The name Khandallah means ‘resting place of the gods’ – and the people who live here reckon they’re in paradise thanks to the sun, views, birds and bush surrounding them.
Khandallah is a suburb of hills and valleys northeast of Wellington, about 4.5km from the capital city’s CBD. Its proximity to the city, not to mention its good schools, parks, sporting facilities and other amenities, means this tranquil and green area is popular with families and professionals.
The median value of homes in Khandallah was rated at $765,950 and the median rent was $475 a week, according to a September 2015 report by Quotable Value.
Khandallah is well-known for its public parks and green spaces, which are a magnet for walkers, runners, buggy-pushers and picnickers.
The area is well-served by public transport, with regular buses and trains providing easy access to the city and beyond.
British settlers started farming and living in Khandallah in the 1840s. The suburb is said to have been named by a British Army officer who was inspired by his time in India, though history cannot agree who. Some say it was Captain James Andrew, who gifted the land for Khandallah Homestead (which was built on the corner of Burma Rd and Kim St in 1884). Captain Andrew also gifted the land for Khandallah Railway Station, which opened in 1885. However, another officer, Captain Edward Battersbee, who had also spent time in India and lived in the area earlier, is sometimes credited with naming the suburb.
Khandallah’s first streets were named after families who settled in the area, but many were changed to reflect the links with India in the 1920s. Many of those early buildings have since disappeared, but the area has many other notable places of more recent history. The Khandallah Town Hall in Khandallah Village is still well-used by the community, a century after it was erected. The Khandallah Telephone Exchange, built in 1921, is the second oldest exchange of its kind still standing in New Zealand. It was decommissioned in the 1980s and is now the home of the Onslow Historical Society.
One of Khandallah’s most famous and recognisable homes is the ‘Athfield House’,
that sprawls down the hillside facing the harbour. The house, designed by renowned Wellington architect the late Ian Athfield as his home and studio, was begun in 1965 and is a fantastical mixture of styles and building materials.
Khandallah’s most famous natural landmark is Mt Kaukau, which at 445m is the highest point overlooking Wellington harbour. Mt Kaukau, also known as Tarikaka, is topped with a 122m transmission mast. It’s popular with walkers, sightseers and mountain bikers.