Ride the Ara Harakeke Walkway

One of my goals for 2017 was to “walk” all the local sections of the Te Araroa trail. I didn’t quite come close to that – I’ve still only done about 25% of the Wellington section (although the goal didn’t include doing the 4-day section in the Tararua Range) .

One weekend, I added a small section of the trail to my “completed” list with a bike ride. Parking our car in an industrial street in Plimmerton between the state highway and the railway line, we hitched up the borrowed tag-along bike for Mr4 and hit the trail to Pukerua Bay. The ride towards Pukerua Bay didn’t feel particularly steep for the most part, although it was definitely work, and had some steep up hills. 5km and 35 minutes later, we stopped for ice creams at the dairy.

The ride back was such a difference – and I totally recommend doing it Northbound first if doing a there-and-back – we hardly needed to pedal at all, and I hit 30km/hr on one section (and I was the slower of the two bikes still).

The track we followed was well maintained, smooth, and fully sealed. There were only two points where anything crossed the trail – one railway line access and the Whenua Tapu access road. Both had excellent visibility. The scenery was nothing spectacular – it certainly lives up to its name, with Ara Harakeke translating literally to “the way of flax”, but overall, it was a lovely and safe place to take a new bike for a trial ride.


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