Rangituhi Trails

A network of walking and mountain biking trails which is being extended in the reserves lying to the west of Porirua.  This area which includes Spicer Forest, Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve, Te Rahui o Rangituhi and Porirua Scenic Reserve is collectively known as Te Ara a Rangituhi, which means the Rangituhi Trails.

The Porirua Outdoor Recreation Park Development Plan sets the framework for recreational development of the reserves and for the management of the landscape and biodiversity.

Spicer Botanical Park

What’s there?

An arboretum of exotic trees along with walkways, stream, open picnic area and a small car park. The park is suitable as the main entrance or gateway to the wider park – it’s central, has a large area of flat land, good road links and access to trails in Spicer Forest, Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve and Te Rahui o Rangituhi.

We will:

  • the park becomes the main entrance to the activity park, with increased car parking, toilets and bike-washing facilities, interpretation and information.
  • it is developed to be suitable for staging outdoor recreation events
  • pedestrian safety is improved for those users accessing the car park and crossing the road to access trails in Spicer Forest
  • buffer planting is increased between the park and the landfill


Spicer Forest

What’s there?

Primarily a pine forest on relatively steep slopes with areas of regenerating native forest. The area provides a green backdrop to Tawa along with the neighbouring privately owned “Forest of Tane”. The national walkway Te Araroa follows Ohariu Stream. Flat areas within the park have potential for future recreation activities. A shared trail, about to be constructed, will link this area with Spicer Botanical Park. There is limited car parking where the access road meets Ohariu Valley Road.

We will:

  • develop the park as a recreation area within a managed forest for mountain biking, walking, horse riding and multisport activities
  • improve walking and biking connections from Tawa and Upper Stebbings Valley
  • develop a series of new shared tracks through the area for mountain bikers and walkers
  • develop a long-term planting and restoration plan to replace exotic trees with native vegetation – in particular, improve riparian planting along Ohariu Stream, and improve buffer plantings between the area and the landfill

Te Rahui o Rangituhi

What’s there?

Stretching from the summit of Colonial Knob/Rangituhi down to the valley floor behind the Broken Hill Road industrial area and Raiha Street, this area has three main activity areas:

  • a whānau/family-oriented recreation area on the lower slopes, with mountain bike trails for mixed abilities off Raiha Street with links to Spicer Botanical Park
  • steep slopes with mixed exotic and native planting with a downhill mountain bike trail (horses and mountain bikers use some of the 4WD tracks)
  • A summit of undulating landscape and stunning views. Activities including walking and some mountain biking. Cattle grazing helps maintain the grass and weeds.

We will:

  • further develop separate mountain biking tracks and a BMX/dirt/skills area trail on the lower slopes
  • realign part of the summit road and develop some downhill mountain bike tracks This could be linked to a commercial concession for 4WD shuttling or tourist sightseeing to the summit.
  • provide shelter and interpretation for sightseeing and picnicking at the summit
  • improve access to the summit area for mountain biking
  • manage the landscape through weed control, natural regeneration and native planting
  • implement the planting plan to help stabilise the soil and complement natural regeneration, supported by weed and pest animal control

Porirua and Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve

What’s there?

Both reserves have high ecological values and regionally threatened semi-coastal lowland forest ecosystems.

Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve is administered by DoC with its main access through Spicer Botanical Park to two historical reservoirs which originally supplied water to Porirua Hospital.

Porirua Scenic Reserve is administered by PCC and has a main entrance off Raiha Street. A track from the entrance leads up through the reserve to Colonial Knob / Rangituhi Summit. There have been a series of informal tracks developed in Porirua Scenic Reserve by walkers and mountain bikers, and which are not formally recognised or maintained by Porirua City Council. There is a lack of north-south connections due to the steep ridges and gullies, and only one steep (albeit popular) walking track up through the reserve.

We will:

  • upgrade the track between Elsdon Camp and Rangituhi Crescent
  • develop a new shared walking and mountainbike (uphill riding) track from Elsdon Camp to the Lookout at the southern boundary of the reserve

Managing Conflict

Trails will be designed to avoid potential conflict between users with clear sightlines. In some places shared trails are appropriate and in other places different users will be separated. Some trails will be wide enough to accommodate multiple users. From time to time trails may be booked for an event and temporarily closed to other users.

Protecting Biodiversity

A rigorous track approval process, including ecological assessment, is required before routes are finalised and tracks built. Track development will follow established design and best practice principles to ensure quality tracks with a long life.

Pest control

The Department of Conservation may engage in pest control activities in the Rangituhi/Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve during March 2017 to target rodents and possums.  Please ensure you keep control of your animals in this area and do not eat animals from within this area while warning signs are present.

You can view an interactive map displaying the locations of the bait traps.  Follow the "Wellington/Kapiti" hyperlink.

Mana Cycle Group

Mana Cycle Group have been working with Porirua City Council to start the planning and development of mountain bike trails on Te Rahui o Rangituhi. They are advocating for trails in Porirua Scenic Reserve, and recently worked with DOC to upgrade a track in Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve for walkers and mountain bikers. They have also been actively involved in revegetation and slope stabilisation plantings in Te Rahui o Rangituhi.

Contact details

Contact us if you have any questions.

Philip Royle
Project Manager Parks
Porirua City Council
Phone (04) 237 3558

David Halliday
Project Manager (Parks & Recreation)
Wellington City Council
Phone (04) 803 8890