Last Updated: 23rd Mar 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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Colonial Knob - All the Hills

Porirua, Wellington

Submitted by Jacqui Haggland

Last Updated: 23rd Mar 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 22 ?

Gnarl Factor: 15 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







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.

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.

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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.

2 km

4 minutes




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.

Perfect throughout.

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!

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.

Kaizen cafe
Porirua Library/Pataka
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.

Trail Legend

Richele McKenzie

Richele McKenzie

has completed Colonial Knob - All the Hills twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Beautiful variety of open countryside with stunning views, combined with native forest. I mistakenly turned left, instead of right, at Spicer Forest, missing out 2km, but by doing so missed the landfill & enjoyed some gorgeous forest.

Sarah Lee

May 13, 2023

Fabulous track with tonnes of variety. You can feel miles up up on the ridge and the bush tracks were in great condition when I went. For navigation, note that the Farm Track doesn’t actually start at the carpark (you need to run down Raiha St a bit - I took the track from the carpark and ended up on the 710 steps of the Colonial Walkway instead!). When you get to Spicer Forest turn right. The road you run on after the forest section is Broken Hill Road (not Turbine Road) and this goes down to the tip. You will also need to follow the Tūmeke track at the end of The Doctor before you regain Farm Road for the second time.

Karen Spencer

April 30, 2021

A nice mix of trails and and great way to get some hill work in. Stunning views on a good day. I was having such a lovely time on the Spicer Forest downhill that I missed the turnoff and added 3km to my run - so worth it though.

Richele McKenzie

March 11, 2021

Great route in my local stoping ground. Thanks Jacqui - I usually avoid going up the 4WD track but the lure of some Wild Things explorer points and FKT saw me tackle it for my Sunday run. Lots of varied terrain and elevation make it a good all round training run for events. The final 6km decent down Te Utiwai comes as a relief...or opportunity to push for time if you're chasing that FKT :-)

Sarah Haerewa

August 2, 2020

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