Remutaka Cycle Trail
Explore Wellington’s 115km wild ride starting and looping back here after the Wairarapa wine country and our big coast
Pedal along one of New Zealand’s 22 ‘Great Rides’ alongside the Hutt River, exploring an old rail trail and tunnels (the trains now go through the hill you’ll ride over) before descending in to lakeside farms.
On the big coast around to Orongorongo will make you feel small in a spectacular landscape before turning the comer back to roads and homes.
Day 1 - train to trail
Make your cycle a leisurely experience by breaking it into smaller pieces. Pitch a tent, cosy up in a cabin or book a bed and breakfast just around the corner from Petone's Jackson Street with 60+ eateries in 800metres and to fill your drink bottles with pure artesian water.
Start the day with a hot cuppa from a Petone coffee roastery, then cycle along the waterfront. A quick stop to Alfred Memelink Artspace.
Rejoin the Remutaka Cycle Trail and follow the easy-riding Hutt River Trail through the leafy suburbs of Lower Hutt. Stop for a coffee and scone at Bellbird Eatery before exploring The Dowse Art Museum. Then join the neighbourhoods you’ll be cycling past to cool off at popular swimming spots like Taita Rock along the Hutt River – a favourite spot for decades.
Head to Silverstream Retreat or a handful of other Upper Hutt bed and breakfast options for a relaxed evening. Knowing you’re just 15 minutes away from a supermarket is a plus to have on any trail and here you have the added bonus of two cities worth of supplies before the following day where you’ll depart the urban landscape.
A small detour from the river across town to the 6 craft brew pubs and distillery at Brewtown is well worth a dinner
Follow the Hutt River Trail to Harcourt Park, where you’ll find earthquake faultline terraces, tour groups reimagining the film location for The Gardens of Isengard in The Lord of the Rings and kids abuzz on the adventure playground.
Day 2 - old railway line and lakeside farms
After crossing under State Highway 2 you'll ride past Maymorn Station and link up with the old railway route from before 1955 when it gently rose over the Remutaka Range to the summit.
The Remutaka Rail Trail is a gently graded 18 km bike ride and is a popular day-walk.Discover old rail bridge or tunnel (definitely take a torch).
The ride follows the Pakuratahi River for much of the way and passes impressive relics including the 'Howe' truss and Ladle Bend bridges. Learn about the railways history thanks to the excellent storyboards along the way. The grassed Summit makes a great area for a picnic lunch before immersing yourself in the nearly 600 metre long tunnel to the Wairarapa side. Here you'll find epic views, a series of eerie tunnels, and the Siberia Gully bridge.
Finished with a small stretch of single track to connect with the rural country road heading south to several sophisticated and quirky rural accommodation for easy overnight stays.
Day 3 - big coast and bushy trails
This is the day you'll want to pull in some advice from your overnight hosts about how adventurous your Wild Coast Trail section of the ride can be. A clear blue sky means impressive vistas to the South Island and a windy forecast makes for a challenge you'll sure be proud of at the end of the day. Some small spots of sand and rock are proof of the raw power of the elements that have created this section of coastline over many millennia. A range of wildlife does call this area home including Turakirae Head with up to 500 fur seals each winter.
Pre-book a shuttle to return to Lower Hutt or continue cycling along Wainuiomata's Coast Road for an overnight option at Remutaka Forest Park. Riders can venture up to the hand-built trails of the mountain bike park at Waiu Park. Pedal along easy climbs that take you to stunning harbour views at the top of the park, with lots of beginner, intermediate tracks plus technical downhills. Taking the shared cycle path downhill will connect you with the start of the trail.
Add on a lighthouse and coastal detour
Cruise around the seaside villages of the Eastern Bays (link: eastern bays ) to the Pencarrow Coast to visit New Zealand's first lighthouse, lit in 1859. Venture to the stunning lakes, Kohangapiripiri and Kohangatera, and surrounding wetlands, that are a touch further on, as you take in big coastal views.
Making your ride easy
Hop on a Wairarapa-bound train for easy bike carrying from Wellington to any choice of trail start in Petone, Maymorn or Featherston. Cycle Remutaka can meet you with a bike or pick up a bike from Green Jersey team at Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park to start your ride.
We've got you covered for bike hire, bag transfers or guided tours too.
- Cycle Remutaka and Green Jersey Explorer Tours are great for advice on what to expect plus bike hire, guided tours and shuttles.
- Team RTD Group cycle hire and shuttles
- Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park is a handy place to stay with cycle hire
- Upper Hutt i-SITE Visitor Information Centre has cycle hire too.
Across the trail you’ll notice signs and directions still in the process of being updated from “Rimutaka” to “Remutaka” the correct spelling of Remutaka Range.