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35km, 3-5 hours, Grade 2 (Easy)
Suitable for: Beginners, casual cyclists and families.
Things to be aware of: This is the only section of the trail within easy reach of the shops. If your ride is across a few days, ensure you have enough food and water.
The first section of the trail runs mostly along the banks of the Hutt River, through parkland on the fairly easy grade sealed and gravel paths of the popular Hutt River Trail. Suitable for families, the population centres of Upper and Lower Hutt are nearby, meaning it’s ideal for a half day casual ride, either partially or in its entirety. For more experienced riders, it’s an easy warm up before the more technical forested section.
Beginning at Petone Wharf. Riders then head along the foreshore to the mouth of the Hutt River, historic site of the Hikoikoi pā, one of the largest Māori settlements in pre-European New Zealand. The trail then follows the river north-east through the park-like public corridor on both sealed and gravelled pathways.
Eventually leaving the riverbank at Te Marua, riders follow a short road section to the entrance to Tunnel Gully to begin the second part of the trail.
Don't leave Petone without picking up some antipasti supplies from La Bella Italia. Sneak in a quick coffee while you're there too!