Last Updated: 10th Feb 2024


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Arcus Dam Track

Otaki, Wellington

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 10th Feb 2024


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 17 ?

Gnarl Factor: 38 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +19.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -19.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







April 2021: current access is via a temporary alternative route - see here for details. 

This is an easy one (for the most part)... just follow the large well-formed track. You climb near on 100m in the first 500m of trail, but then it levels off. There are several small (tiny really) stream crossings, but nothing to get you too wet. After about 600m you will come to some steps on the right of the trail. The sign on the bottom step says "Emergency Access Route" - ignore this! Instead, right opposite the steps is another trail going downhill to the "Remote Hut Site". Take this!

It is a largely roped trail that takes you down a couple of hundred metres of gnarly track to an old hut site with a loo and a bit of a bivvy. After checking out the hut turn around and head back up to the main trai. Turn left and carry on to the Dam/Waterfall.

Once you have taken a few pics, retrace your steps (no need to go down to the hut again if you did it on the way up though!)

Lots of small waterfalls, impressive after a couple of days of rain. Plus a large waterfall caused by the Dam which is very cool.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

There is a nice wee carpark that would hold about 8 to 10 cars at a push.

16 km

21 minutes




Just be a little careful down to and past the old Hut site... keep the orange triangles in sight.


Waterproof leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Lots of side streamlets for water

I was there after 2 to 3 days to rain, the track was a bit slushy but very runnable

A couple of the slips you need to be careful and the trail down to and up from the Hut Site requires care.

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Trail Reviews

I enjoyed this little track immensely. You can tell its lovingly cared for and theres so much to see along the way. Didnt try out the teepee toilet this time though.The sign said to call or txt for landowner permission and as there wasnt any cellphone coverage I popped down the road to check that it was all ok. Dont forget to take a couple of dollars koha - its definitely worth it.

Richele McKenzie

July 1, 2020

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