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Mounting Maunganui, Wellington

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Mounting MaunganuiBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Gary Crilley

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote


Very hilly

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

2:30 (Slow)
2:00 (Moderate)
1:30 (Fast)



Parts of the track are popular with mountain bikers. Keep a wary eye out – it's steep and they will come down fast.

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Cross the creek and head straight up the valley, following a quad bike track. Do not turn right and go up the steep gravel road. Take the sharp left turn after 600m and head up through the bush for 1km until you see a track on the left, heading north. The turnoff is not signposted but is fairly obvious.

Take the track up a steep valley almost due north. At the next T junction take the left track (right leads to Mt Titi.) The track turns right and east once you reach the ridge. Follow this ridge all the way to the Maunganui peak. There are several open spaces on the mountain offering great views, but also wind exposure. The climbing track has been obvious, but once past the peak it can get a little confusing. It’s generally best to follow the footprints in the mud, but be aware that some offshoots leave the track to visit lookout spots. There is one vague track that branches right and heads down into the valley to the east. Keep in mind that you’re heading pretty much due north.

Roughly 2km past the peak, the track divides. This route is the left hand, more travelled, route. Note that if you carry on, you will end up in the same location, just taking a longer ridge. What follows is a very steep descent through a variety of bush and forest, including the one of the largest nei-nei tracts you’ve ever seen. At the bottom are some massive trees, including rimu that somehow survived the axe. Stay on this bearing through the forest. There are tracks in all directions, but you need to head downstream in order to cross the river to the road. Any shortcuts are likely to be met with a wall of blackberry.

Once on the gravel Maungakotukutuku Road, it’s 2.6km back to the start.

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Features of interest

On the steep descent from Maunganui, through native bush, you will find several strands of fence wire partially buried in the ground. Somebody, probably during the depression, obviously built a fence right to the top.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 78%

Gravel Road: 22%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Start point is where the gravel begins on Maungakotukutuku Road. From Wellington, turn off SH1 at MacKays Crossing and follow Emerald Glen Road, Waterfall Road to Valley Road. Turn right on to Maungakotukutuku Road and go over the hill.
    From Paraparaumu, cross the railway tracks and head up Ruapehu St until it becomes Valley Road. Keep going and turn left on Maungakotukutuku Road.

    There's parking on the sides of the road. If you have a 4WD vehicle you can cross the creek to a large parking area (and avoid getting your feet wet at the start).

    7 km

    11 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Most of the track is straightforward. The two points of interest are the turnoff 1.6km from the start. This is a hole in the bush on the left of a quad bike track and can be missed. The second is once over the peak where there is the odd branching from the track, and due to confusion, most of these branches have footprints where others have taken the wrong turn.


    Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Creeks at the start, but none on the mountain.

    Snow possible in winter, very muddy at the top for 11 months of the year.

    Mountain bikes, motorbikes at the road ends.

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