Rimutaka Cycle Trail
Come and experience the Rimutaka Cycle Trail - an unforgettable ride that takes you through the region's most amazing scenery.
The trail runs from Wellington to the Wairarapa, through hills, across farmland and around the rugged coastline. It has sections for all ages and abilities. Ride the whole trail over 4 or 5 days, or select a section below.
Sections of the trail are challenging. Get prepared and stay safe.
TOP TRAIL PICKS - FROM WELLINGTON
To the summit and back (2hr return, easy to intermediate)
This is a great little half-day trip if you've never tried the trail before. Pack a picnic, pop the bikes on the car and drive to Kaitoke, 45 minutes north of Wellington. From there, head off on a stunning, gentle ride up through native bush and tunnels and over bridges to Summit Station. To get to the start of the ride, turn off SH2 about 9km north of Upper Hutt (look out for the sign saying Pakuratahi Forest). There's a carpark 1km along the road.
If you'd rather not drive you can catch the train from Wellington to Maymorn station and start the trail from there - it's just a bit longer.
Wairarapa day-trip (3hr one way, easy to intermediate)
No car? No problem. Take a 40-minute scenic train trip from Wellington city to Maymorn, hop straight onto the cycle trail and ride up to the summit. From there, it's down through dramatic gullies and rolling farmland to Cross Creek. Stay at historic Lake Meadows Homestead or carry on to the shops and cafes of Featherston (9km) on the handy off-road limestone trail, then catch the train home. Check out a train timetable.
Petone to Wairarapa on two wheels (easy to intermediate)
Keen for an unforgettable two-day cycling trip? This is it! Day 1: Start with a leisurely brunch on Jackson Street and a trip to the fascinating Settlers Museum on the Petone waterfront. Then take a scenic cycle along the Hutt River and stay the night at Silverstream Retreat. Day 2: Head up and over the Rimutaka Ranges, then down to Cross Creek, with views across Lake Wairarapa. Where to from here?
- Cycle on the off-road trail to Featherston and visit the Fell Locomotive Museum the to see the train that once ran through the Rimutaka tunnels.
- Ride on to the wine village of Martinborough (18 km, intermediate), or book a shuttle to whisk you and your bikes straight there.
- Stay at the historic Rotopai Farmstay which is half way to Martinborough, or at Martinborough Hotel right on the village square.
Find accommodation on the trail
For all other Wairarapa accommodation click here.
Like some company on the ride? Go with a guide from Green Jersey Cycle Tours - they'll even pack you a picnic.
CARRY ON SOUTH
Cross Creek to Ocean Beach (3-4 hrs, intermediate)
This is the flattest part of the trail, leading you through farmland beside Lake Wairarapa. Stop for a picnic on the lakefront or at Waiorongomai, in the shade of native bush. Refill your water bottle at the church opposite Waiorongomai, or at Western Lake Woolshed - 3594 Western Lake Road.
Where to stay
- Historic Waiorongomai Station - beautiful rooms, setting and story
- Western Lake Bach - an old farmhouse with excellent views
- Rotopai Farmstay - a modern restored farmstay retaining its old themes
- Western Lake Woolshed - done up in style!
- Te Rakau - sleep in a converted train carriage and go bird watching the next day
- Wharekauhau Country Estate - pure luxury, for the night or just lunch
- Camp at Corner Creek at the far end of Ocean Beach.
- Drive or catch the train to Featherston then cycle the hour to Cross Creek, all on off-road limestone trail.
- Book a shuttle back from the other end.
Ocean Beach to Orongorongo (5-6 hrs, intermediate)
This section takes in the beautiful, rugged South Coast. It's the most challenging and remote part of the trail. Pack plenty of food and water, your repair kit and a mobile phone however reception is patchy. The track is constantly changing, with mountain streams washing down rubble from valleys stretching up into the Rimutaka Ranges.
Other handy things to know
- Be prepared - here's how
- Book a shuttle to get you home
- Done the trail? Tell us about it with this quick survey