Top 5 trails in the Wellington region

People waqlking down the steps on the Escarpment Track overlooking kapati island.

Remutaka Cycle Trail

From railway tunnels, river swims, and rugged coastlines to historic sites, native bush, and peaceful farmland, the Remutaka Cycle Trail has it all. The spectacular ride is one of 23 Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand and winds through diverse grades and environments.

Running between the Petone foreshore and Palliser Bay on the Cook Strait, the trail can be cycled or walked in either direction. At 115km in length over four sections, the full ride can be done in one day for experienced cyclists or 2 to 3 days if you’re after a more leisurely ride.

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Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park

Set in 250 hectares of dense native bush, Mākara Peak Mountain Bike Park is located 7km from the Wellington CBD. It offers mountain bikers a range of trails over 45km of varied terrain. The world-class tracks weave their way around Mākara Peak, offering views over the suburb of Karori, central Wellington, and on a clear day, the South Island.

Established in 1998 by a group of volunteers, what was once a gorse-covered farm, is now used by thousands of riders and walkers every year. An ongoing reforestation project has meant 38,000 trees have been planted, and two prestigious conservation awards have been given to acknowledge the work.

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Skyline Walkway

The Skyline Walkway makes the perfect adventure either on a bike or on foot. Bring your stamina and your camera for your journey along the ridge tops above the Outer Green Belt.

From Mākara Peak in the south to Mount Kaukau in the north, the terrain can be challenging and exposed in places. There are plenty of steep undulations, but you’ll be rewarded with views across the entire Wellington region. You can complete the journey in both directions but be prepared to set aside at least a half day.

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Southern Walkway

The Southern Walkway starts at Roseneath Park and lookout near Wellington’s CBD and follows the Town Belt south through to Island Bay on the rugged South Coast.

Highlights along the way include panoramic views from the summit of Mount Victoria lookout and famous film locations from The Lord of the Rings franchise. The descent through Sinclair Park to The Esplanade, and the coastline of Taputeranga Marine Reserve are wonderful too.

The are some short deviations to shops or cafès along the way, so you can complete the trail in stages. The northern section of this trail is for walkers only, but there are lots of mountain biking routes on Mount Victoria. The southern section is open to both walkers and bikers.

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People waqlking down the steps on the Escarpment Track overlooking kapati island.

Escarpment Track

The Escarpment Track runs from Paekākāriki to Pukerua Bay, taking in sweeping views of the spectacular Kāpiti Coastline and Kapiti Island. Heading south, the trail follows the Kāpiti railway line, then veers uphill across privately-owned farmland. You’ll climb 220 meters above sea level and navigate steep, narrow pathways.

Families of all ages enjoy this trail, but it is not recommended for the faint-hearted: you’ll scale around 1,200 steep steps, navigate narrow pathways across ridgelines, and traverse two swing bridges.

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