It seems there is an epidemic of bike riding in New Zealand, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to get your family in on the fun. Check out some of these family-friendly bike ride tracks in Wellington.
Wellington has a huge selection of interesting and fun cycling tracks for you and the family to go on an adventure bike ride on.
pencarrow coast road
This relatively easy 20km ride will take about 2-3 hours return. Sea birds and plant life thrive on the exposed coastline, while the nationally significant Lakes Kohangapiripiri and Kohangatera are home to a variety of wildlife.
hutt valley trail
Explore the Hutt Valley on a bike courtesy of purpose-built cycle trails that follow both sides of the Hutt River. For a more ambitious ride, follow all the way to the Rimutaka Incline Trail and across to the Wairarapa.
red rocks coastal track, te kopahou reserve
An easy 8km return track that starts at the west end of Owhiro Bay Parade by the Taputeranga Marine Reserve Visitor Centre and follows the coastline to Red Rocks, then onto Sinclair Head. New Zealand fur seals can be spotted from May-October.
aotea lagoon, porirua
This is a sheltered public park with a wide, sealed 732m pathway around the lagoon. There is an adventure fort and playground, a fenced toddlers’ playground, and picnic areas close by to use while watching the children.
ara harakeke pathway
The 8.7km shared pathway runs alongside rugged coastal areas, four beaches, a nationally important wetland, a steam train operation, and World War Two pillboxes. It passes through three communities: Mana, Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay in the north. It has great places to stop for coffee and refreshments at Mana and Plimmerton.
rimutaka rail trail, upper hutt
Running 18km from Kaitoke to Cross Creek, the Rimutaka Rail Trail is a popular recreation route used by more than 30,000 walkers, runners and cyclists each year. It is an easy gradient with a gravel surface. From Kaitoke Gate to the Summit takes about an hour. Return the same way, or continue down to the Cross Creek carpark (another hour) and then cycle along flat roads to Featherston Station (allow 45 mins) to catch a train back. The Trail features restored railway bridges and historic tunnels (take a torch). Enjoy swimming and fishing in the nearby Pakuratahi River and picnic or camp in the pleasant surrounds of Ladle Bend and Summit.
This flat, family-friendly and scenic ride follows the shared path around Wellington waterfront. With a whole range of extra family activities to take in, such as Frank Kitts Park, Te Papa, and Oriental Bay. The waterfront offers a perfect chance to cycle to one of the weekend markets to pick up some local art, crafts and produce.
gum loops track, wainuiomata
A gentle ride that takes in beautiful regenerating bush with a mix of gum trees. A loop ride will take no more than an hour. There are plenty of picnic spots along the river and a number of signposted swimming holes for a refreshing dip. Access is best from the Wainuiomata Waterworks area, off Moores Valley Road.
wainuiomata trail project
This purpose built mountain bike park offers something for the whole family, starting with the gently undulating wetlands loop through to dedicated downhill tracks. Access is from Waiau Street in Wainuiomata.
mt victoria, central wellington
if you’re looking for somewhere to bike ride that’s close to the city, then Mt Victoria is your place. Only five minutes from the CBD, Mt Vic offers some more challenging off-road riding for the family. There are some wide walking paths and an easy single track through to good downhill options and a skills area.
Safety points that count the most when on a bike ride
- make sure everyone has a snugly-fitted, damage-free helmet
- wear closed-in footwear
- wear bright-coloured clothing for visibility
- take lots of water for hydration and high-energy snacks
- make sure your child is riding on the right size bike
For more great rides in your local area, contact your local council or Dept of Conservation. Thanks to BikeWise (www.bikewise.co.nz) for contributing to this article.