Sinclair Park

Quick Info

  • Three flat, grassy terraces beside the road
  • Not fenced to keep dogs in
  • Space for half a dozen cars off the road, above the top terrace of the three. Or park along the road.

Table of Contents

  1. Quick Info
  2. Access
  3. Facilities
  4. Description
  5. Terrain
  6. Delights
  7. Dangers
  8. Cautions
  9. Road access
  10. Location
  11. Map
  12. Photo album

Access for wheelchairs, and pushchairs

  • Not really. There’s a chained gap in the low fence where mowers can get in but there isn’t room otherwise for a wheelchair. You could lift a pushchair over or through the fence.


  • Rubbish bins: by the car park above the top terrace and by the children’s playground below the bottom terrace
  • Toilets: no
  • Seats: by the children’s playground
  • Lighting at night: streetlights along the road


Sinclair Park off-leash area is a set of 3 flat grassy terraces beside Houghton Bay Road on Wellington’s South Coast.

Sinclair Park off-leash area.

Sinclair Park off-leash area. The middle terrace of three.

It’s the site of a former rubbish tip, and before that dairy farms, waterfalls and glow worms:

Grant Corbishley, who is doing a PhD on the history and future of the valley, says the South Coast valley once boasted a two-metre waterfall, glow worms, and a creek with eels and fresh water trout.

All that was buried when the Wellington council turned the valley into a ”major landfill” in 1949, he says. …

Older locals still remember the landfill, and the earlier Restieaux dairy farm which was started around 1910.

[Via Historic Images Of Houghton Bay, Wellington |]

The terraces are reasonably wide and fairly long, but access from one terrace to the next is either via the footpath or a steep bank. Each terrace is several metres below the one above.

The hill forms the west boundary of the terraces, but the fence beside the road isn’t designed for keeping dogs in. They could easily run onto the road.

When we visited in July 2012 the ground was boggy and muddy, with water lying in puddles in many places. In summer I imagine it’s a hard surface.

There’s a small off-road carpark and rubbish bin just above the top terrace, and a children’s playground with benches and a rubbish bin on the terrace below the lowest part of the off-leash area, opposite Hungerford Road.

This is #42 on the City Council map: Sinclair Park (88Kb PDF).

Houghton Valley Road, Melrose — terraced areas in park down from Houghton Valley School excluding bottom field.


  • Three flat grassy areas, reasonably wide and long
  • Grass
  • Water: A small stream may flow at the base of the hillside


  • Views down the valley and into Cook Strait.


  • There are Brodifacoum poison warning signs, and pest poisons are widely used in Wellington.


  • Dogs could run out to the nearby road.

Road access

Road access via Houghton Bay Road.

See page 2 of this post for a photo album.

Location (see the map)

  • Latitude: -41.3369615545112
  • Longitude: 174.78705167770386


See [Sinclair Park on Google Maps.]