Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Bright Ridge Skyline Trail

Paraparaumu, Wellington

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 14 ?

Gnarl Factor: 55 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe

Out and Back

Very hilly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open farmlands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.5%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







Once you have found a park and proceeded along the driveway to the sign you will start on a lovely bit of gravel trail and think 'this is ok'... well it lasts about 40m until you reach a stile into a paddock.

Once in the paddock head left over the streamlet and up the track - not up the fenceline! At the top of that first wee climb there is a walkway pole so you know you are heading the right way. Just past that a farm track heads off to the right - ignore this as its not the way to go & instead head off down the wider grass track to the left and eventually you will find another pole

A bit further on you will reach a fence line - don't go over the gate, instead turn right and start the slog to the top of the hill. Once there you do go through the gate and just after that you will hit a 4WD track and you follow that for the next 1.2km or so until you reach a road.

Turn right and cross the road and take the first driveway (about 40m up the road). This starts out as 4WD track again and turns into pretty cruisey single trail until you reach the top of Barry Badfield Nikau Reserve. If you want to save your legs some wicked down and uphill then turn here (but you wont get to tick the trail as being done lol). Firstly you will go down a set of large wooden steps. Then, just before the second set of steps as the true bush starts, there is a trail off to the right. It almost looks abandoned but it's not. Follow that and it will take you on a lovely technical downhill, still with lots of steps as it is a steep hill, but eventually it will spit you out on a much better quality track at the bottom. Follow this past the track labelled Lookout and you will come out on the other end carpark by SH1.

Turn around and head back to the 'Lookout' sign and head up that way, this is a much more well-formed trail than the downhill, but still steep and a bit of a slog. Once at the top you retrace your steps to the start.

Great views over Kapiti Island and Paraparaumu and surrounding coastline. Nikau Bush is full of its namesake Nikau Palm and is lovely.

Parking is minimal at this end, although there is more at the northern end.

2 km

3 minutes




The toughest bit to navigate was the first kilometre, read carefully my description and you will be fine.

Generally good.

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

Other than at the very start and end there is no water on the course

The first big hill through the farmland would be quite dangerous both up and down in wet muddy conditions. The downhill trail in Nikau Reserve would be treacherous as well... although you could go both down and up the Lookout Trail.

Livestock, steep up and downhills.

Trail Legend

Trevor  Rowe

Trevor Rowe

has completed Bright Ridge Skyline Trail once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Bright Ridge Skyline Trail

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Horrible farm section saved by amazing Nikau loop. I'd happily just loop the forest. The cattle were very stubborn had to jump the fence. Defo not recommended when wet.

Tony Sharpe

August 7, 2023

This trail has a bit of everything....farmland 4WD tracks (watch out for the cowpats!), steep climbs, flat fast sections with a great view over Paraparaumu and out to Kapiti island, steep descending technical single trail and steep sections of steps through native bush. It is an out and back, climbs are steep but not especially long. It also has bovine friends that actually stopped me from getting past in the first 500m without a wide detour. All good fun, but the views are stellar if you take the time to appreciate them.

David Hosking

October 24, 2022

A nice quiet, off road/trail run. Close to town yet your running through the middle of farmland with amazing views overlooking the town. A good mixture of steep unrunnable hills (for me at least) and rolling runnable hills - a great track for hill training when short on time. Timings wise most trails on here I am in between Intermediate & novice, however for this run I completed in 55mins.

John Alexander

August 11, 2019

Dog friendly trail but they must be kept on lead at all times. The only tricky bit was negotiating the steep steps through the Reserve with two very excited dogs. Mine are also a little unskilled at getting over stiles. There is a bowl with extra water at the first lookout. Lovely views from this course and the Nikau Reserve was very cool.

Richele McKenzie

May 14, 2019

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Other trails nearby
Waikanae River & Estuary

Waikanae River & Estuary

Length: 13.5km

Level: Beginner

Mounting Maunganui

Mounting Maunganui

Length: 11.6km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Kapiti Island Loop

Kapiti Island Loop

Length: 6.8km

Level: Intermediate

The Big Wainui Loop

The Big Wainui Loop

Length: 28.2km

Level: Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby