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Top 5 trails for horse riding

Saddle up and get set for five of Wellington’s best trails for horse riding. As these are all shared trails you’ll encounter walkers, runners and riders so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with our tips on shared trail etiquette.

1. Ōtaki River to Beach Trail

Take a ride along the banks of the picturesque Ōtaki River on a trail that’s popular with walkers and mountain bikers. Start your ride from the Ōtaki beachfront and continue past State Highway 1 to the start of the Chrystalls Bend track.

2. Peka Peka Beach

Ride your horse along Peka Peka Beach on the picturesque Kāpiti Coast. Head off on the 15km return trip to Ōtaki River or travel south to Waikanae Beach. You can also ride as far north as you fancy (to Ōtaki and beyond) and make the return journey in your own time. Horse float parking and mounting blocks are available at Peka Peka Road, Te Hapua Road and Sims Road in Peka Peka.

3. Pakuratahi Forest

Pakuratahi Forest is a haven for horse riders, with three different forestry routes to follow through lush regenerating bush. Each of the trails join up with the popular Remutaka Cycle Trail, so keep an eye out for cyclists and other recreational users along the way. Keep in mind that horses are not permitted inside the tunnels on the Remutaka Cycle Trail. You can contact the Greater Wellington Regional Council in Upper Hutt to arrange gate access.

4. Belmont Regional Park

Belmont Regional Park covers 3,500 hectares of hill country and farmland between the Hutt Valley and Porirua making it the perfect playground for walkers, runners, mountain bikers, and horse riders. Explore the rolling hills, bush-clad valleys and farmland that lies between the Hutt Valley and Porirua and take in spectacular views, waterfalls, and WW2 sites.

Please note that permission is required for horse riding in farming areas. Please contact the Greater Regional Council call centre on 0800 496 734 and ask for the Belmont Ranger.

5. Battle Hill Farm Forest Park

Featuring a great variety of terrain, Battle Hill is a very popular horse riding destination near Pauatahanui, in Porirua. With good parking and room for horse floats, there’s also a paddock behind the homestead nearby for grooming if required. A popular spot for pony clubs, the jumps are for organised equestrian events only and casual use is not permitted. No horse riding is allowed in the front paddocks or the bush reserve.