Kau Kau


Kau Kau


Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand


Demanding climb from Johnsonville to the summit of Mount Kau Kau.




Bike and Foot


Starting from the Old Coach Road saddle point, head up the grassy slope in the general direction of Mount Kau Kau. The track looks like little more than a sheep track in places, but it is defined well enough to follow OK. A switchback has been added at the first (small) saddle to allow one to ride the steep uphill heading south.

After crossing a ridge, the track drops down into a shallow valley. Thanks to the Kennett Bros and WCC the rocky scramble is now a sweet series of two beginner level switchbacks up to the top of Truscott North. Take note of the loving care that the lower switchback has been chiselled and benched out from the rock – it is a piece of art... From here the track becomes more clearly defined – being a rocky trail for most of the remaining climb to the summit.

There are a couple of very steep tracks heading off to the east – Truscott North and Truscott South – these drop down to the park at the end of Truscott Avenue and are not suitable for bikes.

Directly opposite the intersection with Truscott North is the old water supply dam and pump for the defunct Onslow County Borough. There is a short and rather precarious track down to the reservoir. Just 40m down the Truscott North track is the entrance to a tunnel that provided an outlet for the water pipe.

A bit further along is an intersection with Sirsi – either down a short, steep track or after a narrow piece of rocky singletrack.

About 0.35km past the Sirsi intersection, the track splits into two parts: the narrower track on the left is easier, whereas the other track is great fun on the way down. The alternatives rejoin next to a gate and stile.

The remaining 0.4km to the summit is very steep. However, the effort is rewarded with spectacular views over large parts of the Wellington region. The views are absolutely gorgeous on a fine, calm day – especially from the viewing platform – but the summit is horrendously exposed to the wind from all directions so prepare accordingly.

From the summit, head to the west along lostworld, or return back the way you came. The track that heads down towards Khandallah is closed to bikes.

Getting there

The northern end branches off the highest point on Old Coach Road, about 0.5km from the end of Carmichael Street.

The other end is at the summit of Mount Kau Kau. There are only two legitimate ways to get there by bike: this track, or via lostworld.




Single track

Last modified

17 Oct 2010 by ledzep

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