Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Tawhai Loop

Upper Hutt, Wellington

Submitted by Joe Benbow

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 11

Gnarl Factor: 36








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.2%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






If you're starting at the Horoeka St entrance, start by heading south east along the road, then turn left onto Tawhai St and join the track entrance at the top of the road. (Alternatively, you can park and start here, and do the road section last).

Follow the track up along the side of the stream and soon it will head steeply uphill. Good luck running up here, unless you're a mountain goat! You will more likely be hauling yourself up using tree trunks for leverage. There is a bench 2/3 of the way up with a nice lookout if you need a rest.

Eventually you will emerge at the top of the hill on a 4WD track. Turn left and enjoy the easy downhill run for about 2.3k, when you will come to a signpost pointing you left. Follow this single track down through the native bush, and at the next signpost, turn right for the last 1km past the fairy village and back out to where you started.

The reserve has mature areas of kahikatea bush within which nestle a wide range of native New Zealand species. The Horoeka loop at the end of the run also contains a fairy village, which will keep your little ones entertained.

Parking is available on Horoeka St and Tawhai St

7 km

9 minutes




Generally good.

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

None. Take what you need

Track can be slippery in places

The uphill section is VERY steep so ensure you have suitable footwear.
Dogs should be kept under control at all times as there is possum baiting in the area.

Trail Legend


Craig Thornley

has completed Tawhai Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Ran this in the described direction this time and it was even better! The steep uphill was fun and there were plenty of small trees to use as hand holds.

Richele McKenzie

January 13, 2021

Great find thanks Joe! I did this in reverse which meant a lovely easy uphill followed by a very steep descent holding tree to tree, then a very pleasant jog through the bush again.

Richele McKenzie

August 8, 2020

The elevation profile says it all. Ridiculously tough uphill but lovely run back down again. Another hidden gem in the burbs.

Joe Benbow

August 6, 2020

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