Last Updated: 18th Apr 2024


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The Whole Hemi

Last Updated: 18th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 15 ?

Gnarl Factor: 60 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -18.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting at Tui Cres head up the driveway to the water tanks and join the signposted Parata Track that climbs steeply up to the main ridge. The track is steep but well gravelled. There is no let up on the gradient. Once you reach the fenceline at the top the track becomes the Te Au Route. Shortly there is access to a lookout point with good view over Waikanae and the coast (including Kapiti Island). Beyond this the track is rough and you'll be reliant on the orange DOC triangles in places to follow the trail. The track undulates for a while before dropping steeply down to Huia St.

Turn left from the track exit onto Huia St then left again onto Amokura St, right onto Winara Ave and left onto Mohua St. At the end turn right onto Kea St and right again on to Kotare St. Finally turn left into Tui Cres and back to the start.

The 330-hectare native forest that provides the backdrop to Waikanae is Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve. It protects one of the largest remaining areas of kohekohe forest. The reserve rises steeply from 150 metres to its highest point, Te Au, 514 metres above sea level - source:

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Park on Tui Cres which is safe. Not really public transport friendly.

2 km

4 minutes




The track is straightforward, signposted, wide, and gravelled up to just beyond the fenceline on the main ridge near the top. Beyond that you will be following DOC orange triangles along a well trodden path. If you are uncomfortable with following rougher tracks turn around after the lookout point and head back the way you came.

Generally good.

Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

None. Take water from home.

First half of the track is gravelled and well maintained. When the track gets rougher along the Te Au Route, it can be muddy after rain.

The Te Au Route is rough, often with tree fall. When it heads down to Huia St it is VERY steep. If it's wet, expect the clay surface to be like running down an ice slope. In the dry, it can be dusty and almost as bad. Shoes with good grip are required.

Trail Legend

Kuldeep Kashyap

Kuldeep Kashyap

has completed The Whole Hemi 8 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Took Gussy the dog this time (dogs allowed on leads) and lowered my expectations of actually running on the downhill. Loved the uphill and didnt slip as many times on the downhill as last time. Awesome views at the top. Saw a couple of goats, causing Gussy to try and pursue them on the most treacherous downhill while attached to me! He rates it a 5/5.

Richele McKenzie

July 24, 2020

As others have said, this is super-technical and not really my cup of tea. Went in reverse as I heard it was very steep and hiked the first half. Second half was very muddy and slippery (been a lot of rain overnight). Bush was pretty and views were awesome, but it's only 3 stars from me. Oh and there was a fair bit of road to run too which is always a negative.

Joe Benbow

July 6, 2020

Awesomely technical run (walk)! An easily accessible trail that makes you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere pretty quickly with great views on a nice day. Took me about 2 hours.

Jayne Tankersley

January 26, 2020

Wow, what a little gem! Really enjoyed this track from the 3k climb to the steep technical decent. If you are short on time and in need of a lung/leg buster, have a crack at this. Personally the climb was a little bit much for me to run the whole way up, however, a lot of it is runnable even in the wetness of yesterday. Navigating the downhill section is certainly interesting in the wet as it is very steep an technical. If i lived closer this would certainly be in my weekly routine. (Distance 7.2km, Time - 1hr 05)

John Alexander

December 18, 2019

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