have been missing is the sea! And walks by the sea, beaches, sunny days, just life in general by the sea – ok well Melbourne is close to the sea..

Well, let me tell you about one of the easier walks I used to do back home was in the Red Rocks Reserve, of which the attraction was, the Red Rocks!

Located on the southern coast of Wellington, you walk along the coast from Owhiro Bay to the Red Rocks (Pari-whero in Maori). These Rocks are an ancient lava pillow formed 200 million years ago from undersea volcanic eruptions. The reason they have a red colour is due to the small amounts of iron oxide. You can continue the walk onto Sinclair Head, where a New Zealand fur seal colony live – remember to keep your distance!



There are two legends that the Maoris have explaining the colour of the rocks. One story is about the daughters of a famous Polynesian explorer named Kupe who were worried for their father who was on a long expedition, because of their concerns and his absence they gashed themselves in grief and their blood stained the rocks. The other story is about Kupe himself who was gathering paua (a type of shellfish) when one of them clamped his hand and he bled and stained the rocks with his blood.

Getting there

You want to arrive in Owhiro Bay. You can catch bus number 1 to Island Bay and get off at the last stop and walk around the coast via the Bach Cafe and Owhiro Bay Parade. This adds a 2 k walk before the start of the walkway. The are buses to Happy Valley, number 4, during the week which takes you closer, as does the Southern Shopper bus (number 29) from the Hospital. There are no buses to Happy Valley / Owhiro Bay in the weekends, before 7am or after 7pm.



Other Information

  • The reservation is free to enter.
  • There are no toilets on the road.
  • There is no water on the route, be sure to bring your own.
  • The coast can be very exposed, so be sure to bring the right clothes for the cold wind.
The route along the coast

Some of the red rocks

View from the start of the walk

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