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Linking the Reserves, Wellington

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Linking the ReservesBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Richele McKenzie

Info Info
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Trail Information









Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

2:15 (Slow)
1:40 (Moderate)
1:10 (Fast)



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From the sign head up the path for c.400m then join the Northern Walkway Track (main trail along this side of the hill). Follow this around the hill for approx 1.6k until you get to a post pointing to "Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout Ridgeline Track". Follow this track onto Paehuia Track, then turn onto Stellin Track, heading towards Stellin Memorial Park (and lookout).

When you get to the sign for the lookout, instead of heading up the short set of stairs, head left onto a small patch of grass (nice views from here!) and down to Puketiro Ave. Turn left onto Orangi Kaupapa Road, right onto Pembroke then left onto Albemarle. Right next to the kindy there is a sign for Project Kaiwharawhara. Head down the wooden stairs and follow a small bush track down the creek and you will pop out next to Cardinal McKeefry School.

Cross the road and head down onto Ian Galloway Park running towards and then along the fenceline. Head right, towards the Club Rooms, then right again onto a small track "to Otari Wilton's Bush". Ignore the first track off to the left, and continue on down, following the stream until you get to the Picnic area / noticeboard / toilet. Take a right turn onto the Circular Walk track up the steep zigzag path, head around the gardens, past the grassy rectangle, across the bridge to the Information Centre.

Take a breather to read more info about Otari (there's a drink fountain plus another toilet here), then head down past the Alpine Garden and keep following the signs for Circular Walk. Enjoy the sweeping downhill then turn left, cross the bridge and look for the sign for Red Trail. Follow the Red Trail up to John Witton Drive (watch for the small sign that will say " Red Trail exit Chartwell").

Turn left out of John Witton onto Chartwell Drive to Chartwell Reserve. Run down here, past the horses, and just past the stables you will see a small track entrance on the right. This is narrow to begin with then it becomes a wide open (rabbit filled) grassy hill.

At the top, cross the 4wd track and head down Silversky towards Silverstream Road and Huntleigh Park. Follow Silverstream Road to the roundabout, cross the road and head left towards the entrance for Trellisick Park.

Follow the Northern Walkway again, looking out for the small signs that will lead you around the hilly section of the park. When you reach an intersection of many tracks head left along Forest Remnant Track (the one marked "please proceed with caution"), winding around the hill and down to the main Ngaio Gorge Track, then cross the new bridge and wind your way up to Oban Street. From the road it's 1km back to the start of the trail, via Sefton Street.

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Features of interest

An interesting loop linking Te Ahumairangi Hill, Otari-Wilton's Bush and Trelissick Park with plenty of views of Wellington along the way.

Otari is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. Trelissick Park is also ecologically important and contains remnants of original forest. The park was once a route for Maori and early Europeans travelling from the harbour to Porirua. 

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 6%

Moderate Single Track: 38%

Easy Single Track: 38%

Sealed Road: 18%

Route Data


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I did it!
  • Access

    Start at entrance to Te Ahumairangi at 1 Wadestown Road, near the intersection with Orchard Road. Alternatively this trail can be accessed at almost any point along the loop.

    Parking is available along the road. Busses - number 14 to Wadestown Road Train - stop at Crofton Downs and join the trail at that point.

    2 km

    4 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Generally good.

    Windproof jacket, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Drinking fountains are located at the Otari Information Centre and the Huntleigh Park Community Water Station.

    The steeper bush tracks can get very slippery after rain.

    The horses are friendly but keep dogs on lead. There are occasionally cattle in the area between the horses and Silversky.

  • Post run indulgence

    The Mini Coffee Bar
    Cnr of Whitehead Road and Curtis Street, Northland
    Tomer makes great coffee and his quirky coffee cart has plenty of relaxed outdoor seating for sweaty runners.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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