Last Updated: 4th Feb 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Red Rocks Loop

Wellington, Wellington

Submitted by James Goodwill

Last Updated: 4th Feb 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 21 ?

Gnarl Factor: 58 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush



Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting at the car park, head back to the road and then straight up (not along the coastal road) towards Brooklyn for just over 2Ks. Just before the landfill the Tip Track sign will be visible, head up here - it's straight up and brutal but worth it. There's 2 "left turn" trails before the one you want - you can't miss it, it's the only one that's a "cross roads" 3.3Ks into the Tip Track (around about the 6K mark). Turn left on this trail and follow it straight down to the top of the coast. Don't take the first left trail or you will end up back at the Tip Track. The single track will go on this ridgeline for about 3Ks of mainly downhill to another junction. Take the left trail to Red Rocks at this point and follow it all the way down to the coast with a couple of river crossings in the way. At the coast, head left to go back to the start on a 4x4 track along the beach. A slight diversion on turning right will take you to "Devil's Gate" (you can't miss it) and the seal colony - just don't get too close.

Wind turbines and seal colonies.

Ample parking at the visitors centre.

8 km

17 minutes




Two tracks going off the Tip Track - one will bring you back to your car via Owhio bay much sooner than anticipated through farmland and sheep; the other will drop you into "Spooky Gully" and makes for an excellent diversion if you're feeling up for the challenge - it's a harder ascent / descent than the Tip Track itself

Perfect throughout.

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

At the Visitor's centre. Toilets, running water. Stream also near the beach

Windy. Almost always windy.

Some landslips. All of this is pretty much on a fault line also, which is why it's spectacular in part also - swings and roundabouts

Beach House Cafe,
Owhiro Bay - just round the coast a bit from the car park
close by. Does food, coffee, beers etc, and on non-windy days has an excellent outdoor

Spruce Goose
Lyall Bay - further round the coast towards the airport
close to the airport - good views over the coast and planes coming and going.

Maranui cafe
Lyall Bay
Views over the beach, sea, airport, etc. good food also

Trail Legend


Richard Tumaliuan

has completed Red Rocks Loop 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Love this local loop. I prefer to run it clockwise, warming up along the south coast then climbing up the Red Rocks track. The coastal section can be quite eaten up after a big southerly storm and the climbs will keep you honest. Fabulous views are totally worth the effort.

Pip Guthrey

March 9

Classic route and one I haven’t done as a stand-alone run for a while. The single track down to Red Rocks is a bit overgrown with gorse but still a lot of fun. The 4WD sections have been recently graded (13 Feb).

Jacqui Haggland

February 13, 2021

Great route. as noted in the status above, got redirected just before the beach.
Weather was also cloudy so no views from the top unfortunately.

Matthew Ramsay

December 22, 2020

What a great loop, I hope Wellingtonians know how lucky they are with options like this available within the city!

John Scott

October 29, 2020

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These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

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