Mount Victoria, Wellington

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Mount Victoria
Wellington from Mount Victoria (5231037824).jpg
Mount Victoria roofs, Armour Avenue just left of centre. Te Aro in the background
Mount Victoria is located in New Zealand Wellington
Mount Victoria
Mount Victoria
Basic information
Local authorityWellington City
Coordinates41°17′46″S 174°47′40″E / 41.2961553°S 174.7944786°E / -41.2961553; 174.7944786Coordinates: 41°17′46″S 174°47′40″E / 41.2961553°S 174.7944786°E / -41.2961553; 174.7944786
Population5,400[1] (2013)
NorthOriental Bay's Oriental Parade
NortheastOriental Bay and Roseneath
SouthwestMount Cook
WestTe Aro

Mount Victoria is a prominent hill 196 metres (643 ft) high immediately to the east of central Wellington, New Zealand. About 4 kilometres due south is a spur named Mount Albert and the two are linked by a ridge. Mount Victoria's residential area is on its north-western slopes.


Mount Victoria's original Māori name is Tangi Te Keo,[2] though Matairangi is also used.[3][4] The first name derives from a legend in which two taniwha tried to escape from Wellington Harbour which was then an enclosed lake. One taniwha became stranded and died, and its spirit turned into a bird named Te Keo, which flew to the top of the mountain and mourned (tangi).[2] The second name translates as "to examine the sky".[5]

It was settled as, at its foot, Wellington's Te Aro filled with commercial activities. Residents needed to be close to the city but wanted more comfortable surroundings. For a long time it was one of Wellington's sources of fresh milk from its dairy farms.

Mount Victoria
to the left of its summit —Roseneath and Oriental Bay
to the right —residential Mount Victoria and far right —the National Museum, Te Papa

Town belt[edit]

Much of Mount Victoria is part of the Wellington Town Belt, a series of park land originally granted to the city in 1873 for public recreation.[6] The vegetation in the area is dominated by pines and macrocarpa planted in the “plantation years” from the late 1800s to early 1900s.[5] The area features many tracks used for walking and mountain biking.

The Mount Victoria Lookout is situated within the Town Belt, and offers panoramic views of the greater Wellington area.[7] Not far to its east is the Mount Victoria Radio Tower, which was Wellington's main radio and television mast from 1927 until 1965, when the larger and more powerful Mount Kaukau transmitter opened.

Greek community[edit]

A strong link was forged between Cretans and New Zealanders during World War II. New Zealanders left behind in the retreat from Crete were hidden from the occupying army by Cretans at great personal danger and they were able to harass occupying forces. A commemoration of the Battle of Crete is held each year in May.

Lloyd Street which has the Greek community centre and Orthodox Church was renamed Hania Street after Crete's old capital. Wellington's Olympic Football Club was established by Father Ilias Economou for his parishioners.

About 65 per cent of Greek New Zealanders live in Wellington and in the decades following World War II they were concentrated in Mount Victoria. The greatest concentration is now in Miramar and around half of Greek weddings are now with other New Zealanders.


The suburb is almost entirely residential with commercial activity along Kent Terrace on its north-western boundary. The houses are on the north-western flank of the ridge above the southern end of the Wellington CBD, Te Aro. Adjoining suburbs are Oriental Bay with Roseneath, Newtown to the south, Te Aro to the west beyond Kent Terrace and Hataitai on the far side of the ridge beyond the town belt.


What would seem to be residential Mount Victoria's frontage to the harbour is now technically a one-building-wide strip of Oriental Bay. The houses in Roxburgh, McFarlane, Hawker and Moeller Streets are all in Mount Victoria. The houses below those streets front onto Oriental Parade which is defined as Oriental Bay. The old monastery is in Mount Victoria. Palliser Road is in Roseneath.[8]

Wellington College and Government House, official residence of New Zealand's Governor-General, are beyond the southern boundary to the south-east of cricket's Basin Reserve. Beyond Government House is Newtown's Wellington Hospital.


Local features[edit]

Basin Reserve and Mount Victoria
Mount Victoria's Embassy Theatre
Basin Reserve cricket ground
National War Memorial, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park
Byrd Memorial, erected in 1962 for Richard E. Byrd
Wellington College
Wellington East Girls' College
Clyde Quay School
Roman Catholic:
St Gerard's Church[9][10]
St Joseph's Church
The Cathedral of The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Hania Street
St Mark's Church
The Hataitai Bus Tunnel and the Mount Victoria Tunnel (SH1) run beneath the ridge, connecting the central city with Wellington International Airport, Evans Bay and the Miramar Peninsula.

Lord of the Rings connection[edit]

the road to Bree
the site of Dunharrow

Mount Victoria was used twice as a location in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The very first footage on the project was shot off Alexandra Road on 11 October 1999, called the "Get off the road" scene, followed by the "Escape from the Nazgûl" scenes a few hundred metres to the North. Later an old quarry at the top end of Ellice Street was used as the Rohirrim camp at Dunharrow.[11]

Famous moonrise[edit]

The Mount Victoria Lookout is the location where the video Full Moon Silhouettes was shot. It was filmed by photographer Mark Gee at moonrise on 28 January 2013. The real time video footage shows silhouettes of people gathered up on the lookout watching a huge moon rise, and quickly became an internet sensation, gaining international media attention and viewed by millions worldwide.


  1. ^ Quickstats About A place
  2. ^ a b Te Ara: The New Zealand Encyclopedia. Story: Tanhiwa.
  3. ^ Wellington City Council (1 September 2016). "Mount Victoria / Matairangi Master Plan".
  4. ^ According to the New Zealand Gazetteer of place names, the hill has no official name; 'Mount Victoria' is noted as an 'Unofficial Recorded' name.
  5. ^ a b Wright + Associates (June 2015). "Mount Victoria - Matairangi Master Plan - June 2015" (PDF). Wellington City Council. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  6. ^ Wellington City Council. History of the town & green belts.
  7. ^ Absolutely Positively Wellington - Mount Victoria Lookout
  8. ^ Address and postcode finder, New Zealand Post
  9. ^ "St Gerard's Church". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  10. ^ "St Gerard's Monastery". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  11. ^ Brodie, Ian (2003). The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook. Harper Collins. ISBN 1-86950-491-7.

External links[edit]