Last Updated: 29th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done

A Touch of Spicer

Porirua, Wellington

Submitted by Joe Benbow

Last Updated: 29th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 15 ?

Gnarl Factor: 21 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







A shorter, more sheltered option for those not wanting to hit Colonial Knob summit, with lots of beautiful flowing single-track (if you can excuse the brief smelly bit by the landfill!)

Starting at the car park, follow the signs for Te Ara Tai Tonga which will take you across the road and up a winding trail, bringing you out close to Trash Palace after 1.6k. Keep heading up the trail, past the colourful wizard, and through a short section of single-track, and after the Spicer Forest sign on your right, you'll pop out on the sealed road that leads up from the landfill. You might have to hold your nose for this bit...

Head up the road, which soon becomes gravel, and continue bearing left at the top (signposted Ohariu Valley Road). This is about 2.9k in. Follow the gravel road down a further 600m until you see a narrow track heading down to the right. Great berry-picking here! Take this down for 0.5k through the forest to the gate at the bottom. Once through the gate, turn right and follow the Te Araroa trail up through Spicer Forest.

This section of the TA is very pretty with lots of bridges and easy to navigate with the yellow dots. Just watch out for mountain bikes as this is a 2-way trail. At around 5.4k, you'll come to a fork where you stay left to continue up through the forest. At 6.3k, you'll come to the highest point of the run and a set of steps over the fence to your left pointing to Colonial Knob. Don't take these but instead continue straight ahead down the grassy hill and the large green DoC Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve sign.

You're now on Seven Pines Track which takes you steeply back down to Spicer Botanical Park. At the bottom, keep left (you could alternatively head back to the car park from here if you wanted to cut things short) and follow the Doctor track past the reservoir, up the zig-zags and keeping left when it joins Boundary Road. Don't go down Tumeke (bikes only) but continue up Boundary Road then turn right at the top when it joins Farm Road (4wd track) and follow this down to the bottom of the hill. Turn right at the bottom and follow Spicer Link (marked with green dots) the last couple of km back to the car park. Look out for the famous fairy houses and Smurf Corner as you go!

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Well used car park on a busy road. Not that many spaces so you may need to park on the main road at busy times

4 km

7 minutes




Generally good.

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

There are a few creeks but they're below the farm runoff so best to take with you what you think you'll need

Spicer Forest tracks can get pretty muddy throughout the year but especially after rain

Take care crossing Broken Hill Road at the start, and watch out for mountain bikes as most of the trails are 2-way

Trail Legend


Todd Woods

has completed A Touch of Spicer 4 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Good trail. Not too muddy after heavy rain. Descent down Doctor can be a bit steep and slippy in places.

Suzanne Clarke

August 14, 2023

Good allround mix of trail - good runnable hills and good gradients with enough roots and rocks to train downhill running.
There is CURRENTLY a sign that says "Trail Working Party" right by the entrance to the trail off the gravel road but don't know how long it will be there - dont turn off early and convince yourself the sea of blackberries is actually a trail - the 600M comment seems to be about right

Bradley Houghton

January 3, 2022

A good mix of trail types for 12km.

Richele McKenzie

November 13, 2021

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