Drop last into Ivy Cave through a steep and bouldery descent alongside a rushing stream.
You’ll plunge deep into a room with dripping walls and a cavernous ceiling of speckled phosphorescence before trudging back through muddy grass to your car.
But even Wellington, the Kiwi’s capital city of 450,000, is buffered by a swath of semi-wild green hills, dubbed the Town Belt, that was set aside for aesthetics and recreation in 1840.
Scores of paths meander through these hills, but the best skirt Mount Victoria, easily accessible from the city’s center.
Choose your path along the winding turns of the 6.8-mile Southern Walkway, and the sounds of the city die away beneath a thick canopy where several Lord of the Rings scenes were filmed, including the hobbits’ flight from the Black Rider.