Last Updated: 20th May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Full Wellington Skyline Trail

Lower Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by David Haunschmidt

Last Updated: 20th May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 18 ?

Gnarl Factor: 19 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







Very well signposted trail heads at Old Coach Road in Johnsonville and Makara Saddle in Karori with purple markers to follow throughout the trail.

Main peaks easily visible along the skyline. There are many entry and exit points along the way. There are no toilet or water facilities along this walkway. 

Directional signage and purple markers to keep you on track for the entire route. There can be animal grazing in the area.

Please leave gates as you find them. Dogs to be kept on a leash at all times while using this track. Unleashed dogs may frighten stock or ground nesting birds.

This dual-use track runs north and south along the ridge between Old Coach Road in Johnsonville and Makara Saddle in Karori, over Wellington's ridge tops above the Outer Green Belt, including Mākara Peak, Mount Kaukau, The Crows Nest, Kilmister Tops, and Johnston Hill.

The terrain can be challenging and exposed in places, with plenty of steep undulations, but you'll be rewarded with skyward views across the entire Wellington region. On a clear day, views of the Kaikoura ranges, the Marlborough Sounds, Wellington city and harbour, and the Tararua and Orongorongo ranges.

Johnsonville: Johnsonville Library (limited opening hours), Alex Moore Park. Karori end: Karori Park.

Free parking at trailhead or on street.

0 km

0 minutes




Just follow the purple markers.

Perfect throughout.

Lightweight fleece top, Windproof jacket, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

No water fill ups or adequate streams along the route.

Exposed to Wellington wind. Can be muddy after rain.

The Pickle Jar
The Pickle Jar, 5 Parkvale Road, Karori, Wellington 6012
Great Burgers

Trail Legend

Richele McKenzie

Richele McKenzie

has completed Full Wellington Skyline Trail twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Fun extension to my "normal" skyline route which either starts at the Khandallah pool or Makara road. The route from Johnsonville is less steep than from Khandallah and a nicer way to get to KauKau. Also I discovered if you want to "peak bag" the KauKau trig you need to veer off the trail by about 300m. Great views the whole way!

David Hosking

December 12

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

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