Main entrance upgrade - 25 August update - Koru closure

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.


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

Goat proof fence installed on park boundary

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.

Aratihi - Summit bypass.jpg
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.

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)

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.


 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!

Makara Peak.jpg

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 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 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.  


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.







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.

Upper Leaping Lizard rebuild complete

26 October update

The final piece of the Upper Leaping Lizard puzzle was tidied up this week by Ricky, who widened, tweaked, and finished off the short link between the new (upper upper?) and lower (original/lower upper) bits of track. So you can now avoid the pinch climb all the way up to the 4WD track.

14 October update

TGL have been busy upgrading the lower section of Upper Leaping Lizard over the last few weeks, which has been paid for by WCC. They’ve been widening some narrow sections, removing ruts, improving the drainage, berming up some corners, and building an intermediate bypass of the advanced steep rocky section - which is being kept open for those who prefer a steeper line. The best of both worlds!

They’ve done a great job retaining as much of the natural, rugged feel of the track, while giving it an update as it hasn’t seen any major maintenance in quite a few years. This is a key section of track that all riders will use to access the south west corner of the park, where we’ll be building a lot of new intermediate and advanced grade tracks. So getting it back to intermediate grade was a priority.

There are some great views from the track over Cook Strait and the South Island, plus looking back to the swing bridge and the Peak. Once it’s complete, there’s going to be a great intermediate loop in the South West from the summit down Upper Leaping Lizard, into the easy section of Leaping Lizard and then back along Supa Kanuka and Aratihi. Advanced riders have got a bit more choice with Nikau Valley or Leaping Lizard into Bail Out or back up via Possum.

We’ll post something on Facebook as soon as it’s open - only a couple of weeks of finishing and surfacing to go.

It's releasing season

After another successful planting season, we’ve a little bit of work to do to ensure the seedlings survive their first few months in the ground. We call it 'releasing', and it's usually just pulling back grass from around the seedlings to make sure they don't get swamped.

We provide gloves and a snack - you provide some muscle. It usually takes about an hour (a bit longer if there's a walk into the planting site).

Don't forget: once you've done three work parties this year, you get a pair of top notch Makara Peak riding gloves.

Wednesday 17 October at 6pm: Meet at Hazelwood Green next to the overflow car park

Wednesday 24 October at 6pm: Meet at the entrance to Bailout, then head into the Leaping Lizard goat exclosure

Wednesday 31 October at 6pm: Meet in the main carpark and picnic area

Wednesday 7 November at 6pm: Meet at the end of Magic Carpet/Koru

Wednesday 14 November at 6pm: meet at the container before heading into Ridgeline Extension and Miro

Tweaks made to bottom corner on Ridgeline.

Ricky, Scotty and Red Dawg made some tweaks to the bottom corner on Ridgeline on the weekend. The big ruts are gone, now replaced with some rock ledges which provide hard or harder lines. If you haven’t ridden Ridgeline recently - get into it. It’s pretty sweet at the moment.

Upper Leaping Lizard bypass underway

There was a good trail building session on the Upper Leaping Lizard bypass on Saturday, with about 30 metres scratched out by a keen group of volunteers.

This short section of new trail will bypass that nasty pinch climb and create better flow between the new section of Upper Leaping Lizard and the old bit (which is currently being upgraded).

One more session this Saturday and we should have it completed.

Spotted some Puawhananga in flower as well.

ULL bypass 1.jpg
ULL bypass 3.jpg