Wellington’s southern suburbs are a diverse landscape of primarily residential neighbourhoods nestled amongst plenty of green space. The area grew progressively from the mid 19th century in response to Wellington’s growth and demand for more housing. The suburbs form a belt extending south of the city, from Mount Victoria and Mount Cook closer in and stretching out to Brooklyn, Newtown, Berhampore, and Island Bay.
Mount Victoria, southeast of the CBD, is one of the city’s oldest suburbs. It takes its name from the hill on which the suburb is perched, and has retained its mostly 19th century architecture of wooden villas and cottages. The top of Mount Victoria offers panoramic views of Wellington and its harbour. Oriental Bay, nestled at the bottom of Mount Victoria, is a popular spot for its sandy beaches and broad promenade.
Mount Cook, on the CBD’s southern fringe, is home to Massey University’s Wellington campus. 6,582 people live there, a younger population than the Wellington average, many drawn by its proximity to both the university and the central city. Its neighbours are cosmopolitan Newtown, where Wellington’s largest hospital is located, and Brooklyn, a suburb named for the borough of New York City.
Brooklyn has a Central Park, named also for the New York City icon, and a number of streets named after former Republican US Presidents including Grover Cleveland, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Popular New Zealand band Shihad are notable former residents of the suburb. Brooklyn residents are generally well off, with 32% identifying as having professional occupations. At the top of Brooklyn Hill are the Wellington Wind Turbines; walking up to this landmarks offers spectacular views of the Wellington region, Cook Strait and beyond.
Berhampore is a residential suburb south of Newtown, once considered to be one of the top three locations for property investment in New Zealand. A small residential area is tucked away off the busy Adelaide Road thoroughfare, and the suburb is surrounded by an extensive green belt and golf course.
Further south along Adelaide Road, Wellington’s southernmost suburbs are Island Bay and the neighbouring Southgate and Houghton Bay. Island Bay and Houghton Bay each lay on the bay that shares its name; Southgate is a slim suburb largely surrounded by reserve and parkland, just inland from Houghton Bay. Island Bay is sparsely populated; its residents are largely families with comfortable incomes. Fishing and surfing are popular on Wellington’s south coast.
The City to Sea walkway begins in the heart of central Wellington near Parliament, and winds its way over 12km of varied terrain to end at the south coast in Island Bay. The route takes in many of the unique sights and historic landmarks of southern Wellington, including 14 parks and reserves.