Wellington - Wellington

Fly total time: 5 days

The Rimutaka Cycle Trail is part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail and is a spectacular journey from Wellington to Wairarapa. The mostly off-road trail passes through stunning landscapes including winding rivers, bush-clad mountain ranges and an old rail trail.

The trail is suitable for clients who are reasonably fit and capable on a mountain bike. To ride the whole trail takes 2-3 days but it is also possible to do single or half day rides. Plus there is also the option to enjoy the ride as part of a supported or guided tour.

On this five day itinerary your clients can expect to experience breath-taking scenery, picturesque landscapes, award-winning wine and gourmet cuisine.

  • Day 1: Wellington

    Drive Fly 0
    Arrive in Wellington. Spend the day exploring the city on foot.
    Called the world’s ‘coolest little capital’ Wellington is known for its vibrant arts scene, world class café and restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. An easily walkable downtown area is set around an attractive waterfront. Wellington enjoys more cafés, bars and restaurants per capita than New York City, and its coffee and craft beer producers are internationally recognised. 

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 2: Rimutaka Cycle Trail - Wellington to Featherston

    Drive Fly 3 to 10 hours cycling 72 KMS 44 MI
    Today your clients will begin the Rimutaka Cycle Trail. There are several options for starting the trail depending on your client’s fitness and ability.

    Recommended activities:

    Option one – the long ride (approximately 7 – 10 hours cycling)
    • Train from Wellington to Petone. From Petone follow the banks of the Hutt River on the easy grade Hutt River Trail, end this section in Maymorn. From Maymorn ride to Cross Creek, this section includes the picturesque, historic Fell Locomotive Incline – headlights or torches are essential for this part of the trail. The last section from Cross Creek deviates off the official trail and will steer your clients to Featherston where they will overnight.
    Option two – the medium ride (approximately 4 – 5 hours cycling)
    • Train from Wellington to Maymorn. Your clients will get on their bikes in Maymorn and cycle the first section to Cross Creek. They will need headlights or torches for the three railway tunnels along the path of the historic Fell Locomotive Incline. At Cross Creek your clients will turn off the official trail and cycle to Featherston for an overnight stay.
    Option three – the short ride (approximately 3 - 4 hours cycling)
    • Train from Wellington to Maymorn. From Maymorn your clients will strap on a helmet, hop on their bikes and cycle along the picturesque ‘rail trail’ section (headlights or torches are required). The summit is the perfect place to stop for a picnic, before returning to Maymorn where shuttle transport will transfer your clients to Featherston.
  • Day 3: Rimutaka Cycle Trail - Featherston to Orongorongo

    Drive Fly 6 to 9 hours cycling 66 KMS 41 MI
    Today your clients have the option of exploring Featherston and Martinborough, or completing the Rimutaka Cycle Trail.

    The sections from Cross Creek to Ocean Beach and Orongorongo are more challenging than the previous day’s ride. These sections are suitable for clients with a good level of fitness and mountain biking experience.

    Recommended activities:

    Option One – sightseeing in Wairarapa
    • Visit the Fell Locomotive Museum in Featherston
    • Enjoy a guided wine tasting tour to the nearby boutique wine region of Martinborough
    • Experience a small group tour to Ngawi fishing village, the Seal Colony and Palliser Bay Lighthouse, includes gourmet alfresco lunch and glass of wine
    Option Two – Rimutaka Cycle Trail (approximately 6 – 9 hours cycling)
    • Cycle from Featherston to Cross Creek to join the Rimutaka Cycle Trail. From Cross Creek cycle on-road alongside the shore of Lake Wairarapa to Ocean Beach. The final section from Ocean Beach passes through part of the Orongorongo Sheep Station. On a clear day, the snow-capped peaks of the South Island’s Kaikoura Ranges are visible across the Cook Strait (this section can be exposed to strong southerly winds). The trail ends at the mouth of the Orongorongo River where shuttle transport will transfer your clients to Featherston, Martinborough or Wellington where they will overnight.
  • Day 4: Featherston

    Drive Fly 0
    Spend another day exploring Featherston, Martinborough or Greytown.

    Recommended activities:

    Cyclists who completed the Rimutaka Cycle Trail on day three should enjoy some of the non-biking activities listed on day three.

    Your clients might also like to consider the following activities:
    • Spend the day with Gordon the Rural Mailman as he delivers mail all the way to the Southernmost point of the North Island
    • Cycle (approximately 40 minutes) or take a public bus from Featherston to Greytown. Greytown’s charming tree-lined Main Street is filled with beautiful architecture, boutique shopping, delicious cafés and a boutique chocolatier 
  • Day 5: Featherston - Wellington

    Drive Fly 1 hour 64 KMS 39 MI
    Today your clients will take the train from Featherston to Wellington. They can either spend another day exploring Wellington city or fly home.