Known primarily for its culture and art scene, thriving city center and cool little suburbs where you can find cafés, restaurants and plenty to do, Wellington is one of the hottest destinations in New Zealand and especially in the North Island. It's not all about the city and the arts however; Wellington offers an enjoyable stay for other reasons too. Thrill seekers make their way to the capital not for the cute little cafés, the galleries or even Te Papa, but instead to take on some of the top mountain bikes that can be found around the region.
If you're keen to give it a go yourself or you're looking for a place to take your bike during summer, check out some of these top mountain biking locations in and around Wellington.
Hutt River Trail
A popular recreational trail, the Hutt River Trail can be found between Petone and Birchville along the riverside. It runs for 28 kilometers and offers an easy gradient and beautiful views, making it the perfect mountain biking trail for beginners. Some might find it quite a long ride if they are not used to being on two wheels, but it's easy enough to pick and choose where you cycle and it can be completed in part or over a number of days.
Queen Elizabeth Park
This 36 kilometer ride offers a bit more of a challenge. Tackle Queen Elizabeth Park's mountain biking trail if you're keen to conquer a few hill climbs and weave your way in and out of the sand dunes. Make sure you do not hit this track when the north-westerlies are blowing though; the Queen Elizabeth Park track is near the beach and gusts of wind can send the sand flying at you on blustery days.
Found near the Wainuiomata Road saddle car park, the Beeline Trail is a downhill track built for speed and agility. It's a bit of a rough ride, testing riders with multiple jumps and steep slopes. It's only one kilometer in length, but it's a kilometer of absolute, incontestable thrills. Regularly maintained this is a trail that keeps on changing, so even if you have been before you will want to check it out again to see what has been added or altered.
Do not spend all of your time staring at paintings. Explore Wellington on two wheels and take your bike off-road for a bit of excitation during your stay in the capital.