'A real issue' - Wellingtonians test walking home from city after an earthquake

Around 125 locals in the Wellington region have spent their Saturday practicing leaving the capital on foot in preparation for a major earthquake.

Civil Defence Wellington Region Emergency Management's Scott Dray told 1 NEWS getting out of the central city and getting resources into the city following a big earthquake is seen as a significant issue for the agency.

"We've got State Highway One and State Highway Two, but obviously our geography here means those routes can be quite easily knocked out. It doesn't give us a lot of alternatives other than perhaps some of the smaller streets as you head up through the back part of Wellington," Mr Dray said.

"It's going to be a real issue trying to get out of Wellington city because of all these chokepoints."

Long Walk Home was created by Kapiti Lions Club's Andrew Laing, with walks being held for the last two years.

"This really came about as a result of an earthquake, I think it was from about 2012, 2013. It was a bit of a shake and I thought, 'Well, Wellington's probably stuffed, I wonder how people are going to get home?'"

Mr Laing said the walking event shows people how challenging leaving the city on foot could be following a natural disaster.

"It's challenging and I think it does help your awareness and the need to be relatively fit in the event of such an emergency," he said.

Participants walked a distance of 25 kilometres from Wellington Railway Station to Ngatitoa Domain in Porirua today, with many walkers planning to take part in the second event tomorrow, which continues on from Porirua to Kāpiti.

One participant ran the event in less than three hours, while the rest of the group, including one firefighter in full uniform, completed the walk in around five hours.

The total distance for the walk is 50 kilometres.

Another walk is planned by the Rotary Club of Hutt Valley from Wellington Railway Station to Silverstream in the Hutt Valley.

Scott Dray said it could take people a few days to get home to Kāpiti Coast or the Wairarapa on foot, if they cannot stay with someone in the central city.

Getting tens of thousands of people out of the capital after an earthquake is a big worry for Civil Defence. Source: 1 NEWS