Last Updated: 12th Jan 2024


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King and Queen of the Withers

Blenheim, Marlborough

Submitted by Philip Taylor

Last Updated: 12th Jan 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 13

Gnarl Factor: 9








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting out at the Rifle Range car park take the 4WD track that runs along and adjacent to the road Forest Park Drive to where it meets the bottom of the Lower Quail Stream Track (where there is a car park and a toilet) and then take the small bridge on the right over the stream and then right again to join the Forest Hills walking track. Carry on looking out for a sharp left turn (after about 1km) onto the Short Loop Track which goes straight up the hill. This is the start of the climb.

After a short while you gain the Rotary Lookout (aka 'the witches hat') and then you follow the prominent ridge onto Twin Tanks Walk past Janes Seat and onto Taylor View Track. Keep on climbing until you reach the intersection of Reservoir Ridge Track (just past the junction of Upper Quail Stream Track). Now time for the descent.

Follow this towards a copse of trees further down the ridge. As you go alongside these, and once a reservoir comes into view, look out for a sharp left to join the Upper Harling Track. Enjoy the sometimes steep descent until you meet the main farm park access track (at the top of the Lower Harling Park Track). Take a left here and down the hill until you are back at the car park at the top of Forest Park Drive (the end of the Lower Quail Stream Track). Once there, cross over the small bridge and turn right, as before, and carry on down the Forest Hills walking track but this time charge past the turn off to go back up the hill and carry on this track until the Rifle Range car park comes into view. Stay on this track until almost in line with the car park, then go through the gate, over the boardwalk bridge and to the finish.

5 km

8 minutes




Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Cellphone, Map.

There is availability of water at the following locations:
* Rifle Range car park.
* The Rotary Lookout.
* At the junction of the Taylor View Track and the Reservoir Ridge Track.

There isn't much in terms of vegetation on the route when climbing so can be exposed to wind, sun and rain.

Trail Legend

Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor

has completed King and Queen of the Withers once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

This is a nice loop with great views. Take care during summer as the fire risk is pretty high. There is water at the lookout and also at the very top of the run.

Ian Buunk

January 18, 2018

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