Great Harbour Way/ Te Aranui o Pōneke - Wellington New Zealand Te Whanganui-a-Tara Aotearoa

Wellington’s harbour – Te Whanganui-a-Tara, The Great Harbour of Tara – is one of the world’s most beautiful. Its clear waters are ringed by layers of grey-green hills. Its surroundings range from the soaring office towers of the city to the wild, shipwreck shores of Fitzroy Bay. The harbour teems with wildlife, from the seal colonies of Red Rocks, to the blue penguins which seek sanctuary at many places along the coastline, and the dolphins and orcas which regularly visit its waters.  

The Great Harbour Way  is rideable and mostly walkable now and, when totally completed, will  provide a continuous, safe, signposted 67-kilometre route for walkers and cyclists around the entire perimeter of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, from Fitzroy Bay in the east to Sinclair Head in the west.

What it offers will be unique – the opportunity to safely walk or cycle the entire coastline of a major city harbour, continually touching the water’s edge. You will pass wild stretches of coast, rocky headlands and sandy beaches, as well as parks, marinas, museums, cafes, theatres, charming seaside suburbs, and the capital’s vibrant business and shopping centre.


On Sunday 10 March, people were able to walk, scooter and bike the route between the Miramar Cutting to Shelly Bay and Scorching Bay without any cars or other motorised vehicles.

This successful event called Shelly Play was organised by the Wellington City Council.  Lots of families and other people had a fantastic time.  It was wonderful to see little kids riding into the strong northerly wind with big smiles on their faces.    Hopefully the success of this day renews the push for the Council to regularly close the road between Shelly Bay and Scorching Bay; ideally each Sunday or at least ones a month.  Or it may instead look to make the part of the road one way only so that one lane can be permanently available as a shared path for walkers and cyclists.    Lets hope that this can become a highlight of the Great Harbour Way.

Below a couple more photos of the event and a video of one of our Great Harbour Way Trust member talking about Shelly Play.

Want to walk or cycle the route?

Choose between half day, one day and multi day walking and cycling excursions. Check out the Route Guides and Maps pages.

Check out the Study on the Great Harbour Way

Back in 2009, the Trust commissioned Boffa Miskell Consultants to write up a report on the opportunities and issues related to the Great Harbour Way.   Read the report here.

View our gallery of great harbour way photos

Check out the Photos page to have a look at images and descriptions of the different sections of the great harbour way. 

Read about our Trust and the Maori history of our harbour.

Read the Background on who the good people are that make up and support the Great Harbour Way Trust, and find out about the Maori discovery and settlement of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Aotearoa (Wellington) and theTe Whanganui-a-Tara (it's great harbour).

Learn what our vision is for the great harbour way

A safe, and enjoyable harbourside perimeter shared pathway for all.   That is our vision in a nutshell.  But there is more to our aspirations for the great harbour way., which you can read about on our Vision page.

See our submission and presentations on the great harbour way

Read the various submissions, presentation etc that we publish to advocate for improvements that are needed to realise the vision and outcomes for the Great Harbour Way

Contact us

We welcome and invite comments, questions and suggestions.  Please use the Contact Form to get in touch with us.