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- First time that I’ve done the entire trail so much fun the swing bridge at Siberia is fun and the single track at Featherston end is fun goats and allWritten 13 September 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- Great walking tracks and the tunnel itself is really interesting (especially since I did not have a torch) Also a number of interesting spots for a nice picnicWritten 17 December 2018This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- The Rimutaka Cycle Trail is a lopp that taes you up the Hutt Valley, along the Rimutaka Rail Trail over the hills, down into the Wairarapa and then back round the headlands to the Wellington Region.
It's spectacular and varied, from suburbia in the lower Hutt Valley, following the river until it becomes a much narrower gorge, then swapping to the line of the old railway as you climb through native bush through tunnels (some 100m+ long), then into the steep descent into the Wairapapa region. From there, you follow the quiet country roads past the lake to the coast. The coastal stretch is epic - the tracks become narrow, and in places fans of sand and stones mean that you may have to get off an push - but its a spectacular ride to the mouth of the Orongaronga River.
We went from Petone Wharf to the Orongaronga Car Park over two days, hiring bikes from Everyone's Adventure (who run the Cycle Rimutaka website) and booking our own accommodation, but we could have done the whole thing with Dave and his team at Cycle Rimutaka (which we kind of did in the end!)
Day 1 was 72km; we collected our bikes at the wharf, cross-packed out things into the panniers and set off. The first 5-10km was easy but slow as we'd chosen to start at the same time as a 5/10km fun run along the same route. Here, the Cycleway follows The Riverside Trail on a shared path, which is pretty popular from Lower Hutt to Upper Hutt.
The track is well posted here - although ; there's a short section where you dog-leg over a bridge and through a park to get back to the river as it narrows to a gorge. The trail is much narrower - and an actual trail, with some short steep dips and so on giving you a chance to try out a few other gears.
After you cross under SH2 there's a short road section past the Te Marua dairy (local shop) which is the last real chance to stop for refreshments. The road section to Tunnel Gully is short and quiet - all of the traffic is on SH2.
From Maymorn into Tunnel Gully is the fist steep hill - this is along a well made unsealed road; no, trains didn't go up here, its where the new railway cuts under the hill. We stopped for lunch at the picnic area here, which is a grove of trees. There's good toilets here too, but no drinking water.
There's another short road section past the Go-Kart track (which was open for a meet, and provided another refreshment stop. At that point you are into the Rimutaka Rail Trail; the climb takes you up through a winding,tree-filled valley and is long but gentle. There's a few big tunnels - we made sure we had good head torches as the surfaces in the tunnels are bumpy and of course there are other people there too.
Summit Station is a great place break -wide flat and open, good toilets and so on. After that you are onto the steep descent, with the spectacular Siberia Bridge. It can be quite windy there - a board by the bridge commemorates a train being blown off the tracks.
The descent is steep; the trains were "fell engines" using a rack-and-pinion system to climb. It's also less well formed than the ascent side,so while you can go fast, a bit of care is needed until you get to Cross Creek.
At Cross Creek there's a sharp right, and you leave the railway for another trail; this is a bit more up and down,and quite narrow, but easy. It takes you through the bush to a carpark and then the road.
We had 12k to go here to our accommodation in Karaka Cottage on Waiorongomai Station. They provide a great heat-to-eat meal, and we had a few beers and wines as the stars came out.
The weather forecast for the next day wasn't great, so we contacted the hire company who offered a pickup at the Orongaronga River instead of pressing right on round to Eastbourne , we just had to let them know.
With that in our back pocket we did the 20km to the sea along the quiet road pretty fast; there's one large hill, but other than that its smooth going to Ocean Beach.
The Wild Coast is just that; the track sections are great, but in places you are cutting above the beach through debris fans (rocks and sand) and over washouts. More skilled mountain bikers might be able to do the full thing, but we were in the get-off-and-push crowd. It's open, wild and empty. We saw a pod of 30+ dolphins having fun in the bay. The wind can blast out of the valleys, and there's a few streams to ford.
The final run into the Orongaronga car park was tough into a hard northerly, so we - and another couple - decided to call it a day there. Dave came and collected us, showing us the short road section and where you would cross over to Baring Heads, the last hill.
The next weekend we hired bikes at the Bike Shed and did the final stretch out and back to baring head. The track is great, wide, and popular, but after the Wild Coast it's less spectacular. We climbed to Baring Head and the lighthouse to loo back on where we had been. The ride back confirmed it had been a good idea to bail out early! There wasn't a strong Northerly wind, but it howls round those bays, and on the back of the Wild Coast section if you are not a fit, active cycling enthusiast it would be pretty tough!
So fantastic trip; make sure you have enough water and food,and keep an eye on the weather. Would advice hiring bikes as we did with the recovery option :-)Written 14 March 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wellington
- These experiences are best for biking trails in Wellington:
- Wellington Electric Bike Tour
- Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour by Electric Bike
- Half- Day Wellington Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour
- Full-Day Wellington Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour
- Remutaka Rail Trail Explorer Cycle Tour
- These places are best for biking trails in Wellington:See more biking trails in Wellington on Tripadvisor