Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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Te Whiti Firebreak Calf Burn

Lower Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by Cate Shave

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 13 ?

Gnarl Factor: 31 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







Start the run on the Te Whiti Riser Trail, but as soon as it crosses the Firebreak take that option (it will be to your left and be much steeper and less-formed, whereas you'll see the Riser Trail carry on a gentle gradient). Follow the Firebreak all the way to the top, and then turn right and continue along the ridgeline to the south, the lookout where the radio towers and hang gliding launch are.

Backtrack along the ridgeline to the north, until you hit the elevated picnic spot about 20m past the second exit for the Riser trail. You can enjoy more views into the valleys either side from here. Then backtrack 20m south and enter the Te Whiti Riser trail, and follow this back to the valley floor and your starting point.

Great views of Wellington Harbour, Matiu/Somes Island, and the Wainuiomata and Hutt Valleys.

There is parking for about 8 cars in a small carpark just by the footbridge, plus plenty of street parking. The #121 bus route has stops nearby, at the corner of Riverside Drive and Guthrie Street.

3 km

6 minutes




The entrance to the Te Whiti Riser trail is well marked at each end, and the firebreak only goes one way - straight up!!

Perfect throughout.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

At about 6km there's a small waterfall you'll pass when heading back down the Te Whiti Riser trail, but otherwise take your own water.

If it's windy or wet, it would be very cold up on the ridgelines. If there's been a fair amount of rain the tracks will be muddy and slippery.

The Firebreak is very steep at points (up to 40% gradient) and would be slippery if wet, so take care with foot placement.

Trail Legend


Richard Tumaliuan

has completed Te Whiti Firebreak Calf Burn twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Really nice option thanks for this one! agree is best dry....

Tony Sharpe

November 16

Super hard climb...very slippery without trail shoes. Would be impossible in the wet. Great fun rolling descent...again really needed more grippy shoes. Super views over the harder at the Paraglider launch point.

David Hosking

December 7, 2021

Don’t start/finish your run at the Te Whiti riser start point, make sure you start at the intersection of Guthrie St and Riverside Drive, and go across the little bridge behind the cricket nets.
It’s a pretty tough but shortish climb, only about 2km worth, great view of wellington and Lower Hutt from the top, and the downhill bomb to the finish is super fun!

Richard Sinclair

October 26, 2021

Excellent workout on the hill up, but was very rocky and slippery especially on top. Recommend your grippiest shoes for this one! Spectacular views from the top and a nice descent back through the bush

Joe Benbow

August 26, 2020

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