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Cycle the rail trail

Media Release

15 January 2014

For immediate release  

Cycle the rail trail

Get the family or a group of mates together and join Greater Wellington Regional Council for a day out, cycling the Rimutaka Rail Trail. The Regional Council will take care of the necessities – providing return transport back to the start point and a sausage sizzle at the summit – so all you’ll need to do is relax and enjoy the ride.

The 17km-long, family-friendly rail trail runs from Pakuratahi Forest(north of Upper Hutt) to Cross Creek in the Wairarapa (south of Featherston) and is popular with walkers and cyclists due to its gentle gradient.

Being an old railway line, there’s plenty of interesting features throughout the ride such as historic tunnels and restored railway bridges which were some of the first of their kind in New Zealand.

Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Team Leader, Marketing and Design, Andy Nelson, says that the track has something to appeal to everyone.

“It’s a long, beautiful ride that families or friends of all abilities can do together. There are three tunnels, stream crossings and a free BBQ at the top.

“It’s also a pretty fun downhill ride on the other side for more confident cyclists. You go through some beautiful bush and you don’t have to bike back over the hill, which is a bonus.”

Built between 1875 and 1878, the tunnels on the trail are a popular feature with both kids and adults alike. They vary in length, the shortest being the 73m-long Pakuratahi Tunnel – the first concrete block structure in New Zealand –and the longest, the impressively dark Summit Tunnel at 584m.

Other points of interest include the current Rimutaka Tunnel ventilation shaft, the old railway yards at the summit, horseshoe "Siberia" gully – the site of a massive washout in 1967 and Cross Creek Station – a registered historic site, once a small township.

When:           11:30am, Saturday 1 Februar

Duration:       4 hour

Where:          Pakuratahi Fores

Cost:           $15 per adult or $5 per child. Free for those with own transport.

To book, contact Mathew Walsh on 04 830 4041 or email bookings@gw.govt.nz  


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