Ribs (Bunkers, Rib Track, Sinclair Head)


Hawkins Hill, Wellington, New Zealand


Old 4wd track regenerating to single track, heading down to old bunkers overlooking Sinclair Head.




Bike and Foot


This is a difficult, though fun, track down to the World War II gun emplacements and bunkers at the southern tip of the Te Kopahau Reserve overlooking Sinclair Head.

From near the southern end of Te Kopahau drop down a 20% slope for 1.2km. Around the bottom of this slope Waipapa West heads off down to the adjacent valley floor - though don't think that's an easy way out. If you're still keen, then continue by going up 50m over the next 0.5km.

Now comes the fun part: a rocky slide down a 30%+ slope to a saddle point. This section of track requires a fair bit of concentration and skill, as the surface is loose and very steep (though with a brief respite towards the bottom).

From the saddle point there's a short climb up to the bunkers and their great views over Cook Strait.

The exit from this track is a bit tricky. There are two possibilities, either:

return the same way, which is not an attractive option due to the 300m climb up a very steep track; or

drop down to the beach along what isn't really a track at all. To take this option, as shown on the map, go back almost 0.2km to the saddle point then turn to the east down the valley. The faint track is initially ridable but soon requires walking. Then it gets difficult - the track essentially disappears and you need to scramble down a steep, narrow and scrub-filled gully that resembles a creek more than a track. The last 0.1km is extremely steep, with a slope of around 45%. You'll emerge at the back of a bach just as the track becomes apparent again, so skirt around to the left and on to Pariwhero.

Getting there

Branches off Te Kopahau 0.2km before its lookout over Cook Strait.

Ends at the bunkers above Sinclair Head, followed by an exit strategy that involves scrambling down a gully to Pariwhero on the beach.




Single track

Last modified

7 Aug 2009 by Ian

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