Signs auction at the AGM

We’ll also be auctioning off some old signs at the AGM this week to raise money for the new skills park. Check out the images below - it’s a great chance to get your hands on a piece of Makara Peak history.

If you can’t make it on the night but would like to put in a bid, send us a DM on Facebook or an email.

Simon O'Brien
Help us build a new modern skills park

12 September update

The Southstar team are well into their prep work moving dirt around and planning the new jumps and lines. This is going to be a great resource for the whole riding community and your donation will help make it happen. Donate now at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/makara-peak-skills-park.

 
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We're building a new skills park at Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park! But we need your help to make it happen.

We’ve raised $25,000 through generous grants from NZ Community Trust and Karori Brooklyn Community Charitable Trust (via Lion Foundation) to get the project off the ground and the work underway. But we need your help to raise $40,000 to fully complete the project. The more money we raise, the more work Southstar can do to bring this plan to life.

Donate now at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/makara-peak-skills-park.

The current skills area is going to be completely overhauled and rebuilt. With input from our tracks team, WCC, WORD and local elite downhiller Bryn Dickerson, Southstar Trails have put together an amazing plan to build a completely new skills park at Makara Peak.

It's going to be ideal for for kids and beginners right through to seasoned experts. There will be jumps and features of all shapes and sizes, professionally built in a way to help riders safely progress their skills.

If you're keen to get your kids into mountain biking, this will be the first to visit after buying them a bike. Parents and instructors will be able to better supervise kids and beginners, with loops created to enable riders to session lines to improve their skills and build their confidence.

If you're an advanced or expert level rider there's going to be lines with the sort of features you've always wanted at Makara Peak.

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It's AGM time!

It’s AGM time - 7pm, 17 September in the back room at the Southern Cross.

The formal business consists of a brief review of the year, reporting on the annual accounts and electing the new committee/ chair for the upcoming year.

Ricky and Iain are standing down after too many years on the committee. If you are keen to be the next lot of new blood to take the park to the next level, drop us a line and we can give you a run down of what is involved.

If you are keen to stand for Chair please send us a bio and we will post the candidates a few days before the 17th.

See you there

Simon O'Brien
Main entrance upgrade project - temporary Koru access open

28 August update

The fences are up and work has begun on the new park entrance on South Karori Road. To get to Koru, exit the carpark and head down the road towards the overflow car parking. At the end of the fence, hop off your bike and you'll see a temporary access track has been cut into the bush to allow you to walk your bike - it's narrow, rough and there's steps to get up to the Koru bridge. Signage coming soon.

There’s a video available on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/makarapeak/videos/498585130955827/

25 August update

Koru Closed Mon 26 August: work on the new entrance on South Karori Road kicks off tomorrow and the park entrance via Koru bridge will be closed for the day. The contractors will be putting in a temporary access to the Koru bridge and you'll have to walk your bike along it once it's open.

Now's a good time to start parking up on Karori Road and riding into the park. Give the St Albans Ave entrance a try, or for extra Kudos grind up Varley's.

The exit to Lazy Fern, SWIGG and Starfish will be open during this phase of the project, just look out for trucks, diggers moving in and out of the area.

The contractors will be doing their best to keep disruption to a minimum during the project. All we need to do is stay on the right side of the tape and out of their way. Thanks in advance.

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15 August update

The project has been given the green-light by the lizard expert to remove the vegetation that was cut down around the main entrance and proceed to the construction phase.

WCC and Fulton Hogan are expecting to start work in the next 7-10 days. The project is going to be completed over two stages, and take three to four months to complete.

Stage 1 involves closing the bike wash, shelter and toilet, and area down to the Koru bridge while the work is completed. Once this is complete, work moves to the Northern end of the car park.

You can do your bit by obeying all signs and staying out of the work site for your own safety. The project involves substantial construction work and quite a few trucks going up and down South Karori Road. If possible, leave your car at home and ride to the park, or park up near Karori Park and ride into the park.

We're working with the Council and Fulton Hogan to keep Koru open during stage 1 of the project, with access via a temporary pathway to the Koru bridge. But we can't guarantee it will be open all the time, so to avoid disappointment we recommend you enter the park via St Albans Ave.

If you haven’t entered the park via St Alban’s Ave before, Rimu and Miro are great beginner grade tracks that make for a great change from Koru. Check out the latest park map or Trailforks.

July update

Wellington City Council have announced that they’re upgrading the Makara Peak main carpark on South Karori Road. This will ensure it’s a safe and welcoming hub for visitors, but also to enable growth and support future use of the mountain bike park as a regional destination.

Work is scheduled to begin in August, with the project taking around 3-6 months to complete. While work is underway there will be some disruption to car parking on South Karori Road - so it might be a good idea to park up at Karori Park and cruise down from there.

The scope of the upgrade is to create a safe and welcoming park entrance for all users whilst enhancing the sense of place and natural setting the park sits within. Works planned include; 

  • developing an improved spatial layout with safer and additional parking

  • creating a wide bypass track through the carpark

  • new toilets with two bays and a shower

  • a larger bike wash area

  • a gathering area next to the entrance bridge to Koru.

For more information visit https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/makara-peak-main-entrance-car-park

Goat proof fence installed on park boundary
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Each year the Supporters get a grant from the Ian ‘Zac’ Pearson Endowment Fund to complete work in and around Zac’s Track.

Zac was one of the original volunteers and donated a huge amount of time to the park.

This year’s grant focussed on installing a new goat-free boundary fence and planting 700 new seedlings. This is a multi-year project which will make a big difference to the conservation amenity of the area, and enable further conservation work including tree planting and pest eradication in future years.

 
Simon O'Brien
New summit track underway

TGL are building a short new section of trail near the summit. Riders climbing up Aratihi will be able to go under the Upper Leaping Lizard bridge and then up to the summit on singletrack, avoiding that nasty bit of 4WD.

Riders climbing up Zac’s will also use this new section to reach the summit, reducing the chances of a head on crashes on the high speed two way section of trail from the summit down to North Face.

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TracksSimon O'Brien
It's National Volunteer Week - thanks to everyone who helps the park

The park still relies on volunteers to do a huge amount of work to keep the park running. Whether it’s track building, maintenance, planting, trapping and pest control, signage, the back office stuff no-one sees, or applying for grants to pay for stuff, it all takes time and effort. The list goes on and on.

On behalf of the Supporters, a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed over the last 12 months.

If you’re keen to get involved, check our events page, follow us on Facebook or drop us a line.

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Simon O'Brien
Upswing and Wild At Heart Swing Bridge closed this week

Upswing will be closed this coming week (Mon 17 - Fri 21) while the Wild At Heart swing bridge gets it's six-monthly check up. It's also getting some cosmetic repairs to the concrete around the anchor points, pinning the hand rail joints and remounting the barrier cables.

Other options for the week: grind it up Snakecharmer, cut across Three Brothers, or drop down and up via Missing Link and Aratahi.

(Photo: Jay French)

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Simon O'Brien
Starfish extension build complete

The new bit of Starfish is now open.  This completes 2 years of volunteer track building so that we have a grade 4 run from the bottom of Ridgeline all the way to the carpark. 

It is going to get pretty trashed over winter, but that should just bring out its character.  Let us know what you think.

The entry to the new start to Starfish, opposite the end of Smokin and Ridgeline Extension

The entry to the new start to Starfish, opposite the end of Smokin and Ridgeline Extension

Trailforks map showing Starfish line

Trailforks map showing Starfish line

May 2019 update

A keen group of volunteers have continued to carve out some awesome new singletrack over the last few months.

A new rock garden was concreted in thanks to about 30 volunteers who donated some of their Saturday to help with the build. A bridge has been built and a big reversal was completed.

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 Many hands have made a big job much easier. Thanks everyone who came out  

The tracks team are pretty stoked with the new track. They’ve made the most of what is a pretty flat bit of land. There’s lots of natural features retained (roots roots and more roots) plus a few rollable jumps and drops.

There’s some surfacing to be done to stop it turning into a bog over winter, and will be opened once the new SWIGG line is complete. Look out for details in early June.

29 January update

2019 dig days at Makara Peak have kicked off in fine style with progress continuing on the new section of Starfish. Around 250 metres of fresh new grade 4 trail is pretty much now complete, plus we’ve been fine tuning corners, and adding a wall ride and berm to the line. It’s shaping up nicely as a fast but challenging bit of trail.

We’re nearing one of the major features, that will see the new trail drop down steeply into a dry stream bed before exiting via a wall ride/step up/appropriate feature of some sort.

Thanks to everyone who’s turned out - what’s really exciting is seeing all the families and kids coming along to lend a hand on what we’re sure will be a favourite with the young pinners.

8 December update

Great progress with 20 keen men, women and children on the tools. Most of the digging was in the shade of a section of mature regenerating bush. Just a bit of benching and shaping with plenty of roots left in place to reflect the grade 4 conditions. 

Thanks to:
Margaret,Hannah, Clint, Ross, Steve, Jonathan, Stanley, Wyatt, Phil, Lloyd, Myles, Sebastian, Austin, Clinton, Demelza, Ryan 1, Ryan 2, Ben, Oliver, Andrew

6 December update

A team from the Commerce Commission were on site this week donating some of their work time to help progress the Starfish build. With help from Ranger Frank from Wellington City Council, the team did a couple of hours of hard work roughing out another 10m of trail and clearing some trees - despite some damp weather. A huge thanks!

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1 December update

We got through another 25 hard fought metres on Saturday. We’re now back into some nice forest which provides more cover from the relentless Wellington summer sun (!).

A big thanks to Caerwyn, Wyatt, Phil, Rebeca, Miles and LLyod, Johnny, Ryan, Austin, Nick, Garth and Iain for putting in the hard yards so everyone can enjoy more advanced (grade 4) singletrack goodness at Makara Peak.

We’re back next Saturday from 10am. Only two more sessions to go in 2018 before a well-earned break over Christmas.

18 November update

Despite the weather gods continuing to not place nicely, good progress has been made on the new “Starfish Extension” line which starts at the end of Ridgeline Extension (so many extensions…).

We’ve cleared about 200 metres which is about the equivalent of the length of Big Tom’s Wheelie. We’re focussing on building it to complete standard before progressing on - there’s quite a lot of water run-off from SWIGG and Big Tom’s so we’re working hard to find the right balance of leaving roots and rocks while making the trail surface sustainable (i.e. not a bog).

27 October update

Quick dig today before the rain hit - the first berm is coming together nicely thanks to the large rocks provided by Horokiwi Quarry and delivered by Rapid Earthworks.

This section will get a rock garden added before the track is opened.

14 October 2018

We’re building some awesome new grade 4 single track from the end of Ridgeline Extension down to the start of Starfish. It will be a similar style to Ridgeline Extension with rollable drops and jumps, optional hard lines and plenty of stoke. 

We’ve scoped the line and it’s looking pretty sweet. Check out https://www.trailforks.com/trails/starfish-extension/ for a rough map and line.

Map showing roughly where the new Starfish will run from the end of Ridgeline Extension through to near the transmitter at the end of SWIGG/start of Starfish

Map showing roughly where the new Starfish will run from the end of Ridgeline Extension through to near the transmitter at the end of SWIGG/start of Starfish

New section of SWIGG now open

The new section of SWIGG is being opened today! Starting from near the bottom of SWIGG (before it changes to Starfish), this new bit of grade 3 (intermediate) goodness weaves its way through some fantastic native bush, all the way down to the main carpark.

It features some of the biggest berms in the park, and is a great option for riders who have mastered Lazy Fern, and more advanced riders looking for a different way to end their ride.

Thanks to Wellington City Council for funding this work, and TGL Contracting Limited for their track building genius.

Check out https://www.trailforks.com/trails/swigg/ for an up-to-date trail map.

Makara Peak Planting Bees Winter 2019

Following is the schedule for this winter’s planting bees in the Park. All welcome - no experience necessary. They run 10am to Noon, every second Saturday throughout winter.

1st June
Where: Starfish Extn (below Big Toms Wheelie)
Organisers: Evan + Ben
Meet: at the end of St Albans Ave

15th June
Where: Trickle Falls Valley
Organisers: Peter + Simon
Meet: bottom end of Trickle Falls track, Allington Rd

29th June
Where: Trickles Fall Valley
Organisers: Evan + Ben
Meet: bottom end of Trickle Falls track, Allington Rd

13th July
Where: Top Leaping Lizard goat exclosure
Organisers: Evan + Simon
Meet: at the end of St Albans Ave.
Note: We’ll be riding in to the top of Nikau Track

27th July
Where: Upper Nikau Track
Organisers: Evan + Simon
Meet: at the end of St Albans Ave
Note: We’ll be riding in to the top of Nikau Track

10th Aug
Where: End of JFK / old RLE / scrubby area above Allington Rd
Organisers: Peter + Simon
Meet: at the end of Allington Rd

24th Aug
Misc Karori Stream valley
Organisers: Florence + Simon
Meet: at main car park, South Karori Road

Simon O'Brien
Tweaks to Trickles

Ricky’s been breaking rocks on Trickles - no more sneaking around the side of this feature. It’s full commit now.  

Look out for loose rock while it beds in.  

 

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Simon O'Brien
Planting season coming soon

Every winter our attention shifts from track building to planting, as efforts continue to re-establish and enhance the native eco-system at Makara Peak in support of our long term vision of a world class mountain bike park set in a restored native forest.

This winter we’ll be planting 1800 seedlings throughout the park, focusing our efforts in the areas around Zac’s track, Starfish, SWIGG and Trickle Falls valley and other spots around the park.

We’ll be planting a range of natives including Kamahi, Pukatea, Miro, Tawa, Hinau, Matai, Nikau, Kahikatea and many others thanks to Wellington City Council and Forest & Bird who are supplying this years seedlings.

As usual we rely on your help to make this happen. Planting bees start on the 1st of June and run fortnightly throughout winter, so if you like the idea of your grandchildren riding through a forest of towering natives, come along and lend a hand. We’ll post all the event details on the website as well as on Facebook.

Thanks to T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network for the images below.

Kamahi

Kamahi

Pukatea

Pukatea

Kahikatea

Kahikatea

Tracks closures due to Transpower replacing powerlines

The shaded yellow area showing which tracks will be closed due to Transpower work for periods over summer 2018-19.

Transpower has begun work to replace the ageing power lines that travel through Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park to Wellington's Central Park substation. This means that several tracks at Makara Peak (and Polhill) will need to be closed for safety reasons during parts of summer 2018-19, as they install new power lines between the towers.

Closure dates:

There are closure dates scheduled throughout February and March and these change depending on the weather and how quickly the work is completed. Check our Facebook page or Transpower’s Facebook page for the latest details. As of 19 February, the dates are:

  • 17th – 21st February

  • 26th Feb – 6 March

  • 10/11 March - TBC

Tracks closed

Check out the map which shows which tracks will be closed, but in summary, the following tracks will be closed when Transpower start replacing the lines:

  • Aratihi

  • Bailout

  • Koru - there will be traffic control in place, riders may have to wait 10-15 minutes before riding.

  • Live Wires

  • Leaping Lizard

  • Magic Carpet

  • Missing Link

  • Nikau Valley

  • Possum Bait Line

  • Sally Alley

  • Supa Kanuka

  • Upper Leaping Lizard

  • Upswing

Rider safety

There will be a lot more vehicle traffic in the park as they prepare for the work and transport in the necessary materials.

Transpower have put up signs asking vehicle drivers to slow and look out for bikes where tracks cross Snakecharmer and other 4WD roads in the park. But riders need to do their part and slow down, stop and look before crossing Snakecharmer or any other 4WD track - it’s probably safest to assume there will be a ute, truck or tractor there rather than be surprised.

Alternative loops and tracks

We’re lucky at Makara Peak that there are so many different options for riders. If your favourite track is closed, there’s still plenty of riding on offer. Try out the following for a change:

  • Ride into the park via St Albans Ave, head up Rimu and Miro, then up Snakecharmer to the summit. Maybe chuck in a lap of Three Brothers (part 2) and Ridgeline Extension on the way up.

  • Grovel up Varley’s from the Makara Road entrance and then either drop down Vertigo (G5) or keep heading up Zac’s to North Face (G4) or Trickle Falls (G5)/Yeah Gnar (G6)

  • From the summit, head down T3 (G4) or Zac’s (G3) and then Varley’s (G3) or Vertigo (G5) depending on your skill level.

  • Check out some of the other great riding around Wellington: Belmont, Waiu Park (WTP), Rangituhi (Colonial Knob).

  • Trailforks is your friend - check it out the website for all the latest track info and ride options around Wellington and download the app before you head out. Because you store the maps locally on your phone, you don’t need cellphone coverage to be able to figure out where you are!

Look out for Transpower vehicles in the park

There’s a fair amount of Transpower NZ traffic on Snakecharmer and other 4WD tracks around the park, as they prepare for more work on the powerlines in February. So keep left at all times and keep your ears open and eyes peeled.

Contractors are driving slowly and will be using their horns as warning for riders, but please stop and look before exiting tracks onto Snakecharmer. There’ll be extra signs and cones up as reminders. If you're riding on Snakecharmer, please ride slowly and be prepared to stop.

Transpower vehicles will be travelling around the park throughout January, February and March 2019

Transpower vehicles will be travelling around the park throughout January, February and March 2019

Simon O'Brien
SWIGG new build update

January 19 update

TGL are continuing to make good progress on the new bit of SWIGG - they’re about half way down, but have reached a series of switchbacks that need a bit more time and construction to get just right.

It’s on track for a late Summer/early Autumn opening. Check out the photos below - it’s going to be an fantastic addition to the park and offer something really fun for riders of all skills levels.

November 18 update

2018 must be one of the busiest years in the park’s history in terms of new trail being built, and it’s not over yet! TGL are weaving their magic on our latest new trail, which will see Swigg extended across and down to near the bottom of Lazy Fern. 

The intermediate grade trail is being built in part by digger and part by hand and goes through some amazing native bush.  

This complements the new Advanced trail currently being built by the Supporters which goes from the end of Ridgeline Extension to Starfish. 

Lizard survey coming to Makara Peak

Did you know that there are well over 100 lizard species endemic to New Zealand!?!

This summer we will be doing our first lizard survey at Makara Peak to see how many live in the park. The mosaic landscape of Makara Peak is ideal lizard habitat.

The setup for this summer’s lizard survey was finished off today thanks to Andrew, Jo, Jake, Paul, Simon, Evan, Cameron, and Trent. This included digging pit fall traps and creating artificial shelter on the ground and on the trees.

We will do the actual survey in March which will also include spot lighting at night.

This project is being run by Ecogecko and funded by WCC’s Conservation Fund. Thanks also to Conservation Volunteers who started the setup a few weeks ago.