I used to do this section of the Skyline Walkway regularly when living in Chartwell, which is up the hill above Crofton Downs. On a nice day you get stunning views of the South Island from the ridgeline. And no matter what the weather, there's always the cafe at the end :-).
Walk description: We meet at the top of Chartwell Drive where we can join the Skyline Walkway. We make our way across the hills to Mount Kaukau, with ample opportunity for great views along the way. From Mount Kaukau we take a track downhill to Woodmancote Place in Khandallah. Depending how we feel, we can stop at Cafe du Parc by the swimming pool as we come off Mount Kaukau, or we can carry on a bit longer to Cafe Villa in Ngaio. After refreshments, we follow the road back to Chartwell.
The full Skyline Walkway: http://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/maps/files/skyline.pdf
Walk category: I'm classing the walk as 'moderate' due to a bit of hill action, and potentially challenging conditions up on the ridgeline. As we start fairly high up we don't have a lot of additional climbing to do to reach Mount Kaukau, but according to the topographical profile (see link above) there's still around 100m of elevation to gain. The only other hilly section is the final stretch from Churchill Drive back up to the top of Chartwell Drive. As usual, we won't dawdle but nor will we go too fast, and will have regular stops to allow everyone to catch up, within reason. Please be prepared to walk at a moderate pace.
Duration: Total walking duration is estimated to be no more than 3hrs, aiming to arrive at Cafe du Parc around 12:30pm with a further 45 minutes or so back to Chartwell Drive.
Getting there: TRAIN: Take the 10:02am Johnsonville Line from Wellington Railway Station. Get off at the first stop, Crofton Downs, which will take 7 minutes to reach and cost you $5. You will then need to walk past the shopping centre, cross the road and head right up Chartwell Drive to the top. If you don't want the extra warm up, post a comment asking for someone to meet you at the Crofton Downs railway station carpark to give you a lift up the hill. I can take 4 people in my car. DRIVING: From Tinakori Road head through Wadestown, keeping to the main road until right near the end when you swing downhill to the right, down Blackbridge Road to Churchill Drive. Take a right onto Churchill Drive and the next left will be Chartwell Drive. Follow it up the hill, right to the end, where there is some parking by the entrance to the walkway.
Bring: The recommended list; plus note it is very exposed on the ridgeline, even on a nice day. You will need a good windproof jacket, plus a polyprop layer (or two). You should also bring a raincoat, irrespective of the forecast. If the weather is particularly inclement, we will just walk faster. You shouldn't need any food unless you like to have a bit of scroggin to keep your energy levels up. Please read the brochure (link provided above) to get a better idea of the track.
Extras: Dogs are permitted on the Skyline Walkway if on a leash. Both dogs and children are welcome on this walk, as long as you can exercise appropriate control over them! Also please consider the weather and how they will cope with exposure to the elements.
Communication: I will email my mobile number to confirmed attendees the day before the walk. Text if you are running late etc. If I need to cancel, I will email everyone by 10am on the day of the walk. While I claim never to cancel due to bad weather (lightning excepted), I will consider it a bit more carefully this time due to the level of exposure on the ridgeline. So unless there is any uncertainty about the weather, you can take it that if you hear nothing from me on the day, the walk is ON. If the weather does make it inadvisable or particularly unpleasant to go up onto the Skyline Walkway, I will simply modify it so that we still go out for a walk over that side of town (eg. from Chartwell Drive down through Otari Bush and up to Karori cemetery and back).
Note I have selected the automatic waiting list option, meaning that if you are on the waitlist and a space becomes free, you will be automatically moved up to the RSVP list - ie. confirmed as attending. You can still change your RSVP of course; this approach just makes sure that you do monitor it regularly, helping to avoid no shows which disadvantage others.