Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Ataturk to Pass Of Branda Loop

Wellington, Wellington

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 7 ?

Gnarl Factor: 22 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush



Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a nice exploration of the eastern end of Wellington's wild and amazing south coast. On a nice day it's like running in the Mediterranean, but of course Wellington's fickle climate can also make this a savage and windswept place - most exhilarating!

From the carpark its a quick trot up a few stairs to the Ataturk Memorial. Pause and think of the ANZAC's here, this is a special place. Then carry on up the hill on the Eastern Walkway track system and soon you'll see some of those wonderful views. On a good day the views across Cook Strait will give you snowcapped Kaikoura mountains, a real treat.

Keep traversing the undulations along the Eastern Walkway as you travel through patches of flax, regenerating coastal bush and open trail. Ignore the side trails to streets, these are just easy access for the locals to come for a walk. Towards the end you will skirt under the historic Beacon Hill Signal Station. The author's grandfather worked here for many years, and was on duty for many a stormy day to help guide ships into Wellington Harbour. Sadly this station also gave sobering views of the stricken Wahine on that fateful day in 1968. You can see clearly Barretts Reef from here where the ship hit the rocks at her darkest hour.

Once under the Signal Station shoot through some pines and down the stairs to the road at the exotically named Pass Of Branda. The Pass of Branda was named after the apparently well-known pass at the head of Loch Ave in the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland. From the Pass either return on the trail the same way or take a relaxing road run around the bays back to the car. But mind the nude sunbathers at Breaker Bay beach, and the little blue penguins crossing at dusk

Wonderful coastal scenery, WW1 memorial, Beacon Hill Signal Station

Theres a decent amount of carparking and some extra over at the boat lauching place sometimes too. Otherwise down the road by the Wahine Memorial reserve is cool

10 km

21 minutes




Can't really go wrong, unless you exit onto the side streets off the Eastern Walkway. Retrace your steps to the main trail if you do

Perfect throughout.

Lightweight fleece top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map

You won't need too much, its a short run. But BYO!

Did I mention Wellingtons wind? Its not really seasonal, its year round!

Cars on the road

Pop round to the Maranui at Lyall Bay afterwards for a debrief

Trail Legend

Sarah Jenkins

Sarah Jenkins

has completed Ataturk to Pass Of Branda Loop twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

This is a hidden gem with lots of variety. Interesting history, great views, some climbing, some native bush, and some beach on the return. We added on the lookout above Breaker Bay and stopped on the beach for coffee on the way back. The dog really enjoyed this one too.

Joe Benbow

June 15, 2020

Great trail to see some stunning Wellington views and to get a quick run done

Louise Coad

June 1, 2020

There is extra parking on the right less than 100m up the road, or a few car parks at the boat ramp, on the other side of the road.

Di King

February 28, 2020

Perfect wee loop with awesome views. Pick your direction according to the wind

Rebecca Sinclair

January 30, 2020

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