Last Updated: 20th May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Swing Into Action

Wellington, Wellington

Submitted by Joe Benbow

Last Updated: 20th May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

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Grunt Factor: 15 ?

Gnarl Factor: 25 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







Another Makara Peak option with a great elevation profile - steady uphill, steep downhill, and a flat recovery to finish. Oh and did we mention a 72m swing bridge and a river crossing?

From the main car park, follow the Koru track as it winds its way uphill. Ignore the Koru Shortcut option on the right when you get to it. Keep following Koru and then Sally Alley until you come out on the 4WD track. Just opposite and to the right, you'll see the entrance to Three Brothers. Take this and follow this up until it joins Upswing. 

Continue up Upswing and enjoy crossing the spectacular 72m swing bridge which was opened in 2017, making for a much easier and enjoyable route to the summit. Keep following the track as it winds uphill and merges with Aratihi, before eventually bringing you out at the summit. Stop and soak up the panoramic views here. When you're ready to head down, start going back the way you came up, and turn off to the right onto Upper Leaping Lizard. This is a great one to put your foot down on, letting gravity pull you round the high berms.

Keep following Upper Leaping Lizard, which eventually crosses another 4WD track and becomes Leaping Lizard. Follow this more technical track all the way downhill, ignoring left turnoffs to Nikau Valley and Possum Bait Line. The track will curve back north and start rising again. After about 300m take the right turn onto Bailout and follow this downhill until it brings you to Karori stream. No option to keep your feet dry here (sorry) so make the most of a free shoe-wash as you cross the stream and out onto South Karori Road. From here, turn left and it's a gentle 2km back up the road to the car park.

This trail includes the peak Makara Hill.

Toilets are available in the main carpark.

There is a signed car park with toilets, information board and water about 1km down South Karori Rd. Overflow car parking is available 50m further south. If catching a bus take the Karori Park #2 to the end of the line then follow South Karori Rd as above.

8 km

18 minutes




All tracks are well signposted and there are map boards strategically placed throughout the park

Generally good.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Drinking water in the main car park only. Do not drink the stream water.

The steep technical section (Leaping Lizard) is south facing so can be wet, slippery and rocky. Take care if you are unused to running steep technical terrain

The last 2k is on South Karori Road, which is narrow and unlit. Wear something reflective and/or take a headtorch if running this section in the dark. Note above re the terrain on Leaping Lizard.

282 Karori Rd, Karori
Yummy takeaway food and coffee

Pickle Jar
5 Parkvale Road, Karori
Great burgers, pizzas and beers

One Fat Bird
162 Karori Rd, Karori
Good selection of local and international beers

Trail Legend


Ben Demeyer

has completed Swing Into Action once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

The original route is open again now. I enjoyed this more the second time I’ve run it - and really enjoyed getting to the more remote, less popular part of the park. Definitely still more exciting/slippy in the wet ;)

Karen Spencer

May 16, 2021

Ran this for the second time yesterday. First attempt was to map it for the directory, so this time I could properly attack it and see how fast I could go. Leaping Lizard when it's bone dry is SO much fun. If you're flexible, I'd suggest waiting to do this one after it's been dry for a good few days. Even managed to avoid getting my feet wet at the stream at the end!

Joe Benbow

August 18, 2020

Awesome variety on here with great elevation profile. More of a scramble than a run down Leaping Lizard with plenty of skating on muddy rocks. Managed to find a quiet window between bikes for a Sunday morning! Probably wise to ru without earbuds in though.

Karen Spencer

July 5, 2020

I did this on a Monday morning when there weren't many bikers around. The track up the hill is a really good gradient (easy mountain bike trail) and solid under foot. There are lots of views on the top section. The Leaping Lizard/Bailout descent was quite slippery after the recent rain. It is also an advanced level mountain bike trail so be prepared to leap out of the way for them as they speed down!

Jo Fink

June 8, 2020

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