Welcome to My Upper Hutt, Our Neighbourhood
It’s a dog’s paradise in Lovable Liveable Upper Hutt
We’re proud of our unique city and the special places you can discover. Whether you’re a lone wolf, have a litter of puppies to travel with, or want to head off with your favourite pack, the open spaces in Upper Hutt are waiting for you to visit them.
Here are some of our favourite places to explore featured in our “Dog’s Paradise” video. Show us your experiences by using the hashtag #myupperhutt and we could feature you on our Facebook or Instagram page!
Kaitoke Regional Park
Just 9km north of Upper Hutt, the award-winning Kaitoke Regional Park has so much to offer. From steep, bush-clad hills to wheelchair accessible trails, it’s easy to spend a day exploring one of Wellington’s best regional parks.
A highlight is the Swingbridge Track (pictured), an easy 1 hour walk taking you alongside the Hutt River gorge where you can wander through centuries-old rata, rimu and beech forest. Cool off in tranquil river pools, or explore the magical spot used as a set for Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Keep an eye out for any alerts where waters may be unsafe to swim for pets or humans.
For a true Kiwi night out, stay at the campground and enjoy the BBQ facilities.
For more information on Kaitoke Regional Park, visit the Greater Wellington Regional Council website.
Tunnel Gully Recreation Area
Sitting at the foot of Mount Climie (830 m), Tunnel Gully Recreation area is perfect for walking, tramping, mountain biking, picnicking, and horse riding (with a permit). With plenty of parking, toilets, and open spaces, it’s a great location for a family day out.
Hit the trails through native bush, let the kids and dogs cool off in Collins Stream, and bring a torch to explore the 253m long Mangaroa Rail Tunnel, built between 1875 and 1877. Dogs must be on lead through tunnels.
Tane’s Track (pictured above) is a favourite walking track at an easy 40 minutes. For more of a challenge take on the Tunnel Track, Maymorn/Mangaroa Loop, or Old Railway Line, climbing up on to the forestry roads and along native bush and pine trees.
For more information on Tunnel Gully, visit the Greater Wellington Regional Council website.
If you like a challenge, Mount Climie is just that! Starting from the top car park in Tunnel Gully Recreation Area, climb 6 km uphill along a gravel service road to reach the summit (pictured) where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Hutt Valley, Wellington, and the Wairarapa. At 830 m elevation, on a clear day you can see across to Mana Island and down as far as the Wellington Harbour. Allow 1-3 hours for the return journey and be sure to take a windproof layer as the ridge is exposed.
Mountain bikers and horse riders please give way to walkers.
Hutt River Trail / Remutaka Cycle Trail
Running alongside the Hutt River from Petone to Upper Hutt, the 29km Hutt River Trail is an easy scenic walk and cycle path. It also allows access to the river for swimming, fishing and kayaking. Keep an eye out for any alerts where waters may be unsafe to swim for pets or humans.
You can travel the whole length or can make a loop between many of the bridges along the Trail. Linking in to the Remutaka Rail Trail, the Hutt River Trail forms part of the Remutaka Cycle Trail, one of New Zealand’s Great Rides and is part of Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Make your visit to the Hutt River Trail an adventurous day trip. Start with a delicious brunch in Petone’s Jackson Street before heading north, taking in the sights. Along the way, discover filming locations from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Explore where the Great River Anduin once stood at Moonshine Park, and visit the site of Isengard, the ancient Gondorian fortress at the southern end of the Misty Mountains, at Harcourt Park. Hop over to Upper Hutt city for lunch at one of our many cafes.
If you’re heading on to complete the Remutaka Cycle Trail, spend the night in Upper Hutt or take on the Remutaka Rail Trail and reward yourself with a night in the Wairarapa. Wake up refreshed and take on the Wairarapa to Wainuiomata leg.
For more information on the Hutt River Trail, visit the Greater Wellington Regional Council website.
Trentham Memorial Park
In the heart of Upper Hutt lies Trentham Memorial Park (TMP), providing a gateway to the Hutt River Trail and surrounding open spaces – Moonshine and Moehau Parks. With its bush areas (Barton and Domain) and large open grass areas, TMP is a great place for picnics, sports, walking, and playing. There are several easy graded bush walks through Barton and Domain Bushes suitable for buggies, pushchairs, and wheelchairs.
TMP also has a large play area for all age groups from traditional to adventure items including two large forts, a 4.5 metre-high mega swing, double-basket swing, skysurf, and rodeo board.
Dogs are able to let their hair down off-lead, but must be controlled at all times to ensure all users are able to enjoy the park and its facilities.
Remutaka Range / Tararua Range
At the very edge of Upper Hutt lies the intersection of the Remutaka and Tararua Ranges, which are littered with trails for walking, tramping, cycling, and hunting. From the summit of Remutaka Hill, head south to the car park for the Remutaka Trig Track, taking you through sub-alpine plants to the summit (725 m), where grand views of the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa await you.
More advanced trampers can head into the Tararua Range on the Smith Creek to Tauherenikau River track. This four hour return trip takes you over the Puffer Saddle and down Smith Creek with its fine stands of red/hard beech forest, to its confluence with the Tauherenikau River at the Smith Creek Shelter.
The Remutaka Forest Park and Tararua Forest Park are both managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Visit the DOC website for more trail information in these parks.
Want more ideas for exploring Upper Hutt?
Take a look at the Explore Upper Hutt guide and walkways information on the Upper Hutt City Council website.
Do you love Upper Hutt? Us too!
We think Upper Hutt is a pretty neat place to live, visit, and explore. The best people to tell you about how awesome it is, are the people who live here.
My Upper Hutt celebrates Upper Hutt goodness through the words and images of the people who live here, sharing their story on social media.
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