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Trail biking

http://www.gw.govt.nz/Trail-biking

Trail biking

Updated 2 October 2019 10:42am

Good news! You can now get your trail biking permits instantly.  We have received a lot of feedback over the years from our trail bikers. One of the things you wanted was instant permits and for us to make it easier to find these on our website.  We have been working hard behind the scenes to make this happen for you.  Just click on "Apply for trail biking permit", select the permit you want, complete your details and your permit will be emailed back to you within minutes. 

Permits can now only be applied for via our website and are no longer available in paper format or from the Upper Hutt office.

Please remember that you must have your permit on you at all times within the designated area. To make things easier for you, you can simply take a screenshot of your permit and keep it on your phone. Then you can show the Ranger if you are asked so there is no need to print it out if you don’t want to. We hope you enjoy this new streamlined process!


Today there is an extensive network of roads and old logging tracks through the regenerating bush and pine trees of the Akatarawa Forest. The main four wheel drive roads through the forests are open to the public for quad and trail biking, and also trail bike only tracks. Trail bikes are not allowed in the plantation forests of in other regional parks.

All casual trail bikers must have individual permits. Greater Wellington issues these permits at no charge. Apply for your trail biking permit.

There is a 30km per hour speed limit in the forest. Casual two- and four-wheel drive off-road racing, scrambling, motocross, and competitive riding or driving is not permitted.

Sensitive ecological zones

Trail biking is not permitted in ecologically sensitive zones such as:

  • the summits of Mounts Barton, Maunganui, Titi and Wainui
  • the upper Akatarawa Valley
  • riparian zones (rivers and stream margins), stream beds, swamps and wetlands.

Greater Wellington and the Akatarawa Recreation Access Committee (ARAC) have agreed guidelines for motorised recreation in the forest to help protect the environment, other recreational users and adjoining landowners. Your co-operation with this code will impact directly on the future access of motorised recreational users to this area – please respect it.

Trail bike routes

Whakatiki Loop

  • Distance: 22 km return

Leave Maungakotukutuku Road and climb up Perhams Road to Titi Ridge. Turn right and ride around an 8 km loop through exotic forest to the headwaters of the Whakatiki River. Follow Hydro Valley and Whakatiki Road back to Titi Road. Return down Perhams Road to Maungakotukutuku Valley.

Karapoti-Toi Toi Road

  • Distance: 41 km return

Ride 8 km up Karapoti Gorge past McGhies Bridge to the clearing. Cross the Akatarawa River West, climb over the Pram Track (530 m) and down to Dopers Creek. Turn left and climb steadily up Rimu Road. At Toi Toi Road turn right down Hydro Road to Orange Hut. From Orange Hut the return route is downstream to Dopers Creek and back over the Pram Track to Karapoti.

Akatarawa Forest Traverse

  • Distance: 27 km

This route links Maungakotukutuku Valley with Karapoti Road in Upper Hutt. Ride up Perhams Road to Titi Ridge, turn right and then left down Whakatiki Road. After crossing Dopers Creek climb steeply over the Pram Track (530 m) and down to the ford at Akatarawa River West. From here it is a gentle 8 km ride through Karapoti Gorge to Akatarawa.

Mini motorcross course

The Kapi Mana Motorcycle Club runs a limited number of mini-motorcross eventsnear the Bulls Run Road entrance to the Akatarawa Forest (via Cooks Rd and Moonshine Rd off SH58). These are ideal opportunities for young riders to participate in trail biking with appropriate supervision.

Please phone the co-ordinator Alan Cressey 04 563 7177