Park 2 Peak 2 ParkBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Joe Benbow
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Undulating, small hills only
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
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Similar to the Makara Peak Grand Loop, but on some different tracks, including some superbly runnable downhills. And it starts and finishes at the cafe!
From the corner of Karori Park by the car park and cafe, run along the circular path anti-clockwise until you come to the smaller car park at the north-east corner. Cross the car park and head left up the track leading gently uphill. Follow this up and across two other cross-tracks until you see the Wahine track starting at a footbridge. Start going up this track, then after about 50m, bear left onto K2. (This 0.5k loop is optional as it brings you out just a little further up Wahine – look out for the fairy houses on the way)
Continue up Wahine for about another 0.5k until it joins the Skyline track at the back of the woods. Take a left and follow Skyline until it comes out at Makara Road saddle. Be careful crossing the road here as the corners are tight and cars can be going quite fast. At the far side of the road you should see the entrance to the MTB park. Go through the metal bike stile on the left and follow the T4 trail up a couple of switchbacks to the water tank.
At the back of the water tank, continue up T4 until you reach a crossroads, then go straight over on to the continuation of the T4 track. Follow this up to the 4WD track which it merges onto after a left uphill turn. Turn right onto the continuation of T4 and keep heading up as the track eventually joins Aratihi before popping you out at the summit. Once you get there, take a moment to refuel and soak in the stunning panoramic views across Wellington and the South Island.
Now for the fun bit... head down the track marked Peak Flow, which is 1.8k of insanely good fun with its rolls and berms. When it opens at the bottom to the 4WD track, cross straight over and bear right onto Starfish. This one's a bit more technical but still very runnable. When this finishes at the 4WD, take the track opposite called Big Tom's Wheelie. This is quite a short one. When it finishes, don't take the track marked SWIGG, but instead the one just behind it called Lazy Fern. This is another 1.8k long, really easy, enjoyable track to run downhill through the bush, finishing at the MTB car park.
If you're desperate, there are loos here, otherwise turn left on the main road and follow this back up to Karori Road and the park where you started.
You'll be going on the following tracks in order: K2 - Wahine - Skyline - T4 – Aratihi - Peak Flow - Starfish - Big Tom's Wheelie - Lazy Fern
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 70%
Sealed Road: 10%
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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Start and finish is at Karori Park, just next to the playground and car park.
There is plenty of parking at Karori Park or on Karori Road if the park is busy with weekend sports. If catching a bus, take the #2 from Wellington and get off at the park or the next stop (which is the end of the line)
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
The tracks are all well-marked and there are boards at several places with maps of the entire park. I've indicated in the main description where there are forks to take, but as long as you know the names of the tracks you're looking for, you can't get too lost as you will always end up back at the bottom of the hill in Karori.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
There are water fountains by the cafe at the start/finish only
The peak is very exposed so can be cold and windy, even if it's fine at the bottom. The tracks are generally firm but some are rocky and can be slippy after a lot of rain and there can be a few puddles in places.
Recommended to run this in the anti-clockwise direction as per the map as you'll generally be going up uphill tracks and downhill tracks. The exceptions are Wahine, Varleys and parts of Zacs track and North Face Extension which are two-way, so you may encounter bikes. The whole park is shared between walkers, runners and bikes though, so smile and give way and you'll be sweet.
Take care crossing Makara Road as there are a couple of blind corners and cars can go quite fast.
Post run indulgence
Karori Park Cafe
Easily positioned for fuelling up before the run, or for a post-race coffee and slice. Good value meals/brunches too
5 Parkvale Road, Karori
A great option for something a little stronger. Excellent pizzas and burgers. Their Thursday evening burger specials have become a regular post-run event for the WoRM crew....
One Fat Bird
162 Karori Road
Great revolving selection of local and international craft beers, and a full restaurant-quality menu
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Makara Peak Grand Loop
Skyline - Mt Kaukau
Ataturk to Pass Of Branda Loop
WUU2k - 42km Route
Red Rocks Loop
Otari-Wilton's Bush Loop
Barking Mad on Barking Emu
Aro Valley - Red Rocks Thigh Buster
Polhill to Turbine loop
Swing Into Action
Te Ara Papararangi Views
Mount Kaukau Loop
Johnston Hill Loop
Seton Nossiter Waterfall & Lookout
Huntleigh Park and Crow's Nest
Spooky Gully and the Rocky Shore
Linking the Reserves
Te Ahumairangi Ridgeline
Mid Makara Magic
Te Raekaihau Point