Last Updated: 22nd Nov 2023


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Norbett Creek Loop

Upper Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by Joe Benbow

Last Updated: 22nd Nov 2023


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Grunt Factor: 14 ?

Gnarl Factor: 30 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush


Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting at the campsite, cross the bridge and follow the track marked Pakuratahi River Walk, which is a gentle undulating track for about 1km. Ignore the left turn to the Ridge Track (that's covered in the "To Rivendell" route in the Directory). Turn right when you hit the road, then right again to explore the Rivendell area that was one of the film locations for the Lord Of The Rings film trilogy.

Once you're done exploring here, turn left and head back along the road the way you came, this time continuing all the way out to the Strainer House and across the bridge. You've then got a sweet run up through some historic native bush with some incredibly old and beautiful rata and rimu trees.

You'll soon pop out at the swingbridge which will take you back to the Rivendell car park. Head up the road and turn left, following the road then track out to Kaitoke weir which is worth the short detour. Head back along the track from the weir, then left into the camping area where you should see the sign for Norbett Creek route heading into the bush. Note: While the swingbridge is closed, an alternative is to run up the road to Rivendell and back, then do the swing bridge as an out and back.

After a small creek crossing, you then begin a monster climb uphill for about 1.5k (the gradient is as much as 50% in places). The track is technical but well formed and you should be fine as long as you keep following the orange triangles. Eventually, you'll pop out on the Catchment Road 4WD track with great views across the Tararuas on a fine day. Turn right here and enjoy a well-earned 3k run downhill to the campground and back to where you started.

There are many interesting features on this run - 1200 year old Rata and Rimu, the film location for the home of the elves in Lord of The Rings, and the Kaitoke weir which helps supply water to Wellington and the Hutt Valley

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Plenty of safe parking at the popular campground. Gates close at 9pm. No public transport.

15 km

16 minutes




When heading up the Norbett Creek track, make sure you follow the orange triangles

Very patchy.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map

Safe drinking water is available at Rivendell and Kaitoke campsites

The 4WD track is high and exposed so pack an extra layer just in case

The Norbett Creek track is very steep and rooty - watch your step!

Trail Legend

Raewyn Peters

Raewyn Peters

has completed Norbett Creek Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Another awesome Joe Benbow trail. This one has a mix of interesting sights, easy track and gnarly trail. We even spotted some keen Lord of the Rings fans dressed up and sword fighting. There's also the option to combine with "To Rivendell" for a longer adventure.

Richele McKenzie

November 21, 2023

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