Hike, Bike and Beer
Sit back with a well-earned brew after a day of epic outdoor adventure
Hike, bike and beer! You’ll find all the ingredients for a perfect day here in the Hutt Valley. Earn that thirst with one of New Zealand’s 22 "Great Rides", the Remutaka Cycle Trail. Encompassing a historic railway tunnel, stunning riverside scenery, rugged coastline and tranquil bush, the trail has some great eating and drinking options along the way. Break your trip up into one or three days, or challenge yourself with a full-day ride.
The trail kicks off in historic Petone, a diverse suburb with a hipster buzz. Stop off at Baylands Brewery, a boutique brewery with a cellar door and tasting room where you can sample a drop of their finest Petone Pale Ale. And if beer’s not your thing, they also make a great coffee. Petone is also home to a thriving dining scene, with a plethora of eateries to tempt your tastebuds. Take your pick from one of the many cafes or restaurants that line Jackson Street, where you can sip a locally-brewed Hardieboys ginger beer, or enjoy the ocean view and quirky arcade-inspired décor at the always humming Seashore Cabaret. As well as boasting a great array of dining places to suit every budget, Petone also offers an opportunity to sample pure artesian water at Te Puna Wai Ora, where you can fill your water bottles for free while taking in the unique sculpture created by Louise Purvis.
Heading north on the cycle trail, craft beer and artisan whiskey lovers will love Brewtown, Wellington’s only craft beer village. Located within walking distance to the Upper Hutt train station, Brewtown is home to some of New Zealand’s most iconic craft beer brands including Panhead, Boneface Brewing Company, Kereru Brewing, Te Aro Brewing Company, Wild Kiwi Distillery and Good George Brewing. Soak up some sun while you enjoy an award-winning brew paired with delicious barbeque, burgers and more.
Only want to take on part of the Remutaka Cycle Trail? It's easy with train and ride options. Start by taking the Hutt Valley Line to Upper Hutt - it's free for your bike in non-peak times. Fuel up at Cake & Kitchen opposite the train station before riding the Remutaka Rail Trail to Featherston. The trail passes over restored railway bridges and through historic tunnels from the original Wellington to Wairarapa railway line. It’s an ideal day out for children aged seven years and over, with plenty of signs along the way telling the story of the historic railway and surrounding area. While in Featherston, recharge at the Featherston Baker – where you can wash down your baked goodies with a complimentary coffee – or relax in the charming outdoor garden with a delicious woodfired pizza at Brac and Bow.
Keen to explore on foot? Our beautiful region offers plentiful opportunities to get amongst it all and hike amongst some stunning scenery. Lord of the Rings fans won’t want to miss Kaitoke Regional Park, home to Rivendell, a key location in the blockbuster trilogy. This family-friendly destination is less than an hour from Wellington’s CBD and is the perfect place for the kids to roam free. With lush, bush-clad hills, the Hutt River gorge and centuries-old native forest, the park is a magical natural setting. Pitch a tent and camp along the Akatarawa River, where a multitude of bushwalks await with swimming holes nestled next to ancient rimu and rata. Swim in tranquil river pools or explore forest tracks, dare the swing bridge, or walk the Ridge Track for great views of the upper Hutt Valley. The park has activities to suit all ages, including tracks that are completely accessible and buggy friendly.
With so much on offer, it can be hard to decide what to do first! To make building your own adventure easy, we’ve put together some great one-day itineraries, so you’ll have even more time to sit back, relax and enjoy that amazing vista while cracking open a well-earned beer.