Remutaka Rail Trail
Running from Kaitoke to Summit, the Remutaka Rail Trail links with the DOC-managed Incline down to Cross Creek in the Wairarapa. Enjoy swimming and fishing in the nearby Pakuratahi River and picnic or camp in the pleasant surrounds of Ladle Bend and Summit. Toilets are located at the Kaitoke and Cross Creek entrances, at Summit and at the historic Cross Creek town site.
Vegetation clearance around historic structures like bridges, tunnels and culverts is being undertaken to preserve the structures and keep this trail to a high standard recreational users expect.
The work will be undertaken from Tuesday 3 April and is part of Greater Wellington's regular maintenance of this great trail.
Signage will be in place during the clearance work.
Access to this trail will still be possible during this work but we do ask people to take extra care as they enjoy their ride or walk.
Questions and Answers:
What is the work GWRC is doing along the trail?
We’re undertaking vegetation clearance around bridges, tunnels and culverts along this trail during April and May. If you’re one of the thousands who enjoy this “great ride” then watch out for the team clearing vegetation and mould from the historical structures along the trail. Access to this trail will still be possible during the work but we do ask people to take extra care as they enjoy the ride.
Why are you doing this work?
This is part of our regular maintenance work along this trail. Part of our role is guardianship of these historic assets and we have a duty of care to protect them.
Do you need to use chemicals to do this work?
To protect these structures in the park, we do need to use agrichemicals to ensure vegetation is completely removed from the historic stonework. The structures will be chemically treated to control lichen, moss and mould in order to prevent rot and decay – keeping these structures safe in the long term. This work means you will see our team kitted out in their protective clothing along the trail and even abseiling on some of our structures.
What about protecting people using the trail while you are doing this work?
Safety of everyone, our staff and our park users, is key to what and how we are doing our work. By treating these structures we can prevent rot which can affect the long term stability of the structures and the work is needed to keep them safe for park visitors and users. To keep you safe we are only going to be working on small sections along the trail. All the work is being done by our qualified staff and contractors, to ensure everyone is safe and we achieve the desired results that users value about this trail. You can still safely use the trail but do read the signs and follow all directions.
Why do your staff need to wear protective clothing?
Because they do this work each and every day and we have rules around safety we need to comply with.
Will I notice the changes?
Regular users along the trail will notice that vegetation has been removed or is dying back areas around the culverts, bridges and tunnels and the structures will look different. The structures will look cleaner and this is perfectly normal.
Turn off SH2, 9km north of Upper Hutt. The carpark is 1km along a metal road. Or you can enter the Wairarapa end of the Rail Trail via Cross Creek Road (off Western Lake Road). Pedestrian and cycling access only beyond the carpark.
From the end of the Hutt River Trail at Te Marua you can continue on down the road past the Water Treatment plant and the Stuart MacCaskill Lakes to join onto a track that takes you to the start of the Remutaka Rail Trail via an underpass under SH2. See the map to your right for more details.
From Maymorn Trailway Station you can follow the walking/cycling track that takes you through Tunnell Gully and you can join the Trail on Incline Road or further up the trail.
Getting back to your starting point
Valley Shuttles will transport groups of up to six people and their bikes from Kaitoke to Cross Creek or vice versa. Contact them via email or phone (04) 973-8150 or (027) 248 1745 for more information.
Bikes on Wairarapa trains
It is a 10km cycle from the Cross Creek carpark along flat roads to Featherston Station. Allow up to 45 minutes as there is often a headwind to overcome.
On weekdays the first three trains into Wellington and the last three out are the peak commuter services. Groups with bicycles should use the off-peak services if at all possible. Note that non-standard bikes such as tandems or bikes with trailers are more difficult to accommodate.
If you are travelling as a group, Tranz Metro can increase bicycle carrying capacity but you need to book in advance. Book with Tranz Metro by phoning 04 498 3103 and they will advise the fee (including any extra for bikes) dependant on the group size and needs and can advise the best times to travel. There is no additional fee for using the group booking service.
A gently graded 18 km walk or mountain bike ride, the trail features restored railway bridges and historic tunnels. Expect an easy gradient with a gravel surface.
Walking times and distances:
South of Summit on the Wairarapa side, the Remutaka Rail Trail includes the famous "Incline" to Cross Creek, 10km from Featherston. This steeper (1 in 15 grade) section is managed by the Department of Conservation as part of the Remutaka Forest Park.