Posts in Conservation
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.







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.

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

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
Makara Peak tree of the week - the Sally Alley Rimu
Tree of the Week - Rimu.jpg

This is one of just four rimu that existed in Makara Peak at the time it became a MTB park. It's about 10-12m tall, and lives 10m above Sally Alley, about 80% of the way along the track.

We’ve planted hundreds of rimu in the park over the last 20 years - 80-odd we know have reached sapling height.
— Simon Kennett

Rimu can grow to well over 35m tall in their 800-900 year lifespan, and are an important food source for many native birds.

Kennett Brothers inducted into Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

The legendary Kennett Bro's have taken their rightful place in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame!

Their list of achievements covers everything from being a pioneer of the sport in NZ, competing on the world stage, publishing, thinking up and organizing events (the Karapoti Classic and Tour Aotearoa ring bell?!) and, of course, being the driving force behind the establishment of Makara Peak and its development over the 20 years since. From the get go, they have mixed mountain biking with a strong conservation ethos which now a common theme throughout NZ.

They are a modest bunch - but the "Three Brothers" track name is a tip of the hat in their direction. That is the most they have let us do.

Here is the write up:

Awesome work Paul, Simon and Jonathan!

Somes/Matiu Island visit

Tane, God of the Forest, looked over the Makara Peak plant care crew (Evan, Jamie, Sarah, Peter, Andrew, Simon and Don) as they joined ecologist Pete Russell on Somes/Matiu Island today. Pete gave a workshop on the art of releasing podocarp saplings from common, fast growing trees. 

The Supporters aim to get all the native podocarp species - rimu, kahikatea, matai, miro and totara - well established in the park, and we're now at the stage where looking after the ones we've planted is even more important than planting more.

If you'd like to join the crew and adopt an area of saplings, please flick us a Facebook message or email