Remutaka Rail Trail: A Cyclist’s Paradise

Picture this: The sound of wheels against the trail, the wind in your hair, and the ever-changing landscape unfurling before you. That’s the essence of the Remutaka Rail Trail, a journey that never fails to excite the adventurer in me. Day 2 of our Remutaka Palliser Tora 6-day ride brings us face to face with this trail’s allure, and despite having pedaled its path numerous times, I still jump at the chance to embrace it anew.

 A Serendipitous Opportunity

Sometimes, necessity sparks opportunity. A vehicle awaiting service “over the hill” presents the perfect reason to load up the bike and embark on the thrilling return journey, cycling back over the trail. What’s more, the 18-kilometer stretch from Featherston to Martinborough often comes with a delightful bonus: a tailwind that propels you forward effortlessly.

A Historical Ride

Rail Trail Tunnel- group photo of one of the tunnel entrances

The ride commences at Maymorn, where the trail unfolds along the historic railway bed. After the opening of the 9-kilometer Remutaka Rail Tunnel in 1955, the rails were lifted, rendering the Incline Railway obsolete. Along this scenic route, you’ll encounter informative boards sharing intriguing tales of the old railway. For those seeking deeper insights into this fascinating history, a visit to the Fell museum in Featherston is a must. This remarkable museum, which I fondly remember from my childhood, houses a meticulously restored original Fell Engine, once left in a Featherston playground. Today, it stands as a testament to the past, captivating visitors with its rich heritage.

Scenic Beauty Beckons

Remutaka trail - Siberia. Biking down the north side of the incline

Now, some may say that the journey from Featherston to Greytown can be a bit monotonous, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Covering approximately 18 kilometers, this stretch guides you through picturesque farmlands and pockets of untouched bush. As you pedal along, you’ll cross the Tauwharenikau River via a state-of-the-art swingbridge, the longest of its kind in Aotearoa NZ. Further along the route, a delightful off-road section beckons, leading from Woodside Railway Station to Greytown. This path, once a branch line into Greytown, now serves as a charming cycling route.

A Rewarding Conclusion

And what better way to cap off your journey than by indulging in a well-deserved coffee or, perhaps, a refreshing beer at one of Greytown’s welcoming pubs?

The Remutaka Rail Trail isn’t just a ride; it’s a voyage of discovery, a testament to history, and a celebration of the New Zealand landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a newcomer to the world of biking, this trail promises an unforgettable adventure every time you saddle up. So, whoooo whoooo—join us as we embark on this remarkable rail trail journey!

This part of the RCT can be ridden as a part of our amazing Remutaka, Palliser, Tora tour. Check it out at:


You may also like...