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Discover the trail

Situated on the doorstep of New Zealand's coolest little capital, Wellington, the trail connects the city with the expansive Wairarapa region.

Throughout the trail you will see remarkably different landscapes, from urban to wild terrain, it takes in the Hutt River and the Rimutaka Range, through Wairarapa to the southern coast.

It is suitable for a range of ages and abilities and can be ridden in sections of various lengths over one, two or three days.

Riders will uncover traces of New Zealand's rich heritage; ancient Maori settlement sites, European colonial history and the legacy of stone and steel from the days of steam-powered rail.  

Beneath it all is a unique geological landscape visibly shaped by millennia of seismic upheaval.

The Rimutaka Incline is an engineering marvel, but newspapers at the time described it as an "accursed bottleneck" and a "dull, wearisome journey".  If you ask any of us, we'll tell you it was a cyclist's paradise.

- Wade Wallace, CyclingTips

Wondering what your ride's going to be like?  Here are the details of what to expect when you set off:

Petone to Maymorn

Follow the popular Hutt River Trail north, leaving the riverbank at Te Marua, to head along a short road section to the entrance to Tunnel Gully.

Maymorn to Cross Creek

From Tunnel Gully ride through the historic Maymorn Tunnel to Kaitoke, then follow a short public road, which will connect you to the rail trail section.  Follow the Pakuratahi River then ride through plantation forestry to reach the Summit.  On your descent you will follow the old railway route, emerging at Cross Creek.

Cross Creek to Ocean Beach

Here the trail turns south-west and runs alongside the shore of Lake Wairarapa.  Travel through farmland until you reach the coast, at the settlement of Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach to Orgongorongo

From Ocean Beach the final section of the trail runs along the south coast of the North Island.  The southernmost point is at Turakirae Head, where the trail then runs north, to the mouth of the Orongorongo River.  The Wainuiomata Coast Road provides a road link back to Wellington city.


Locomotive ruins

The Rimutaka Cycle Trail traverses the greater Wellington and Wairarapa regions, including the Hutt Valley.  For comprehensive information about each areas accommodation and sights and activities, visit:

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