Submitted by Richele McKenzie
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Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
July 2021: One of the bridges at the Crofton Downs end has been washed away. It will be fine to splash through, keeping the feet dry would require a detour via the Northern Walkway signed trails.
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Run down the stairs and follow the Ngaio Gorge Track along the Kaiwharawhara Stream, all the way past the Historic Magazine Building, to the lower Kaiwharawhara Road entrance. Turn around and run back. You can also choose to run back via the Northern Walkway track (stay on northern side of the stream). According to the WCC website, the whole of the Ngaio Gorge Track is off-lead for dogs.
Features of interest
Trelissick Park is a unique wilderness area close to the city centre. The valley provided access for Maori and early settlers from the Kaiwharawhara Pa and the harbour to the north. The historic gun powder magazine buildings were built for military and civil use in the 1870's. Fish ladders have been built to allow easier access to the headwaters (of the Kaiwharawhara).
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 15%
Easy Single Track: 60%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 25%
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Northern Walkway access off Waikowhai Street, just east of the Crofton Downs Railway Station. There's signage with a map at the start.
Alternatively you can park at the other end, on Kaiwharawhara Road but as of June 2020 there were major roadworks disrupting parking.
Further access is via Hanover Street in Wadestown or Trelissick Cres in Ngaio.
There are two off-road parks next to the stairs down to the trail. There are carparks next to the railway station and the Mitre 10 but these may have limitations. Street parking is also available on Thatcher Crescent. Trains on the Wellington-Johnsonville line stop at the Crofton Downs station.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Follow the Ngaio Gorge track along the Kaiwharawhara Stream. There are smaller tracks signposted along the way but it's easy to find your way back if you accidentally take a diversion.
Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Currently no drink fountains. There is a Countdown supermarket in Crofton Downs.
Can get muddy after rain.
Be aware this is an off-lead dog area. It is also popular with paid on-lead dog walkers and I've seen up to 10 dogs in one group. They can be tricky to get past on narrower parts of the trail. I've also seen rats the size of small dogs...
Take care on the approaches to the footbridges.
Post run indulgence
Columbus Coffee Cart
Crofton Downs Mitre 10 Carpark
Very close to the start of the track!
Next to Countdown, Crofton Downs, 124 Churchill Drive.
Very friendly staff. Nice coffee. Clean loos.
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
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