Planning on riding the Remutaka Cycle Trail? Contact Green Jersey Explorer Tours for the best deals on the trail!
This trail, right on the doorstep of New Zealand's Capital City, has something for everyone. One highlight is the old railway line connecting Wellington and Wairarapa, with 4 historic tunnels, and plenty of interesting locomotive history. For the Epicurians, the trail passes through the Wairarapa, one of the country's top wine and food regions. The Hutt Valley has some gentle grade 1 riding, or for a true wilderness experience, take on the Wild Coast to make it a challenging loop.
If you are just looking for a single day ride, the Remutaka Rail Trail section is recommended, either to the Summit and back, or over to Featherston. But a two to three day adventure is recommended to get the full taste of the trail.
Hutt River Trail (35 km)
Starting from Petone, a beautiful harbourside village with plentiful boutique shopping, spend a day meandering up river on the mostly flat and sealed shared path. Upper Hutt has options for lunch, while the trail continues on up towards Maymourn. This section is mostly easy, grade 2 riding. There are some nice swimming spots if the weather is right, particularly upstream from Upper Hutt.
Remutaka Rail Trail (25 km)
From Maymourn, Tunnel Gully has the first of the historic train tunnels, so don't forget to bring a bike light or head torch for this section! The gradient is mostly gentle as the trail follows the 19th century rail line up towards the old Summit Station. It is best to ride the tunnels slowly rather than walk them as there is often water under foot. After the summit, the descent begins on one of the steepest train inclines in the world (not so steep by cycling standards, though you may have to carry your bike the short distance through Siberia Gully). This Remutaka Incline utilised a special type of Fell locamotive to help get trains up the hill.
Eventually, riders will come out at Cross Creek. From here it is around 12 km ride to the township of Featherston, or you may wish to head towards the wineries of Martinborough for the night, before tackling the final coastal section.
Wild Coast (54 km)
From Cross Creek, the next section follows country roads down the side of Wairarapa Moana, an important lake and wetland for the region. It is flat, and with luck, the prevailing northerly wind will provide a nice tailwind. After 36 km you will reach the coast, where the real challenge begins. This isolated section is flat but can have sand-blown surfaces and strong winds. There are no shops and no reception, but seabirds and magnificent views galore!
Green Jersey Explorer Tours can provide you with a Spot Tracker (and location beacon if it is needed), and can collect you from the end of the trail at Orongorongo to drop you back where you need. Or a further section of riding to get you back around to Days Bay where the ferry can take you back to Wellington.