Last Updated: 26th Sep 2023


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Sugarloaf and Waterfalls Loop

Lower Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by Mick Finn

Last Updated: 26th Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 8

Gnarl Factor: 41








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the train station head north to the pedestrian bridge that takes you across the motorway where you cross the side road (Korokoro road) and follow a walking path north to Percy’s Reserve.

Head to the duck pond and from there to the lower dam - where the Waterfall track heads up the valley alongside the stream. The waterfall is a cool respite on a hot day and there is a faint track on the slope opposite that eventually sidles to the stream above Korokoro waterfall.

Follow the stream (not much track here) for approx 200m until you reach the Upper Dam. The Kohekohe Climb is signposted here and heads steadily up the hill (don't turn right at the Acacia Drive or Jasmine Drive turnoffs). Then there is a right turn up to Sugarloaf Rock for the pano views.

Return back to the track - called Bulldozer Track - and continue following it down to George Gee Drive. Follow it out to Akatea Rd and cross to Te Whiti Grove where a single track heads down into Galbraith Gully. Once the track reaches the stream it becomes a vague route, which is followed down right to the exit on Korokoro road and a short walk back to the pedestrian bridge and Petone Station.

Percy’s reserve contains lots of interesting historical features, and some great singletrack to run on as well as Korokoro waterfall.

At the top of the climb out of the reserve is Sugarloaf Rock with panoramic views of Wellington, and the track back to Petone Station includes the stream route through Galbraith Gully, a fun stretch that is not always runnable.

Ideal for public transport, i.e. train. Can park at the station if traveling by car, or park at Percy’s reserve.

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In Percy’s reserve head up the valley initially towards the duckpond. The tracks are signposted and there are occasional maps. At the waterfall you can see the track opposite it higher up, but the start is a bit vague. The Kohekohe Track up to Sugarloaf has a couple of right turnoffs to suburbia which could be confusing - just continue on the track until you see the Sugarloaf turnoff.

Generally good.

Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

Drinking water is available at Percy’s reserve. The stream water is likely very unsafe, because of suburban runoff as well as historic mining activities.

Ideal on a hot day when the streams are cool and pleasant to run. Not safe when the streams are high after rain.

Take care on the run down Galbraiths Gully and the track climbing around the waterfall and the stream above it.

Sprig and Fern
146 Jackson st, Petone
Courtyard out the back for a craft beer and pizza.

Trail Legend


Craig Thornley

has completed Sugarloaf and Waterfalls Loop 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I have got to say - not my most favourite route. Great example of NZ bush and gnarly trails but not very runnable. Tricky to navigate - particularly just after the waterfall where the bank on the other side of the stream has collapsed meaning you had to clamber up part of the waterfall. Most of the descent was down the stream bed with a very faint trail. I was lucky that it had not rained a lot recently....would have been very slippery and very wet feet. On the plus side it was very sheltered on an extremely windy day. I don't think the GPS route is totally accurate... I clocked in 4.6km and by comparison I went the same way, just the GPS route was very erratic which added in more km. I bet the engine does not match my run.

David Hosking

September 20

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