Te Ara Rangituhi Lookout

Standing tall to the west of Porirua, Te Ara Rangituhi (Colonial Knob) offers scenic tracks through native forest and enviable views




Mt Rangituhi

If you’re up for an adventure there’s plenty on offer at Te Ara Rangituhi. Take your pick from the three tracks to the 468 metre-high summit.

The ascent to the top is sure to get your heart racing, but the views over Porirua and surrounding harbour make it worth the climb. Choose a clear day and the vista will stretch all the way from the Kaikoura ranges in the south to Mount Taranaki in the north.

Choose the track that’s right for you

With three different tracks to choose from, there’s something to suit everyone. The most popular and easily accessible tracks are Te Ara Rangituhi and Te Ara Utiwai – do them together for a half-day walking circuit. Both start at Camp Elsdon on Raiha Street.

At 1.6km, Te Ara Rangituhi passes through the Porirua Scenic Reserve before several hundred steps form the path to the lookout. Catch your breath and take in the magnificent views from the clearing at the top.

Te Ara Utiwai is designed for both bike and foot, and is a favourite among mountain bikers. It's an easier trail with a more gradual incline and a lookout part-way up to rest your legs. The track is 5.9km from the Raiha Street carpark to the picnic table at the top and track winds through stunning native forest as it ascends to the Rangituhi lookout. Mountain biking legend Simon Kennett described it as an “instant classic” for mount bikers. "With its engaging flow and stunning native forest setting, it's easily one of the best climbs in New Zealand.”

For a different experience, the farm road offers wide open walking space and views across the region as you trek upwards. Starting at the Raiha Street entrance to Te Ara Rangituhi, the 4.3km track has a challenging start. As you reach the ridgeline the incline eases and you’ll spot the radio station building at the summit. Be aware on the road at all times as it is shared by service vehicles.

Depending on the route you choose, you can expect the loop to take from three to five hours.

Whichever way you tackle it, Te Ara Rangituhi is worth a visit. Choose from the many tracks on offer to suit your age and fitness level – just remember to come prepared with the appropriate gear. For more information, visit the Wellington Regional Trails website.

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