Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Bell Hill Loop

Napier, Hawkes Bay

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 14 ?

Gnarl Factor: 33 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open farmlands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







Pretty straightforward trail, however there are options. Leave the carpark up the main trail, straight away you are climbing and will be warmed up in no time. This is lovely typical NZ bush trail, some wonderful old trees and amazing ferns, large and small. Steep in sections and easier in others.

At around 2km you will pop out of the bush onto farmland (a couple of stiles to climb over) and slightly further you come to an intersection. Turn left towards Bell Rock (there is a sign). From here you have about 1.3km to Bell Rock with a couple of nasty up and downs.

Once you have reached the rock, after being amazed by the views through the farmland, be prepared to be blown away by the stunning rocks, both Bell Rock and those around it. After you have had your fill, back track to the intersection and then follow the 4WD/Farm track to the left. This takes you along the ridge with many more opportunities to see more rock formations and views, plus a sacred Maori bird burial sport (yes for real) and skirt the edge of some pest fencing.

Eventually you will reach the road, turn right and about 500m down the gravel road is the carpark.

Great views and some astounding rock formations

Reasonable amount of roadside parking

61 km

67 minutes




If you are keen to run it all - or as much as possible - it may pay to do it anticlockwise... run up the road, into the top entry and up the ridge, returning down the other track.


Waterproof leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map

No water to be had. Take your own.

The farm area could get quite slippery in the wet and it could get very very cold at over 1000m elevation on a cold winter's day.

Slip hazards on the farmland hills and fall hazards around Bell Rock and surrounds, care needed.

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Trail Reviews

Fantastic and quite unique - drive there not so much!

Rob Holm

February 20

Lovely run, mixed terrain with fantastic end/turnaround. Well worth it for the views!

Mike Faulkner

February 22, 2022

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