The circuit around the Remutaka Ranges is a symphony of contrasts as it leaves the wide pathways of the city though a dark foreboding tunnel, transporting riders into the green rugged ranges that is steeped in railway heritage before delivering the finale along the exposed and scenic southern coast.
The trail has a mix of surfaces, grades and terrain. Leaving Petone is on an easy flat path, the hills are a mountain bike trail, and the coastline is suitable for more advanced riders. The trail sections can be experienced as a day trip or combined into a multi-day excursion.
The Remutaka Cycle Trail is an 'A to B' trip between Petone in the Hutt Valley, and Orongorongo River on the edge of the Cook Strait. The trail is divided into four distinct sections, that can be experienced as a day trip or in its entirety as 2-3 day experience. With five tunnels on the Remutaka Range to ride, one being 584m long, it is a fascinating journey.
While the trail can be cycled in any direction, it is usually ridden clockwise finishing at Orongorongo River due to the steep descent eastward from the historic place called 'Summit'. The most popular section for visitors is from Maymorn Station to Cross Creek. Some riders elect to take the train between Petone, Maymorn, and Featherston to start and or return from their trip via the Metlink service.
The first part of the trail is suitable for most riders, however once past Summit and heading out to the Wairarapa coast, the trail is suitable for more experienced riders as it has a more variable surface and includes public roads. The trail width varies from a generous path near Petone to narrow single track.
There are difficult sections of trail along the coastline, especially if there has been recent rain, with soft gravels, and changing scree fans. Toilets are dotted along the trail, and the main services are in the Hutt Valley and at Featherston - a settlement 9km off the trail. Once past Cross Creek, there are no services until you reach civilisation again in the Hutt Valley.
Please refer to the official trail website and Facebook links for the most recent safety updates, conditions and trail details.