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Bright Ridge Skyline Trail, Wellington

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Bright Ridge Skyline TrailBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe

Out and Back

Very hilly

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands
Open ridges/tops


2:00 (Slow)
1:15 (Moderate)
0:50 (Fast)



A large part of this track is on a working farm and there may be livestock.

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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.

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Features of interest

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

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 33%

Technical Single Track: 15%

Moderate Single Track: 6%

Easy Single Track: 12%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 32%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 2%

Route Data


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  • Access

    This track can be started at either end. This guide starts at the Southern end in Valley Road. At the end of the driveway for Number 65 Valley Road you will see a walkway pole. Get a park around here somewhere and walk up the driveway about 60m and you will see the sign for the walkway.

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

    2 km

    3 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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.

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