Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Soil Bureau

Lower Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by Daniel Bowbyes

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


I've done it Done

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Grunt Factor: 14

Gnarl Factor: 73





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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the back of the Taita College sports field follow an old path up to the water tower at the top of the hill. Take a right and follow an old access road till you get to an old broken water tank and grass area at the top of the ridge.

Take a left on to the old Soil Bureau track. This can be quite over grown in places and is not well marked so keep a keen eye to ensure you are following the main trail. About 3/4 of the way along this track you will come to an intersection with a sign pointing to Stokes Valley, keep going straight ahead till you get to the ECNZ maintenance road.

Take a Right and follow the ECNZ road for about 1km and then turn right on to the Link track to Rata Street Loop track. Follow this track down to Rata St.

Follow the old Soil Bureau track through the back of Naenae, its a hard scramble but lovely bush setting.

There is plenty of parking on the street or you can park in Naenae and turn the run in to a loop

10 km

12 minutes




Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

The old Soil Bureau track is over grown and can be hard to follow in some places.

Perfect throughout.

Short-sleeved thermal top, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

No water on track

Slippy in winter

Some sections are very steep and when slippy you can take a tumble.

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Trail Reviews

I now understand the meaning of "gnarly". The first couple of kms are a steady uphill following well formed track. There were a couple of slips that had knocked over some trees and in patches overgrown gorse partially blocked the track. Then it really got difficult. The Soil bureau track is unmarked and very overgrown with long grass, chest high cutty grass, gorse and other foliage making the going quite tough. The trail itself was undulating with some steep pinches up and down. The heavy rain made it slippery and extra slow with some of the track turned into running streams. The ECNZ four wheel drive track provided brief respite and then there was a steep decent to Rata street via a fully formed creek and a lot of slippery steps. I lost the trail once and was pretty happy I had the GPS to follow on my phone. All in all it is a very pretty track and a good way to experience back country type trails within a couple of km of civilisation at all times. In the heat of summer the foliage would give great cover from the sun. Today was wet - next time I will choose a time when it has been dry for a patch. The time indicators are pretty accurate. I foolishly assumed they were wrong!

David Hosking

November 27, 2022

This was way gnarlier than I was expecting. I also did this in reverse, and if I didn't have the gpx on my watch would have got hopelessly lost. The Soil Bureau track is unmarked and very overgrown making it very easy to go off track. Very beautiful though. This definitely isn't a beginner trail despite the yellow colour, and I would probably recommend not doing alone if you don't feel safe in remote areas. Couldn't face returning the same way so grinded back along the road.

Joe Benbow

October 22, 2020

Gnarly little trail but very enjoyable. I did this in reverse after parking in Rata Street. Just make sure you keep a look out for the little track to the Trig as it would be easy to miss. I popped out on the school field in the middle of lunchtime so perhaps weekends would be a better time to run this.

Richele McKenzie

August 29, 2020

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