The zigzag is a popular pedestrian walkway that links Oriental Bay and Mount Victoria, in Wellington, New Zealand. It leads past a small group of old wooden houses, almost all of them built in the 19th century. They are older than the iconic St Gerard’s Monastery at the top of the zigzag and older than the Seven Sisters, a group of heritage houses down on Oriental Parade, facing the beach.
Residents tend the zigzag’s gardens, with community help. Most of the gardens include native trees and shrubs. Some are almost entirely native plantings. Some include exotic garden flowers, vegetables and fruit trees. Others are planted to nourish bees and provide herbs for passersby, as part of a five-year experiment with hugelkultur – buried wood that nourishes the soil and protects against drought and flood.
The zigzag is a spray-free area and attracts many birds. It is also part of the Lookout Walkway to the top of Mount Victoria.
Near the top of the zigzag you’ll find the entrance to the St Gerard’s Walkway: a narrow path leads you around the front of the monastery to one of Wellington’s most beautiful small parks, formerly part of the monks’ orchard. It has a 180 degree view over the Wellington Harbour, some big and protected pohutukawa trees, a single pear tree and a park bench.
Click on the History tab to read about the zigzag’s history since the 19th century. Learn about the gardens’ progress over the last three years in the Blog. And to be right-up-to-date, check out our Facebook page.