Wellington Regional Trails

Walking time

1 hr 20 min return




Walking/Running, Mountain Biking, Wheelchair/Pram


Single track

Walking difficulty

Easiest: Easy access short walk

Mountain Bike Grade

Easiest: Grade 1


126m highest point


Yes (on lead at all times)
The sign for Historic Lower Dam pointing towards a bridge on the Gums loop.

About the trail

Lower Dam Walk is a 1.75km path running alongside Reservoir Road. It’s an easy walk with a slight incline and is suitable for bikes, buggies, and wheelchairs. There are kiwi and other wildlife in the area so dogs must be on lead.

From the walk you can detour to places like Ultimate Pool (a natural swimming hole) and the historic Mackay Cottage site. Another attraction is the old dam and the spillway where the Wainuiomata River flows over.

At the end of the path, you’ll reach the beautiful Lower Dam wetlands area and the Wainuiomata Water Museum. The Lower Dam area has lots of historic water supply artefacts to check out. 

The Water Museum is open from 9am to 5pm and admission is free. You can learn about the history of the Wainuiomata and Orongorongo water collection areas and conservation efforts.

There are many picnic tables available so you can enjoy your lunch while listening to the birds in the surrounding forest.

On the way back you can return to the car park via the same track. Or, extend the walk by crossing over the swing bridge and heading back to the car park via Gums Loop.

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Getting there

  • If you’re driving, the entrance is located at 10 Whitcher Grove. Follow the road until you arrive at the main car park information kiosk. From there, follow the signs to the lower dam.
  • The closest bus stop is Wainuiomata South - Hine Road. From there cross the Hine Road Recreation Area field to access the park entry.

Before you go

  • Get ready using Plan My Walk by the NZ Mountain Safety Council for track alerts, weather forecasts, trip reviews and a packing list. Check the weather forecast on MetService ahead of time and plan ahead.
  • There are picnic tables along the track and toilets are available just off-track at the lower dam area.
  • Dogs should be on lead at all times within the park. Kiwi are present in the area.
  • The road next to the track is closed to vehicle traffic but is used by mountain bikes and work vehicles. For your safety, walk on the track.