Swing Into ActionBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Joe Benbow
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Undulating, some big hills
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslands
Beginner - Intermediate
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.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 75%
Sealed Road: 15%
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
Start and finish is at the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park main car park on South Karori Rd, Karori. Follow the signs from Karori Tunnel down Karori Rd turning off past Karori Park to the left down South Karori Rd.
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.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
All tracks are well signposted and there are map boards strategically placed throughout the park
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.
Post run indulgence
282 Karori Rd, Karori
Yummy takeaway food and coffee
5 Parkvale Road, Karori
Great burgers, pizzas and beers
One Fat Bird
162 Karori Rd, Karori
Good selection of local and international beers
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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
Park 2 Peak 2 Park
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