Tunnel Gully’s growing mountain bike network to feature
Tunnel Gully’s growing mountain bike network to feature in open day
The Wellington region’s burgeoning reputation as a mountain biking hot spot is being further bolstered by track building in Upper Hutt’s Tunnel Gulley, where newly opened and recently built trails will be in full action during the Tunnel Gully Mountain Bike Trail Open Day on Saturday 10 March.
Volunteer mountain bike enthusiasts and trail builders NtrailZ have been working with Greater Wellington since 2015 on trail development in the Station Drive and Tunnel Gully section of Pakuratahi Forest. There are now seven intermediate trails, which link to create long loops for great riding. The trails also connect to the Remutaka Cycle Trail, which runs through the forest and connects into the very popular Rimutaka Rail Trail.
Mountain biking is a sport that’s being built from the ground up by volunteers, who are slowly but surely laying the foundations for local and regional tourism. The latest figures for NtrailZ alone show that in 2016 the group spent more than 1,000 person hours on building, clearing and maintaining tracks in Tunnel Gully. They have dig days every weekend at the Tunnel Gully tracks and average well over 100 person hours per month.
Work is continuing as the track network expands. A new trail is being built at Tunnel Gully and three more are in the pipeline.
The effort is paying off. “In the past, the area has had relatively little mountain bike use, but now with these trails in place we are seeing regular mountain bikers in Tunnel Gully. Word is getting out about the riding opportunities in this area and there are more and more riders taking advantage of great terrain so close to a major city,” says Jimmy Young Greater Wellington’s Eastern Principal Ranger, Parks.
“We’re inviting riders to explore this developing mountain bike area at the Tunnel Gully Recreation Area. Club members from NtrailZ will be on hand to either take riders on a guided ride or just point them in the right direction, anytime between 10am-2pm. After the ride riders will be able to enjoy a well-earned sausage sizzle and a chance to win a spot prize.”
Saturday 10 March
Tunnel Gully Recreation Area, Plateau Road, Upper Hutt