Top Outdoor Spot Competition

Up, up and over

Frances , Year 7


Located 45mins from windy Wellington, the Rimutaka Rail Trail is a great family trip. This bushy track is quite easy so it's great for all abilities. The whole track is about 18km but it doesn't seem that long. When you finally get to the beautiful summit there is an old train shelter and if you go a little up a hill you will come to a sign that warns you not to camp there due to wild and windy storms such as in 2004. If you make your way west a little from the summit you will come to an astonishing panoramic view.
I went in March and the trees were yellow, orange and gold and made colourful blankets under the deciduous trees. I had biked over with a group of other bikers and runners and some others drove over to the other side with our camping gear as we were staying the night. When we got to the summit we biked mainly downhill and across a swing bridge till we arrived at Cross Creek campground. Along the way we read snippets of history related to the trail.
In 1877 the bushy Rimutaka Rail Trail was established; this trail was used for people that wanted to get from wild and windy Wellington to the beautiful township of Featherston and vice versa. In 1863 an English engineer named John Fell invented a system called the Drive Friction system, or the Fell system that he hoped would improve locomotives for a long time (he however did not succeed).
The railway caught the attention of the communities as an enjoyable scenic mountain journey, until tiny sparks caused small bush fires and burnt down heapes of native bush and native trees like Totara, Manuka and Rimu.
I totally recommend going on this bushy adventure as it's so much fun. If you are still interested and want more history and information there is a Fell museum in the pretty little township of Featherston.