Opau Bay, Makara.
Opau Bay, Makara

The cliffs and spectacular views at Makara are features that for centuries provided the people of the area with good vantage points for the defence of their land.

Makara Walkway is a 6 km loop, climbing to a vantage point at the World War II gun emplacements of Fort Opau, and returning along the beach.

In the West Wind Recreation Area you can walk or mountain bike on tracks within the West Wind farm and get a close up view of one of the turbines.


Makara is 16km / approximately 30 minutes drive from Wellington City. From Karori follow Makara Rd to Makara Beach, or Takaru Gorge Rd from Johnsonville.

Getting there

Makara Walkway begins and ends at Makara Beach, 16 km north of Wellington. The beach is at the end of Makara Road which runs from the end of Karori Road.

You can access the West Wind Recreation Area off Opau Road, 2km before Makara Beach.


Historic sites Historic sites
Mountain biking and cycling Mountain biking and cycling

Historic sites

You can explore the Ngati Ira pa site on the promontory at the western end of Fisherman's Bay. There are also gun emplacements at the top of the cliffs, marking the position of Fort Opau, which was garrisoned by 100 soldiers during World War II.

Mountain biking

You can mountain bike in the West Wind Recreation Area within the wind farm. Visit the Meridian Energy website for a description and map.


Makara beach is sheltered from southerly winds, but is very exposed to northerlies. The hilltops are especially prone to gale force winds

Plan and prepare

  • Carry food and drink. The track does not go past drinkable water.
  • Take warm waterproof/wind proof clothing and wear sturdy footwear.
  • Parts of the track cross a working farm, take care around grazing stock.



Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Wellington/Kapiti places


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Full office details