Rimutaka Cycle Trail

Palliser Bay on the Rimutaka Cycle Trail

An unforgettable ride that takes you through the region's most amazing scenery. From the capital city of Wellington to Wairarapa, the trail winds through the foothills of the Rimutaka Range, across farmland and around the rugged coastline to Orongorongo River.

Ride the whole trail over 4 or 5 days, or select a section.

Download a PDF map of the trail.

Sections of the trail are challenging. Get prepared and stay safe.

THE WHOLE TRAIL

Day One - Wellington to Hutt Valley - 33km

Catch the train from Wellington to Petone. The trail starts on flat easy sealed trail winding beside the Hutt River.

Day Two - Hutt Valley to Wairarapa - 25km

The trail follows the old rail line across the Rimutaka Range on the Rimutaka Rail Trail. You might like to book a shuttle with Rimutaka Shuttles or Martinborough Shuttles to transfer from Cross Creek to your accommodation or add on a few extra kilometres.

Day Three - Wairarapa Exploring

Plenty of options here! Ride into Featherston and see the Fell Engine Museum which houses the last train to operate on the line you road yesterday. Or explore the little wine village of Martinborough which produces some big Pinot Noirs. Or head down past Lake Wairarapa towards the south coast. So much to do you might take an extra day in the Wairarapa to explore properly.

Day Four - Wairarapa to Wellington - 54km

The route takes you around the rugged south coast to Wellington. You'll cross a few mountain streams which have brought tons of rubble down out of the Rimutaka Range. Earthquake scarring with shifts off up to eight metres can be seen and there's nothing on your left except ocean until you reach Antarctica.

 

Find accommodation on the trail

 

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. 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. Or head further down the trail and stay overnight.

'Siberia' on the Rimutaka Cycle TrailRimutaka Cycle Trail - take a torch!

Where to stay

Getting there

Wharekauhau on the Rimutaka Cycle TrailCycling the South Coast

 

Other handy things to know

Read a review in Australian Mountain Bike magazine