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Points of interest on the Rimutaka Cycle Trail

Keep an eye out for these interesting sights along the Rimutaka Cycle Trail.

Rimutaka cycle Hutt City

Petone to Tunnel Gully

  • Petone Settlers Museum – Exhibits from New Zealand’s earliest European settlements.
  • Pito-One Pa site – One of pre-European New Zealand’s largest Māori settlements.
  • Boulcott’s Farm Memorial – in remembrance of colonial soldiers killed in 1845 clash with Māori.
  • Barton’s Bush – part of the Trentham Memorial Park. It is a remnant of the native forest that once largely filled the upper Hutt Valley.
  • Harcourt Park – Includes the pedestrian suspension bridge at Norbert Street, Lord of the Rings film location (Gardens of Isengard), and views of seismic terrace formations.
Tunnel Gully Rimutaka Rail Trail 1

Tunnel Gully to Cross Creek

  • Mangaroa Tunnel - A 253m long tunnel, built between 1875 and 1877, as part of the original Wellington to Wairarapa rail link.
  • Pakuratahi Tunnel - built in 1876 and 73m long, this was the first concrete block structure in New Zealand.
  • Pakuratahi Truss Bridge - 1876; 28m long, this is a "Howe" truss bridge. It is the oldest truss bridge in New Zealand, and was rebuilt in 1910 after a fire. Greater Wellington Regional Council restored the bridge in 2001.
  • Ladle Bend Creek Bridge - 1875; 70m long; this is New Zealand's second oldest simple beam (understrutted) bridge. It has stone abutments and a central pier. Greater Wellington Regional Council restored this bridge in 2002.
  • Summit Yards - this was the site of five cottages, a signal box, water tank, ashpit, turntable (1943) and old locomotive remnants (not from "Fell" engines). Since 2000 there has been significant landscaping and planting work carried out in this area.
  • Summit Tunnel - dating from 1877, this is 584m long, and was resurfaced together with the rest of the Rail Trail in 1999. The 1 in 15 gradient used for the Fell engines started part way through this tunnel.
  • Siberia Tunnel -1878, 108m long.
  • Horsehoe "Siberia" Gully - A large earth embankment on a sweeping 100m radius curve filled the gully from 1876 to 1967 when it collapsed in a massive washout. The concrete intake shaft installed to collect and divert the stream remains standing in the gully.
  • Price's Tunnel - 1875-76. 98m long, this has a 1 in 15 grade on an "S" curve.
Rimutaka cycle Lake Wairarapa

Cross Creek to Orongorongo

  • Cross Creek Station - A registered Historic Site, this was once occupied by several cottages, a hall, school, library, locomotive depot and a turntable
  • Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park – Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park is made up of the beds of Lake Wairarapa and Lake Onoke and the publicly owned reserves around them. This covers over 9,000 hectares, from Lake Domain in the north to Onoke Spit, 30km away, at Palliser Bay.
  • The wetlands are traditionally and spiritually important to Māori as an area for food gathering, including eel, fish, waterfowl, and plant material, in particular, flax and raupo.
  • Waiorongomai early settlers church - Seven generations of the Matthews family have farmed Waiorongomai Station since first settlers, Charles and Elizabeth Matthews arrived in 1842 on the sailing ship London.
  • All Saints Church was built by the Matthews family in memory of Alfred and Hannah Matthews, who died in 1926. It was Alfred Matthew's desire to have an ecumenical church as a place for the whole community to use and to serve as a memorial to the pioneers of the district and to all the families who have worked on Waiorongomai since 1842.
  • Lake Onoke - Walk along Onoke Spit, and look across the sea channel toward Lake Ferry. Stay to the central highest strip of the narrow spit, as the adjacent area is habitat for rare species of plants, birds, and insects; rare Caspian Tern, breed on the spit. Look for banded dotterel, albatross and penguins, or check out to sea-dolphins, seals, and whales are sometimes visible.
Rimutaka Cycle Trail coast

Southern Wairarapa Coastline

  •  Southern Coastline: Located on the south coast of the Wairarapa is the oldest house site in New Zealand. Māori settled the Palliser Bay area in approximately 1200 AD. Archaeological data tells us it is one of the oldest inhabited areas in New Zealand.The coast is filled with stories of early settlement, shipwrecks, violent storms and earthquake upheaval.
  • Turakirae Head Raised Beaches: The name Turakirae tells us that this is the headland (rae) where the Rimutaka Range comes down (turaki) to the sea. The five earthquake-raised beaches are internationally-renowned in scientific circles for the continuous record they provide of geological upheaval over the past 7,000 years.The most recent uplift occurred in 1855 when an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale raised the beach 2.5 metres at Turakirae Head and 1.7 metres in Wellington Harbour.The second beach ridge was uplifted by a similar ’quake around 1460 AD. This is now about 8 metres above sea level and is separated from the 1855 beach by a platform of large boulders. A similar platform separates the third beach at about 16 metres above sea level. This beach is estimated to have been uplifted about 3,000 years ago.
  • Seal Colony: Up to 500 New Zealand fur seals stay at Turakirae Head each winter. The colony mainly comprises juvenile males, which spend their time here building up condition before moving to breeding colonies in other areas.During the breeding season they will not eat for three months or more, living off the fat reserves they build up over winter. This colony began in 1950 and has steadily increased since then to become the largest haulout on the south Wellington coast.
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