Rimutaka Rail Trail


Rimutaka Rail Trail


Pakuratahi Forest, Wellington, New Zealand


Northern, and easier, complement to the Rimutaka Incline.




Bike and Foot


This track is built on the old Wellington-Wairarapa railway line, leading to the summit of the famous Rimutaka Incline. The track is a popular area for recreation, due to its easy grade, rugged scenery, historical significance, and easy accessibility.

Being an old railway line, the track's gradient is easy and consistent, averaging around 1% (uphill from the car park). The track surface is generally smooth and well-maintained.

Around 0.6km from the car park you'll pass the deerstalkers rifle range - but don't worry, they should be shooting away from the track.

Along the way you'll pass through the Pakuratahi Tunnel (91m long, and curved - so a light would be helpful but isn't necessary) plus cross several bridges.

From the summit, either return the same way or continue through the 576m long Summit Tunnel along the Rimutaka Incline to Cross Creek.

If doing a there-and-back trip on the Rimutaka Rail Trail, then an interesting alternative to the first part of the return trip might be to go (initially up and then mostly down) via the Back Road.

There are camping facilities on the summit plateau and at the Pakuratahi River Camp. See DOC for more information.

The Rimutaka Rail Trail, A short teaser video - 2015

Rimutaka Rail Trail (start-5:00) and Rimutaka Incline (5:01-end)

Ghost train in one of the tunnels

Getting there

Starts from a car park about 1.5km down a gravel road off a well signposted exit from State Highway 2. An alternative entry is to take Goat Rock, which joins 2.7km from the car park.

Ends at the summit rail yards.

Other notes

See Greater Wellington Regional Council for further information.




Double track

Last modified

16 Feb 2015 by BCNU

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A Cheeky Monkey production, nice one Stu!