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Oruaiti Reserve, Wellington

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Oruaiti ReserveBeginner

Submitted by Richele McKenzie

Info Info
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Trail Information








Out and Back

Totally/mostly flat

Open ridges/tops


0:45 (Slow)
0:30 (Moderate)
0:20 (Fast)



Where high swells and high tide combine take the interior route rather than the coastal route around Point Dorset.

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Starting at the Seatoun Wharf run east along the beach, passing the Seatoun Wahine Memorial Garden / Churchill Park on your right.

You will see a trail just after the Hector St carpark. Follow this trail around the coast until it becomes beach. Continue around Point Dorset. Take care if the tide is high, particularly at the point. You will come out on Breaker Bay Beach, where the sand gets a lot harder to run on.

Continue around to the carpark then turn right and run along Breaker Bay Road to the Pass of Branda. Cross the road here and you will see an information board and steep steps. Continue up the steps and it evens out to an easy track, Te Ara O Kupe (here you may like to take a diversion to the right and explore the military installments).

The main trail comes to a major intersection where you turn right, run through the Oruaiti Pa site and follow the signs to the Lookout. Stop at the lookout to admire the view, then turn around and return to the intersection.

This time follow the trail marked "To Te Aroaro O Kupe Steeple Rock Ludlam St Hector St". This follows a small ridgeline and drops you back on the coastal trail where you can return to the Wharf.

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Features of interest

Oruaiti Reserve: The top of the ridge was the site of Oruaiti Pā. Fort Dorset Military structures. Excellent views of the harbour from the ridge include: Barrett Reef, which the interisland ferry Wahine struck in 1968 Steeple Rock (Te Aroaro-o-Kupe), where the Wahine finally capsized. Te Aroaro-o-Kupe (‘the presence of Kupe’) is named after the legendary explorer Kupe, who visited the harbour. Find out more here.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 50%

Easy Single Track: 42%

Sealed Road: 8%

Route Data


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