• Mr and Mrs Walking with Kids

Fort Ballance - Mahanga Bay, Wellington

Updated: Jan 20

Wednesday 19th January 2022

Location: Fort Ballance Road, Karaka Bays, Wellington 6022


Not so much of a walk, more of a destination (or adventure walk for bigger feet). Fort Ballance has a number of access points. The primary of these being the car park at the beginning of Fort Ballance Road in Mahanga Bay. It's also only eight minutes walk from Scorching Bay so why not make an afternoon of it?

Having wandered around from the bay the access road up is only about 15 minutes walk with a couple of viewpoints on the way.

At the top the fun begins. First thing to point out is that this area is obviously a great place to party for the local youths as there is plenty of mess about. Make sure you have enclosed shoes etc for the glass they'll be skipping around.

The Fort is made up of a number of observation bunkers, old gun emplacements, bunk rooms and other such hidey-holes. Famous for its extensive 'street art' there are plenty of things to see and explore. If you're the adventurous types, you'll want a torch for the darker tunnels (the kids thought it was really spooky, we were more worried about disturbing homeless people).

We spent a good hour up there, though our kids are the sort that need to eyeball every square inch before we're done.

Then we skipped back down the road for 10 minutes, happy in the knowledge that no one contracted tetanus (this time).


Awesome adventure, now the kids want to know where all the other Wellington bunkers are!


Age of Kids: 7yr and 9yr

Walking Time: Only about 30 minutes return

Length: 500m from the bay to the bunkers though its 1.2km to the Fort from Scorching Bay

Difficulty: Easy

Wet Feet: Not unless you stop at the rock pools on the way

Amenities: Scorching bay has a toilet and a cafe, there isn't anything else on the walk

Dogs: Yes - although there's lots of broken glass so maybe not a good idea.

Cellphone Reception: Yes

Be Aware: Make sure you have enclosed shoes for the bunkers.


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