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Mount Victoria, Wellington Overview

Mount Victoria (also known as Tangi-te keo locally) is a prominent attraction of the city to the east of central Wellington in New Zealand. With a towering height of 196 metres above sea level, the hill rose to fame when the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed here; ever since it has become a popular tourist attraction owing to the gorgeous panoramic vistas that can be viewed from the top.

Among the most famous views from the top are Tinakori Hill, the Hutt Valley and Eastern harbour bays, Matiu/Somes Island and the Miramar Peninsula, in addition to the Baring and Pencarrow Heads. Considered a famous picnic spot in the area, the mountain top also boasts mesmerizing sunrise and sunset views. In addition, you can see the valley below, the harbour, the ocean, the criss-cross roads and the teeny tiny houses.

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Mythology about Mount Victoria

There is a famous mythology related to the naming of Mount Victoria which is called Tangi-te keo or Matairangi in the local language. It is believed that the Wellington harbour was a land locked lake which housed two very enormous sea monsters (locally called taniwha). One of the two sea monsters dug out a passage on his own to the sea. That is how the entrance to the harbour was created. The second one went for a different route but unfortunately he got stranded and died. This monster was called Whataitai and its spirit was changed into a bird called Te Keo. This bird flew to the summit of Mount Victoria to mourn (Tangi) And that is how the hill came to be called Tangi-te keo after his soul. The other name Matairangi translates to “to examine the sky”.

Mount Victoria Wellington Lookout Walk

Mount Victoria Wellington Lookout Walk is the trek that you can take to reach the peak of the hillock. The path along the way offers stunning panoramic vistas of the harbour and the ocean and the township below. There are several routes that you can take to reach the top; there is also provision to drive up to the top. Once you start at the entrance of the forest, you will see purple signs that will take you to the top through different routes. Just keep in mind that you are climbing upwards at all times and despite the path you take. 

On the way, you might come across the stunning St. Gerard's Church and Monastery and the some wealthy Wellington houses in the suburbs built in the traditional Victorian style. Among the gorgeous views is also the Wellington airport and Cook Strait.

Pop Culture Trivia about Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria was used as a prime location to shoot Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. And Mount Victoria Lookout is the spot where the famous Full Moon Silhouettes video was filmed.

How To Reach Mount Victoria

  • Walk to the eastern end of the Courtney Palace, walkthrough Cambridge Terrace and Kent Terrace.
  • Take the road to Majoribanks Street.
  • At the end of the street, you will find a sign for Southern Walkaway.
  • From the Southern Walkaway, take the Summit Walkaway that goes amidst the woods to the Victoria Lookout Walk.
  • Alternatively, you can take the bus no. 20 from the Courtney Palace that will drop you to Mount Victoria Terminus.

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