5 Wellington Mountain Bike Rides with Great Views

Get on your bike and earn some fabulous views of the Wellington area in the mountain biking capital of New Zealand.

Welcome to the mountain biking capital of New Zealand.  With over 300km of trails you’re bound to find something to suit your skill and fitness level.

Most of Wellington's tracks are the result of years of work by volunteers, who contribute much more than thrills, by planting native trees, controlling pests, and removing rubbish.

To get you started, here are five tracks with great views from the top.

Mt Victoria

Just a few minutes from the heart of the city, Mt Victoria is Wellington’s most popular lookout spot.  So why not have some fun getting there and back on a Mountain Bike?

Just look out for walkers, as the paths and tracks can get a little busy.

Miramar Peninsular

The tracks at Miramar Peninsular are relatively new, criss-crossing the hill that was previously only known for Wellington Prison on its crest.  This provides the inspiration for the names of the tracks, such as Bootleg, Repeat Offender, Solitary and Jail Brake.

See the Miramar Track Project's Facebook page for more info. 

Miramar is also a little famous for being the centre of Peter Jackson’s movie empire, so don’t miss the chance to visit the Weta Cave while you’re there.

Makara Peak

Since 1998, volunteers have crafted 40km of tracks on Wellington’s best known mountain bike park.  There’s something for all abilities here, and spectacular views from the peak before a thrill-packed descent.

Well-known shop Mud Cycles sits at the turn-off to the park, and offers plenty of bike hire options.

Check out MakaraPeak.org

West Wind Windfarm

As the name suggests, west of Wellington is The West Wind Recreation Area in Makara.  This offers a great chance to get up close to some of the 62 wind turbines that dot the area.

On a good day you’ll have clear views of the South Island, showing how close the islands really are.  Keep an eye out for the iconic Wellington to Picton ferries – Interislander has been plying this route for more than 50 years.

The Opau Loop track takes you down into a faultline gully with ancient wetlands and a Maori Karaka grove before reaching Opau Bay.  The only hitch is a long ride back up the hill!

Pencarrow Lighthouse

Pick a good day for this one, preferably with light winds as the harbour-hugging track is exposed to both northerly and southerly winds.

Take the East by West ferry across to Days Bay, drop into the Days Bay Boatshed to hire a bike, and head off towards the harbour entrance.

New Zealand’s only female lighthouse keeper, Mary Jane Bennett, was the first operator of this first lighthouse in New Zealand, from 1859.  The second lighthouse was built near the shore when fog often obscured the main light.

More information and a map can be found on the Greater Wellington website here.

Happy cycling!