Starting on Wellington’s doorstep, this trail winds through the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wairarapa Valley and the mouth of the Orongorongo River.
From the head of Wellington Harbour, the Rimutaka Cycle Trail cuts through the bush-clad Rimutaka Mountain Range, passing through tunnels on an old rail trail, and skirting around the wild southern coast.
The first stage is an easy riverside cycle path called the Hutt River Trail. There are plenty of scenic picnic areas beside this large river and great swimming spots to cool off on a hot summer’s day as the trail gradually climbs to the head of the Hutt Valley.
Beyond the valley the trail enters the Tunnel Gully area in the Pakuratahi Forest on what was once the main railway line between Wellington and the Wairarapa.
Riders will then cross the northern end of the Rimutaka Range on the Rimutaka Rail Trail, one of the most popular and historic trails in the region.
After emerging in the Wairarapa, famous for vineyards and sheep farming, the trail follows a country road past Lake Wairarapa to Ocean Beach.
The final section is the shortest, but also the most adventurous. Aptly named the Wild Coast, it skirts around Turakirae Head, where the Rimutaka Range dives into the pounding Pacific Ocean.
The trail then runs west to the mouth of the Orongorongo River where the Wainuiomata Coast Rd provides a road link back to the city of Wellington.