Last Updated: 27th May 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Graveyard Shift

Wellington, Wellington

Submitted by Joe Benbow

Last Updated: 27th May 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 9 ?

Gnarl Factor: 15 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.1%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







This is an easy and enjoyable route, taking in the historic cemetery, some sweet single-track running on a couple of tracks that are well-kept secrets (or they were until now), and options to extend on to several other tracks in the area.

From the main cemetery entrance, follow the sealed road straight and down, past literally thousands of dearly departed, until you reach a bend with a 20 speed limit sign with a track off to the left. Take this track and head up the steps when it opens out. At the top of the steps, turn left, then right at the next T-junction, then left at the next T-junction.

A short way up the road you’ll see a wooden sign on the right to Johnston Hill/Skyline Walkway. Take this track and a short way in, turn right at the intersection, heading to Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush & Skyline Walkway. Enjoy a gradual descent to the next wooden sign, where you carry on straight, marked to Skyline Walkway. You’re now on the Cemetery Skyline Link track, which is a lovely ascent up a tranquil single track. You’ll pass a couple more intersections – just keep following the signs to Skyline Walkway.

Eventually you’ll come to a cross-roads, where Skyline is marked to the left. Don’t turn left here, but instead head straight, signposted Grant’s Track. This is another really enjoyable track that rises through the bush to emerge on a ridge overlooking the western suburbs. Cross a couple of stiles, and at the second one (highest point in the run), turn sharp right and run down the 4WD track signed towards Ōtari-Wiltons Bush and Chartwell. You’ll cross a cattle grid, and descend for 500m before rising again.

When you come to a left hand bend with the 4WD track splitting in two, look for a small track leading off to the right, pointing to Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush. Take this track and follow it down, crossing another stile along the way, then continuing down to eventually open out onto a grassy area (flax clearing). Head towards the left corner and take the path heading straight (not the left one). You’ve now joined the red loop track.

Turn right at the T-junction at the bottom and follow the flat trail which takes you over a footbridge and out into the troup picnic area. Toilets and water here if you need. At the far side of the picnic area past the toilets, take the path on the right signed to Karori Cemetery and follow this for 750m until you reach a track heading off to the right over a bridge towards the cemetery. Take this, head up the steps at the top, then follow the road round to the right. One more climb up this road then you’ll see a green Exit sign pointing left. Turn left here and follow the road back down and through the cemetery to the finish.

Karori Cemetery is New Zealand's second largest burial ground, covering nearly 40 hectares. It was the final resting place of about 83,000 people. Today, it is a wealth of Wellington history and a peaceful place to visit.

There is toilet within the cemetery, near main entrance. Two further toilets are located with Ōtari

Parking is available round the corner on Rosehaugh Avenue. If taking the bus, take the #2 Karori and get off at the first stop on Karori Road (just past the traffic lights as you turn left at the top of Chaytor St)

5 km

10 minutes




There are lots of track intersections on this route but all are well marked, and there are maps at both Karori Cemetery and Otari-Wilton's Bush

Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map

Water and toilets are located just inside the entrance at the start/finish, and also at the Troup Picnic Area at Otari-Wilton's Bush

The tracks are generally well-draining and you'll be sheltered for most of the time, so this is a good one for when the weather is keeping you off the hilltops

Marsden Village Cafe
153 Karori Road
Good brunch options

Sweet Bakery & Cakery
149 Karori Road
Whittakers hot chocolate, coffee and a selection of sweat treats

One Fat Bird
162 Karori Road
Great revolving selection of local and international craft beers

Trail Legend

Kristina  Kirk

Kristina Kirk

has completed Graveyard Shift 9 times in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Graveyard Shift

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Loved this trail. Part of it was closed due to treefall, but a quick look at the map showed me a detour, which worked out perfectly. I got to the top at golden hour, which gave beautiful views over the bay.
Only minor thing is the graveyard part, not sure how respectful it is towards the mourning and the deceased.

Ben Demeyer

September 29, 2023

Great trails - lots of single track through native bush with a stretch of farm 4WD track thrown in. Lots of ups and downs. Only rated this down because of the road at the start and end. Very interesting weaving through the different grave sites but not as pleasant as trail.

David Hosking

April 12, 2023

Really enjoyed this loop, something for everyone. Thanks!

Tony Sharpe

August 11, 2021

Awesome trail! Really runnable uphills, few bigger ones, with lots of interest throughout. Pines (nice and soft underfoot), typical kiwi bush, open areas, rabbits, birds, streams, wee footbridges etc. but, be careful. I rolled my ankle in first couple of kms as the dappled light in the bush made it tricky to see. Some parts a bit technical with lots of tree roots and rutted tracks, but very good/easy overall.

Some of the best written instructions for the wild things directory! Well done and thank you!!!

Trina McClune

December 31, 2020

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

Linking the Reserves

Linking the Reserves

Length: 14.3km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Other trails nearby
Red-Rocks, Hawkins Hill, Tip-Track Loop

Red-Rocks, Hawkins Hill, Tip-Track Loop

Length: 16.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Makara Walkway

Makara Walkway

Length: 7.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Trelissick Park

Trelissick Park

Length: 5.0km

Level: Beginner

Sanctuary Fenceline

Sanctuary Fenceline

Length: 9.5km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby