Top 5 best trails in Wellington

The best of the best, the crème de la crème, the pick of the litter – you get the drift – these trails are sure to impress. Popular with locals and visitors alike, these are the trails to make you fall in love (or fall back in love) with the Wellington region.

1. Remutaka Cycle Trail

One of New Zealand’s Great Rides, the Remutaka Cycle Trail is one for your bucket list. Starting near the creative and culinary capital, Wellington, travel through Lower Hutt, nestled by the Hutt River, and Upper Hutt, set amongst bush-clad hills. An old rail trail leads you through the Remutaka Ranges, to the country roads of rural Wairarapa and its boutique vineyards. The final section takes you along the rugged South Coast, where mountains dive into the Pacific Ocean.

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Remutaka Cycle Trail_people mountain biking Cape Palliser
Remutaka Cycle Trail_ people mountain biking on Cape Palliser
Remutaka Cycle Trail_people biking and crossing stream at Cape Palliser
Makara Peak_people mountain biking downhill

2. Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park

A world-class park offering more than 40 mountain biking trails set amongst 250 hectares of spectacular native bush, Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park is a destination for all mountain biking enthusiasts. With expertly-designed tracks weaving their way around Makara Peak, this mountain bike park offers something for everyone – from beginners through to experts and all family members. Enjoy stunning views over the suburb of Karori, central Wellington, and as far as the South Island.

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3. Te Araroa Escarpment Track

Take in spectacular views of Kāpiti Island from high above the Kāpiti Coastline on one of the region’s finest walking experiences. The Escarpment Track is not for the faint-hearted: you’ll climb 220 metres above sea level, scale around 2,000 steep steps, navigate narrow pathways across ridgelines and traverse two swing bridges. Head out on an adventure and make a day of this 10km long trail.

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People walking over swing bridge on Escarpment trail
Southern Walkway_girls seating at a picnic table admiring the view
Southern Walkway two women walking and talking on the South Coast
Two women walking the Southern Walkway

4. Southern Walkway

The Southern Walkway is beloved to Wellington locals and visitors alike. Starting in Wellington’s CBD on Oriental Parade and following the Town Belt through some of the city’s best loved parks and suburbs, the Southern Walkway winds all the way to Island Bay. There’s view and sights all along the way: take in the panoramic views of the city from the top of Mt Vic, see famous film locations from The Lord of the Rings, traverse suburbs on urban bush trails to arrive at the wild grandeur of the South Coast.

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5. Skyline Track

One of Wellington’s premier trails, the Skyline Track is a journey along Wellington’s highest ridgelines and peaks, from Makara Peak, past Mount Kaukau to Johnsonville. The historical Skyline trail makes the perfect adventure either on bike or on foot and in either direction, and you can customise your experience with the many starting and exits points.

This trail involves some challenging steep terrain, but you’ll be rewarded for your effort with panorama views across the Wellington region, and it’s easy to take a bus or train back to the city afterwards.

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Skyline Walkway_girls enjoying the outdoors on Mt Kaukau

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