Please also check our Photo Gallery of Walks.


Where the three cities of Wellington, Porirua and Lower Hutt meet, there is a little-known valley, lying towards the sun on the north-western slopes of the Belmont Hills, Wellington, New Zealand.  There are two little lakes, and a tiny stream which has carved out a wide valley down from the tops.

Once, this valley was full of trees and birdsong.  Hidden here, there are still some fine native New Zealand trees - Tawa, Kohekohe, Pukatea, Kahikatea, white Rata and Nikau palms, with many tree ferns.

You can visit this Valley any day of the year – it is in a public recreation reserve, Belmont Regional Park - with signposted tracks to guide your walks.

Panoramic views from Takapu Track

From the Park tracks you can see some of the bush and our restoration plantings.

The higher you go, the better the views out to the Tasman Sea.

This valley has the real Cannons Creek – the stream which flows all the way from the top of the Belmont Hills to the Kenepuru Stream and the Onepoto arm of Porirua Harbour, and waters this valley.

One of the main objectives of the Friends of Maara Roa is to encourage the public to visit Belmont Regional Park, particularly the Cannons Creek Valley area, and to introduce them to the work of restoration being undertaken by the Friends and supporters since 2000. 

Sadly, our programme of Guided Walks which was set up to do this, is currently in recess.

However, we still want the public to come and visit the Valley and walk around our 100ha restoration area, see the bush, the streams and wetlands, and enjoy this part of Belmont Regional Park.

A map has been provided by Greater Wellington Regional Council, and as a relief map it shows the streams, bush areas, and above all, the current Tracks in the Park, from both Entrances – the Takapu Entrance near Tawa, and the Cannons Creek Entrance in Porirua city.

It shows all the major track junctions to the rest of the Park, and even shows the route of the Transmission Gully Motorway.

You will be able to print it off and take it with you on your walk.


The Valley is in three parts.

The "loops of track" detailed below provide the only public tracks accessing the Maara Roa Maara Roa restoration area.

An energetic party could combine the two for a 5 – 6 hour round trip from either Entrance.

Lower valley - Cannons Creek Lakes Reserve

Technically, this is not part of Belmont Regional Park, but rather it is the Cannons Creek Lakes Reserve, which comes under Porirua City Council's watchful eye.

However, it is necessary to pass through this area as the "Cannons Creek Entrance" to the Belmont Regional Park to then be able to access the tracks in the Middle valley.

Middle valley - the main bush area - Maara Roa Restoration area

Three main tracks can be followed, to complete a loop hike of 2-3 hours from either entrance.

  1. Cannons Creek Entrance (through Cannons Creek Lakes Reserve) to Takapu Farm Road via the Maara Roa Track.  50 minutes uphill or 40 minutes downhill.
  2. Takapu Entrance to Cannons Creek Entrance via the Takapu Track.  30 minutes downhill or 40 minutes uphill.
  3. Takapu Track to the Maara Roa Track via Takapu Farm Road. 30 minutes. This Takapu Farm (vehicle) Road is used to join tracks 1 and 2 to create the loop.

Upper valley - Cannons Creek headwaters

Visiting, you will see a steep-sided valley with the small clear stream surrounded by pasture.

Towards the head, a fan of seven steep gullies with scattered trees lifts to the Belmont ridgeline.

Views north are extensive over most of Porirua city and rural areas from Tawa's hills to Kapiti Island and the Tararua Ranges.

On the Hutt side, views from the Tararua Ranges to the Wellington Heads.

Only one track is found in the upper valley, but it connects to three others which will provide a loop hike from Takapu Entrance of 3 - 3.5 hours.

  1. Takapu Entrance to Cannons Creek - Korokoro saddle via Takapu Ridge Route.  Unformed route – follow orange markers.  1 hour uphill or 45 minutes downhill.
  2. Cannons Creek – Korokoro saddle to Cannons Head Track via Puke Ariki Traverse.  1.6km to the track junction; watch for the turnoff.  40 minutes
  3. Puke Ariki Traverse to Takapu Farm Road via Cannons Head Track.  Unformed route – follow orange markers.  35 minutes downhill or 45 minutes uphill
  4. (Junction of) Cannons Head Track to Takapu Entrance via Takapu Farm Road (sometimes shown as Takapu Duck Creek Road).  Formed and gravelled farm vehicle road.  25 minutes
View of the Belmont Regional Park.

Park View

Examples of orange marker posts and track signs.


A stile is used to enter the Takapu Covenant (Maara Roa restoration area) from farmland when walking from the Takapu Road Entrance to Belmont Regional Park.


A civilised sit down. Here's a bench seat where you can take a breather and consider your next move, because the track forks here.

A restful spot

How To Get There

For walkers and mountain bikers, there are two Park entrances to the valley:

  • Cannons Creek Entrance, Warspite Avenue, Porirua City (2.5km eastwards from SH 1)
    • Sealed off-street free car parking
    • Park map board
    • public toilets, dairies, fast food, bakery, petrol
  • Takapu Entrance, at the end of Takapu Road, Wellington
    • grass verge carpark
    • information kiosk with maps
    • no toilets or water supply or food

Full details including photos of the entrances and "how to get there" mini-maps, are on our Getting There webpage.

Park Regulations

Dogs on leash are permitted in the Cannons Creek Lake Reserve, but no dogs allowed beyond that.

Mountain biking is permitted but no trail bikes or other motorised vehicles.

Care should be taken where possum control with Broudifacom is ongoing.  Notices are posted at key points.

Cattle and sheep graze on the farmland and may be encountered on some tracks.

If you see any damaged signs, stiles, seats, fences etc or stock in trouble on your visit, pleased notify the Belmont Park Ranger - phone 04.586.6614 or 027.443.0362.