Last Updated: 4th Dec 2023

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Belmont Tadpole Loop

Lower Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by Conon Ford

Last Updated: 4th Dec 2023

Beginner

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I've done it Done

Notice More info

Grunt Factor: 21

Gnarl Factor: 35

14.1km

545m

545m

456m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Combo

Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup

20%
40%
20%
20%

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.1%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

2:15

Slow

1:45

Moderate

1:15

Fast

As soon as you cross the small footbridge, you are on your way. You follow the Korokoro stream for the next 2.5km, crossing it several times on purpose built footbridges. This is a shared public track, so be aware and courteous to fellow walkers, runners, bikers and the occassional dog. Dogs are required to be on the lead at all times. They are used to runners and others being on the track but is still a good idea to announce your arrival if approaching people/dogs from behind. Your last bridge crossing for a while leads you straight to the fork that signals left for the trig or straight ahead to the dam.

Take a hard left and prepare yourself for a 'fairly gentle' climb for about 700m (distance not elevation!) to Baked Beans Bend. For those that want a bit of a rest, this is a good place. You can explore a small track that takes you down to the stream, or just catch your breath before the start of the main climb. A few hundred metres into this climb, you will see a signposted track that leads off to the left. Don't follow that. Stay on the main track. That track takes you another (steeper) way up to the trig or up to the roads of Horokiwi. So carry on up the track which is beautifully surrounded by native bush and birdsong. On a hot, sunny day this is a very welcome relief from the heat and also sheltered during wetter days.

After a while, you will come out onto open track that is exposed to all elements so be prepared if travelling in cooler weather as it can get windy and cold up here pretty quick. The climb is mostly made up of zig zag tracks so it isn't too much further before you emerge from a grass covered soft trail and spy the summit and the trig. Selfie time. You've earned it.

After a quick breather, or snack, follow the trail north as it zig zags down and inbetween a small patch of trees. Again, here you will see a sign that says Bridleway path. This is that steep track that takes you back down towards Baked Beans Bend. Avoid that and go straight ahead. You will come to one of many information boards scattered throughout Belmont Regional Park that tells you where you are. You want to be following the wide 4WD track down towards Stratton Street.

This is a great downhill run if your legs are up to it, but keep an eye out for the turn off sign on your right about two thirds of the way down as it is here where you enter the bush to make your way to the dam. There are lots of steps - about 200 - and they all go down. .. well, almost all of them! You will get to a small bridge, work your way around a bend in the stream and then up and out of this small valley via yet another zig zag climb.

Once again, you will come to a fork in the track indicating right to the dam, or straight ahead to Oakleigh Street. Go right. Another sweet and fast downhill will have you at the top of the steps leading to the dam in a few minutes. Make sure you go down and check out the dam. See if you can spot the eel. Cross the narrow footbridge and head south along the stream track. Look out for those old water pipes, and also be aware of rocks and tree roots. A rolled ankle can easily happen along here.

After a kilometre or so, you will pass the Baked Beans Bend turn off and cross the bridge again. Now you're in familiar territory so enjoy the views and this sometimes narrow trail as you head downstream and back to your start point. I hoped you enjoyed it.

The area you are entering is a very special place. The first 3.5km along the Korokoro stream, and then the uphill to Baked Beans Bend, was one of two major routes used by early Maori that linked the Wellington and Porirua harbours. You will pass a smaller dam about 2km into your journey, and again as you head back to the start. This was used to control water for the woollen mills that were once located at the Cornish street entrance.

Tramping clubs climbed up to the Belmont trig as far back as the 1920s, and the historic Korokoro Dam was built to supply water to the Petone borough back in 1903. As you run back along the stream track towards Cornish Street, you are following the original pipes so make sure to watch your step as these are becoming more visible (and tripable) as the years go by. Fantails, tui and kereru are some of many birds you will hear and see throughout this route. Rabbits are frequently seen up near the trig and ducks inhabit the stream towards Cornish. There is also a large eel that lives in the pool at the base of the Korokoro dam. So as you can see, this is a special location so close to everything that offers a challenging but enjoyable walk or run.

Parking is available at the entrance but these are in high demand during the day time. It is better to park on the left (SH2) side of Pito-One Road. If doing this trail on a week day, you may be competing with work vehicles that use many of the industrial buildings in this area. If arriving by train, hop off at Petone Station and cross the pedestrian overbridge to Pito-One Road. Head south for about 600 metres to the intersection with Cornish Street.

6 km

8 minutes

Yes

No

Moderate.

Generally good.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

Take your own water. Even though you are beside a quite pretty stream for most of this trip, I would recommend you avoid unless absolutely necessary and then only from the stream area below Baked Beans Bend.

It can get very windy and cold up on top by the trig, so take another top or light jacket for extra warmth. Coming back through the bush to the dam, it can get quite slippery after heavy rain, especially of those 200 steps, so watch your step.

Anywhere along Jackson Street
Petone
There are loads of cafes, restaurants and bars along Jackson Street. My favourites would be Caffiend for coffee and light food, Sprig & Fern for beer and Siam Spoon for awesome Thai.

Trail Legend

Bill Emmens

Bill Emmens

has completed Belmont Tadpole Loop 4 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Fantastilly close to public transport. Petone train station is less than a km from the trial head

Emma Dryland

October 19

Very enjoyable. Good grind up to Belmont Trig but all completely runnable and relatively non technical trail. The descent after the Trig is very rapid 4WD track which is why it is easy to miss the turnoff back to the start point. The trail after the 4WD track is highly technical for a couple of kms through beautiful NZ bush until it hits a new track which is well maintained. This is a bit confusing as the GPX file takes a slightly different and longer route than the new trail, but it is impossible to follow the old trail. There is a great waterfall and a lovely but muddy singletrack following the river back to the earlier Baked Beans turnoff. Great Run!!

David Hosking

October 24, 2022

Even in the biting cold and rain, I loved this. Lots of variety and the highlight for me was coming down through the bush with the stream at your side and the sound of birdsong in the air. I initially missed the turnoff from the 4WD track so watch out for this, and a couple of times in the bush the GPX seemed to want to send me off-track but that could have been my watch. Unfortunately there was no view at the top today, just a whiteout, so I shall have to return!

Joe Benbow

September 2, 2020

What Anne said! This trail has something for everyone - bush, grasslands, streams, steady tracks. The view from the trig is breathtaking!

Karen Spencer

June 14, 2020

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