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Escarpment Track, Wellington

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Escarpment TrackBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Gary Crilley

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open farmlands

Beginner - Intermediate

3:00 (Slow)
2:15 (Moderate)
1:40 (Fast)



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This is part of the Te Araroa trail, recently opened, and it tracks the steep escarpment above State Highway One between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay. I've marked it as Point to Point as it can be run one way, but it's easier as a there-and-back, leaving a car at one end. The trail includes 500 steps each way (1000 in total for there and back) and some of it requires a good head for heights. Watch out for walkers, and there are absolutely no dogs or mountain bikes allowed.

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Features of interest

Views are incredible and if you're lucky you can even see whales off shore.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Park at the southern end of Ames Street. Trail start is under the bridge on State highway One, where there is no parking. Alternatively you can park at the Paekakariki Railway Station and run an extra kilometre to get to the trailhead. This track can be run in either direction, so parking at the Pukerua Bay end is also an option.

    This is either a there-and-back run or can be run one way using public transport. There is a railway station at each end of the track and trains run at least hourly, or more frequently during the week.

    1 km

    2 minutes



  • Staying Safe


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

    Hardest part is finding the beginning, which at Paekakariki is underneath the bridge on State Highway One, and at Pukerua Bay is at the old Muri Station. Signs from Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki stations guide you to the start. Once on it though, the trail is very well signposted and it's impossible to get lost as there are no deviations. But there also are no bail points, so the only way off is to continue to the end or go back to the start.

    Generally good.

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

    None. Take water with you as the climbs are brutal.

    Much of the track is narrow clay cut out of a very steep escarpment. After rain it can get slippery, and strong wind can be hazardous.

    Narrow track with sharp falls and no handrails. Watch out for walkers/runners coming the other way. Best to give way and not crowd others too close to the drop. Descending steep steps requires concentration.

  • Post run indulgence

    Beach Road Deli
    Beach Road, Paekakariki
    Good seats outside and great coffee

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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