Monday, 1 March 2021

Wairarapa hikes and bike rides

 

Walking and hiking throughout New Zealand is the best way to see beautiful landscapes and explore the wilderness. Here in the Wairarapa we are spoilt for choice when it comes to family friendly hikes. A walk in the Wairarapa can be anything from a short lakeside stroll to a walk along the coast or in the bush-clad Tararua Ranges. We love exploring and sharing our family day adventures and regularly find ourselves returning to these trails. We wanted to share our tried and tested family favourites. Whether you’re up for a light walk, run or bike ride, the trails below are a must to try! We are also looking forward to sharing some overnight hikes that are family friendly and where you can stay in some of the beautiful huts and lodges that we have here in the Wairarapa.


Putangirua Pinnacles

The Putangirua Pinnacles are some of the most amazing rock formations you’ll ever see. Allow at least two hours for a return trip and take food and water. Located on the Wairarapa Coastline near Cape Palliser, these large stalagmite structures featured in The Lord of The Rings. One of the most incredible walks in the Wairarapa. Stop for a snack or picnic and let the kids enjoy playing and splashing in the riverbed. Track goes up through a riverbed so study shoes are recommended. There are three different routes you can take that lead to the Putangirua Pinnacles or the lookout and all start from the streambed. Note the lookout trail goes more up hill and better for older childern, or small childen in carriers.

WALKING TIME: 2 -4 hours return

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy/Medium walking track

DOGS: Yes (on lead)







Greytown Woodside Trail
 
The Greytown to Woodside Trail is a family-friendly, buggy-friendly and wheelchair friendly pathway that connects the quaint Wairarapa township of Greytown to the historic Woodside Railway Station. As you walk along the wide limestone pathway you will pass an avenue of mature Oak trees and have great views of the Tararua Ranges and Gladstone Hills and plenty of areas to stop for a picnic. You can take your dog too! Just make sure they are on a leash.

WALKING TIME: 1 hour and 30 minutes

USE: Walking/Running,Wheelchair/Pram friendly, Biking

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy access short walk

MOUNTAIN BIKE GRADE: Grade 1

DOGS: Yes (on lead)








Kiriwhakapapa Loop

The Kiriwhakapapa Loop trail is in the Tararua Forrest Park and is a short and easy walk suitable for children. This is an incredibly beautiful native forest full of majestic redwood trees and freshwater streams perfect for kids to have a splash in. The trail connects with the longer Blue Range track (one we intend to come back and do!). There is also a picnic area near the entrance.

WALKING TIME: 30 minutes

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy short walk

DOGS: Yes (on lead)






Fensham Reserve

This is one of the best places for a bush walk in the Wairarapa and a perfect spot for families and joggers. I recommend going to the second entrance off Belvedere Road if you have kids as you can take shorter loops and it has a nice picnic table area. The first entrance goes uphill and it is a bit harder for kids. The track has a variety of terrain including wetland boardwalks, through native bush and up to a hilltop with views of rolling farmland. You're likely to spot Tuis, fantails and 500-year-old trees along the way.

WALKING TIME: 1 hour

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy short walk

DOGS: No







Carter Scenic Reserve

Carter Scenic Reserve near Carterton is a loop track that takes you on boardwalks through the remnants of the flooded Kahikatea forest, and back through a drier forest section. Sit for a while on the boardwalk and take a closer look. You'll be able to see rare native plants and fish, including swamp Maire, small leafed Hoheria, brown mudfish and banded Kokopu.

WALKING TIME: 30 minutes

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy short walk

DOGS: Yes (on lead)






Donnelly Flat Loop Walk


This short flat trail at Mt Holdsworth is suitable for the whole family. It passes through some of the best mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest in the Tararua Ranges and you'll find a picnic area and stream on route to keep the kids entertained. Stop for a snack and a paddle in Atiwhakatu Stream, then continue on to the Atiwhakatu Track junction. From here you can loop back to the car park via Gentle Annie Track.

WALKING TIME: 1 hour

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy walking track

DOGS: Yes (on lead)








Rocky Lookout


The Rocky Lookout trail is another longer walk located at Mt Holdsworth in the Tararua Forest Park. You'll travel just under 2km off the popular Gentle Annie Track to a platform with sweeping views over the Tararua Forest. The track is a slightly more challenging walk and goes uphill through bush to excellent views up and down the valleys. Great for older kids. We took my nephews on this hike and they loved it!

WALKING TIME: 1 hour, 30 minutes

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy/Medium walking track

DOGS: Yes (on lead)






Deliverance Cove

Take in breathtaking views over the Wairarapa Coast Deliverance Cove at Castlepoint. 60 minutes from Masterton is a spectacular coastal walk with excellent views of the famous Castlepoint Lighthouse and Castle Rock. Castlepoint is one of the most Instagrammable locations here in the Wairarapa. The track has some steps and also goes uphill for a bit but it's worth it for the views!

WALKING TIME: 30 minutes return

USE: Walking/Running

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy walking track

DOGS: No






Henley Lake Wetlands Trail


The Henley Lake and Wetlands trail is one of the best free things to do with the family here in the Wairarapa! It's not hard to see why the trail is so popular. You'll follow a limestone pathway around the majestic Henley Lake and take in views across the wetlands and Waipoua River. Pause for a spot of native bird watching or stop to feed the ducks. You can extend your walk or ride by taking a longer path through the woodland area, or continue on to the Henley Lake Wetlands and see some of the best natural scenery in the district.


WALKING TIME: 1 hour

USE: Walking/Running,Wheelchair/Pram friendly, Biking

WALKING DIFFICULTY: Easy access short walk

MOUNTAIN BIKE GRADE: Grade 1

DOGS: Yes







I will be updating this post over time as we explore more hikes in the Wairarapa so make sure you check back again!

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