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Otari-Wilton's Bush Loop, Wellington

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Otari-Wilton's Bush LoopBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Magnus Edwards

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Very hilly

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

0:55 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:35 (Fast)



Tracks might occasionally be closed for maintenance or regeneration of bush.

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This route is named for the Red Yellow and Blue routes shown on the official map here.

Start from the car park, take the gravelled track following signs to the Troup Picnic Lawn for 300-400m until the hairpin right turn up the Red Track. The next 3km or so are a roller-coaster of steep ascent and descent (lots of steps!), rocky and hidden roots, narrow, and muddy and slippery after rain, with a couple of stream crossings without bridges. There are also low-hanging creepers across the track, just at neck height, so keep your eyes open. Add risk of hearing loss from deafening tui and other birdlife.

Take the Red Track and follow signs to the "Flax Clearing" (note turn off to Chartwell Drive for an alternative start and finish point). Turn right into the clearing but then keep to the left hand edge and exit from the clearing via the Yellow Track. Follow the Yellow Track then turn right onto the Blue Track, and follow signs to the "800 Year Old Rimu". From the rimu continue on the Blue Track eventually looping back to the "Troup Picnic Lawn". There are a couple of exits off the Blue Track up to the Skyline and also into Karori Cemetery from here - take the left hand path each time to stay in the reserve. The back part of this track continues to be steep, muddy, narrow, rocky, and slippery - take care! Then it's down the final flight of steps to the bridge over the stream and eel ponds to the picnic lawn, and from here it becomes a lot easier so speed up for the final sprint back to the car park.

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Features of interest

This run is wholly within Otari-Wilton's Bush, so pretty much entirely through native bush. There's an 800-year-old Rimu to see, native birds (tui, kaka, pewakawaka, etc.) everywhere, eels (!), ...

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 40%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The Otari-Wilton's Bush 'Bottom' (i.e. north-most) car park.

    Parking for 15 or so cars and plenty of railings to lock a bike to. There is also an occasional bus along Churchhill Drive.

    5 km

    13 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The first time you do this loop you might take a wrong turn but it's all in the Otari-Wilton's Bush reserve so you won't get too lost.

    Generally good.

    Short-sleeved thermal top, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.


    I haven't run this in summer - it might be less slippery with fewer fallen leaves and less mud on the track but beware after rain at any time of year. Also it is almost entirely under cover of fairly dense bush and on an east-facing slope, so it gets dark earlier than you might expect - take a torch if running late in the day.

    Can be very slippery, and some hidden rocks and roots to trip over. The comment about low-hanging creepers is serious - there are a several U-shaped loops of thick creeper at neck height over the track so keep your eyes open.

  • Post run indulgence

    7 Burma Road, Khandallah
    It's not that close but they do great chai lattes!

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