Colonial Knob - All the HillsBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Jacqui Haggland
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Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestOpen farmlands
Beginner - Intermediate
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Climbing the biggest hill in Porirua, lovingly known as 'the Knob', this figure 8 run gives you plenty of opportunity to test your up and down hill legs on all sorts of terrain.
Start with the farm road, a 4.7km slog that'll see you climb 425m over that distance. Be prepared to hike unless you're an elite, and it's a great place to practice using poles (or training for the Tip Track marathon.) Most people stop at the top of the 4wd track at the building, but carry on past the 'false summit' to the trig which you’ll see slightly south for true views over West Wind Makara.
From here you hit the real farmland and follow the blue poles (usually lying down) and Te Araroa signs to Spicer Forest for a lovely bit of single track. After about 1.5km you’ll see a track veer off to the left which will bring you out onto Turbine Road above the landfill (you'll know you're there because of the smell). Turn left for a short road section to join Victory Link and the Te Ara Tai Tonga to take you to Spicer Botanical park.
From there head up The Doctor back to that lovely 4wd track which you head back up for 1.5km (ish) to the Lookout before heading down Te Utiwai. On the weekends this last trail is very busy with mountain bikers going uphill (it's one way for them) so make sure you're alert and courteous. Bonus is when you can smell the chocolate from the nearby Whittakers factory.
Features of interest
Stunning views over western Wellington and south to the Sounds and Kaikoura Ranges. North you can see Mana and Kapiti Islands and on a really clear day you may even see Mt Taranaki.
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 66%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 33%
Sealed Road: 1%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
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Camp Elsdon Carpark, Raiha Street, Porirua
Good parking, although it's a popular spot so you'll often have to park on Raiha Street. It's a busy through road so safe. Also, there's security cameras looking at the car park if you park there at night.
As you come down from the Trig into the farmland it can be easy to lose the intended path as the blue poles which act as signs are usually knocked over. This is especially a concern if there's low cloud as visibility can be scarce.
Follow the Te Araroa signs into Spicer Forest, about a km in the road forks. This track takes the left fork to come out onto Turbine Road behind the landfill (smelly). If you miss it and go all the way to the end of that bush track, go out onto Ohariu Valley Road and the turbine road starts down the hill a bit on the left (there's often cars parked there). From the end of the Turbine Road you're on the mountain bike tracks - Victory Link and Te Ara Tai Tonga to Spicer Botanical Park, then take the Doctor back to the Farm Road before turning left back up the hill to the Lookout at the top of Te Utiwai.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No places to get water so make sure you take enough, especially if it's hot.
Funnily enough it gets quite windy up there and the temperature drops quickly if there's low cloud.
If you're not a bovine fan you might not like the curious cows by the 4wd track, but they're harmless, just walk past them if they're right next to the path. The bigger danger is slipping over in the sheep poo once you get onto the farm proper!
Post run indulgence
Get Fixed cycle cafe
16 Parumoana Street, Porirua
Most of these trails are built by local mountain bikers and Get Fixed are great supporters of them so it's a good way to give back. Also, their food and coffee is great and they have bean bags for lying around outside relaxing after your run.
If the weather means you're not keen on lazing around outside, then head for Kaizen for a big feed followed by a touch of culture visiting Pataka museum and gallery.
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