Last Updated: 20th May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Mount Kaukau Loop

Wellington, Wellington

Submitted by Richele McKenzie

Last Updated: 20th May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 8 ?

Gnarl Factor: 38 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run



Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open farmlands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







Follow the Northern Walkway up to the top of Mount Kaukau. There are signs and a picnic table at the top. Take some time out to enjoy the views of Wellington. At the top turn right and follow the Northern Walkway as it becomes Skyline Walkway.

Continue along either the 4wd track or the e-bike/mountain bike track towards signs for Sirsi Terrace, then instead of turning towards the Sirsi Terrace entrance, continue down the steep track through pines, to the playground area (near the pool). There a are couple of options for returning to the start but this route heads towards the Summit Track then turns left up a steep trail and follows signs towards Simla Cres.

Mount Kaukau is an iconic Wellington run/hike with stunning views of the city.

Public toilets are located next to the Khandallah pool, Woodmancote Road entrance to Khandallah Park.

There are a couple of parks at the entrance, plus plenty of street parking. The trail is located very close to the Simla Crescent Railway Station.

7 km

11 minutes




I've occasionally missed the turnoff to go back down to Khandallah Park and headed further along Skyline. Watch out for signs for Sirsi Terrace as a guide to get you to Khandallah Park/ the pool area, but you don't actually want to exit at Sirsi.

Generally good.

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

According to Wellington City Council maps the closest drinking fountain is at Nairnville Park. There are public toilets near Khandallah Pool.

Can be very windy at the top. The downhill section can get very slippery after rain.

I've experienced low cloud that makes it very difficult to see with a headlamp at night.
Stock at the top / along Skyline. Watch out for tree roots coming down the hill.
Keep an eye out for mountain bikers / e-bikers.

G.A.S Ngaio
49 Ottawa Road, Ngaio
They do a lovely takeaway coffee and have yummy baked goods.

Dunshea's Deli
7 Burma Road, Khandallah
Nice food and coffee.

Cafe Du Parc
43a Woodmancote Road, Khandallah
Very close to the trail!

Trail Legend

David Haunschmidt

David Haunschmidt

has completed Mount Kaukau Loop twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Some good hill and stair work in this one. And the views from the top are magic (as long as it's not one of Wellington's foggy days ;-)

Cate Shave

February 9, 2021

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