Cycling past Wellington’s conservation gems

Department of Conservation —  05/01/2016

By Donald Herron, Visitor Centre Ranger in Wellington.

early-morningSummer is here! Other than the occasional blustery northerly, it is the perfect time to get back on your bicycle. So dust off the bike sitting in the corner of your garage and ride to work!

Commuting to and from work is not only great for the environment, it’s great fitness, makes you strong and gives you buns of steel. You can eat that chocolate muffin for morning tea guilt free too!

I commute from the Hutt Valley (20kms North of Wellington) into the central city. Even though this commute is along the road, I still get to appreciate the wonders of Wellington.

Snowy and clear Tararua Range.

Snowy and clear Tararua Range.

Firstly I head west across the valley over the Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt River). Over my right shoulder is the majestic Tararua Forest Park. The view is usually obscured by clouds but the views are fantastic on days I don’t ride. This forest park has a large network of tracks and huts.

Then it’s off down the Hutt motorway heading south until you get to Petone, and the Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour). The three islands of Mokopuna, Matiu/Somes and Makaro/Ward are easily spotted.  The biggest, Matiu/Somes, is well worth a visit.

Rays over Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour.

Rays over Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour.

Along the eastern edge of Wellington Harbour is where the Rimutaka Range advances out of the ocean. It and rises, falls and heads northwards until it reaches the Tararua Range. Again, a large network of tracks and huts are found in this range.

From here it’s a quick ride into the city, hot showers, hot coffee and the stuff quiz (just joking about the coffee), then work!

If it’s good weather and I’m keen for a longer ride home, I take in more gems. A quick ride through the city (or around the bays), sees you heading past the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. The distant mountains of the Seaward Kaikoura Range and the snowy peaks often sparkle in the distance.

Taputeranga Marine Reserve and Taputeranga Island.

Taputeranga Marine Reserve and Taputeranga Island.

Get out there and ride your bike to and from work and see how many gems you can spot!

3 responses to Cycling past Wellington’s conservation gems


    What a great way to see the place – nice one Don

    Jane Hughes 05/01/2016 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride, Don. Can feel the wind blowing from here!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Photo of the week: Matiu Somes Island — by bike « Conservation blog - February 10, 2016

    […] You can read more about Don’s beautiful ride to work, past Wellington’s conservation gems, in his recent blog post. […]