Top trails in the Hutt Valley

A long suspension bridge amongst Native bush and trees in the Kaitoke Regional Park.
Group of friends taking a break from walking and laying out a small picnic in the middle of a forest at Butterfly Creek.
A long suspension bridge amongst Native bush and trees in the Kaitoke Regional Park.

Swing Bridge Track

Kaitoke Regional Park, Upper Hutt

Kaitoke Regional Park, north of Upper Hutt, has many trails among the foothills of the Rimutaka Ranges. The Swing Bridge Track is a 7km walk that takes 1.5 hours to complete.

It takes you across a swing bridge suspended high above the Hutt River, then weaves downstream towards the river gorge. On this walk, mature rimu and rātā trees tower above you, and the Hutt River churns below.

For the past 20+ years, Kaitoke Regional Park has been a stopping point for Lord of The Rings fans, as this area served as a film location for Rivendell.

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Ōrongorongo Track

Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt

Located in the Catchpool and Orongorongo Valleys, the Orongorongo Track provides a popular area for camping, hiking, and walking. At 10km, the moderately challenging route takes an average of 2hr 45 min to complete.

Accessed south of Wainuiomata, the track is about 45 minutes from Wellington. The trail climbs gently through mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest surrounding the Ōrongorongo River. And at the end of the walk, there are swimming holes at Tūrere Stream to cool off.

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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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Tane’s Track

Tunnel Gully, Upper Hutt

Hidden away in the Hutt Valley, Tane’s Track is a leisurely 2.3km walking route winding from the Tunnel Gully carpark, through native bush to Mount Climie and back.

Begin your walk from the lower picnic area, then take the left-hand branch through rimu, mātai, kahikatea and tawa forest. Cross the road that once formed the Remutaka railway line and climb through black beech forest up to Collins stream and a waterfall. Shortly after starting back towards the carpark, you’ll cross the Mount Climie access road and pass a grove of eucalyptus trees. This was once the campsite for workers who built the Mangaroa Railway Tunnel.

This hour-long walk is protected from southerlies and dog-friendly.

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Te Whiti Riser

Lower Hutt

Te Whiti Riser provides accessible, multi-purpose walks that are popular with walkers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, and families. This wide, smooth trail follows a gentle gradient from Te Whiti Park in Waiwhetu to the ECNZ road at the top of the Hayward Eastern Hills.

The 3.6km track rises to 173m and offers extensive views of the Hutt Valley. The trail links up to other popular spots, including the Waiu Park trail network and East Harbour Regional Park.

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Group of friends taking a break from walking and laying out a small picnic in the middle of a forest at Butterfly Creek.

Kowhai Street Track

Located in Lower Hutt’s East Harbour Regional Park, the Kowhai Street Track is a great option for a short walk. Beginning in Kowhai Street, Eastbourne, the well-maintained track climbs to reveal wonderful views over Wellington Harbour. Roughly 1km along the track, a junction gives the option to take a longer return route via MacKenzie Road Track or a 15-minute descent to Butterfly Creek.

Butterfly Creek Valley is surrounded by silver fern and beech trees that make for a cooling walk after your initial exertion. With so many tracks to choose from and excellent bush cover providing shelter from the wind, the Northern Forest is a fine spot to spend the day.

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