Upper Hutt


Description

The river is the centre piece of outdoor life in Upper Hutt but the hills are where the action is. Mount Climie is one of the few places you can get into snow in winter without going into the Tararuas. Upper Hutt has so much to offer anyone who wants to get outdoorz. You can go fishing and swimming in the river, get extreme at Maidstone park or, with a little more effort, sample the fantastic views from the tops of the surrounding hills.


Links

Upper Hutt City Council, Wonder Walkers, www.huttvalleynz.com


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Bartons Bush in Trentham Memorial Park

Bartons Bush One of the last reasonably natural sections of flat bush in the Wellington region. While this bush is unfortunately very small, only taking around 15 minutes to do the loop, it is very rich in both trees and wildlife. Well worth a visit for those who don't have much time but want to get back to the bush. You can access Bartons Bush from Holdsworth Avenue, Brentwood Street or from either Trentham Memorial Park or the Hutt River Trail

Time and Difficulty

There are a number of tracks however to walk the main loop allow between 15 and 20 minutes

Distance and Height

880m for the main loop



Cannon Point and Birchville Dam

Cannons Point This group of track climbs from Totara Flats up to Cannon Point and back to either Totara Flats or Birchville depending on which of the two loops you use. The views from the trig on Cannon Point are spectacular looking down the Hutt Valley and into Wellington itself. If you take three skulls road you'll find a number of signs warning of logging trucks so keep an eye out. Cannon point gained its name from a large tree left lying at the top that looked like a large Cannon from below. The area was farmed by the Whiteman family and called Valley View station. Access the walks from Tulsa Grove or Bridge Rd. Mountain bikes aren't allowed on the section down to Birchville Dam.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 1.5 hours for the loop up to Cannon Point and back. For the loop up to Canon point, along to Birchville Dam and back to the carpark allow at least 2.5 hours.
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ECNZ road to Silverstream

Silverstream track










This rugged track leads from the ECNZ road down through various forest trails to the base of the Silverstream valley. The quality of the tracks varies markedly from wide open trail to some scrub bashing. The area is covered in trails so allow plenty of time to get Geographically Embarrassed. Overall the trails are good fun on a mountain bike as long as you don't mind mud. The trail starts at Kiln St in Silverstream.

Time and Difficulty

Allow between 1.5 and 2 hours if walking up to the ECNZ road. Going the other way saves around half an hour.

Distance and Height

6.4km from the junction with ECNZ road to Kiln St



Keith George Memorial Park - Ridge Loop Track

Trig Track This loop was originally two tracks, the Trig and North Ridge tracks, both of which provided access to the ridge. Unfortunately the North Ridge Track now loops back and joins the other track due to issues with private land. Both sides of the loop are steep at the bottom, progressively getting easier towards the top. The bottom is predominantly Tawa however Black and Red Beech take over towards the top. Access is via the Keith George carpark just 100m down the River road from the turnoff for Silverstream.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 2 hours to walk the full loop

Distance and Height

2.2km for the southern track and 3.1km for the northern
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Keith George Memorial Park - Ridge Pylon Track

Ridge Pylon Track This 4wd road forms the backbone of the Silverstream Scenic Reserve providing access to all the other tracks in the park. The road is used both for recreation and to access the Pylons that run across the ridge. This track is well used by both walkers and mountain cyclists thanks to its reasonable gradient (once you get over the initial climb) and some rewarding views in places. For walkers with only one car getting back can be an issue. Access is from either one of the electrical sub-station on the Haywards road or the access road mid way long the River Road between the Silverstream and Moonshine bridges.

Time and Difficulty

If walking allow around 3 hours for the one way trip. Cyclists can easily cut an hour off this time.

Distance and Height

7.8km from the Haywards substation to the exit at the River road.
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Keith George Memorial Park - Short loop

Keith George Loop Track The short loop track is a great one for those interested in big Tawa trees and lots of different native birds. The GPS track route shows the track continues past the loop towards the Haywards station but this part of the track isn't for the faint hearted. I went as far as my courage allowed, eventually having to turn around when the trck became near vertical dropping into a creek. Access is via the Keith George carpark a few hundred metres past the Silverstream turnoff on the River road.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around an hour return to complete the loop and return to the carpark

Distance and Height

1.2km to the loop and 500m for the loop itself
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Maidstone Park

Maidstone Park This network of tracks provides access to some nice forest and lookouts. The tracks are in good condition and well maintained although the forest gives way to scrub and gorse towards the top of the hill. The standout attraction for me are some of the tall beech and Rimu trees on the lower slopes. The park itself was originally established by Philip Davis to provide sports facilities for rail travelers using the Rimutaka Incline. In 1928 he leased the park to the council and 10 years later they bought the area outright. Maidstone park can be accessed from either the park itself off Park St or from a track starting at Seymour Grove in Kingsley Heights

Time and Difficulty

The tracks vary in distance and effort required however overall an hour should allow you to see most of the tracks. Watch out for mountain bikers.



Brown Owl Park

Brown Owl Park










This short walk runs through Brown Owl park between the Main Road North and ??? Grove. It includes a small flood control dam and some wide, open, grassy spaces for the dog and kids.

Time and Difficulty

This is a short wander through a nice park so shouldn't take much more than 10 minutes at strolling pace.

Distance and Height

The track only runs for ??? one way



Upper Hutt River Trail

Brown Owl Park This popular trail follows the Hutt River from the top of Taita Gorge through to Totara Park. In addition to walking and biking the track is often used by fishermen, swimmers and dogwalkers. Sections of the trail are used by cars and motorbikes so keep an eye out but most users are reasonably considerate.

Time and Difficulty

Most don't do the full trail but if you're so inclined allow around 1.5 hours from Taita Gorge through to Totara Park.

Distance and Height

Overall the trail runs for ???



Blue Mountain Rd to Pinhaven Reserve

Blue Mountain-Pinehaven Reserve This small trail joins Blue Mountain Rd and Pinehaven Reserve. Usually I wouldn't include such a short track but this goes through some beautiful Beech forest which is well worth a look. Also the birdsong in spring and summer is to die for.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 5 minutes to meander down the track

Distance and Height

The track is around 200m long




Ecclesfield Reserve

Ecclesfield Reserve This short loop track runs through some fantastic beech forest and also provides rewarding views out of Silverstream. This track is good for a short family outing. The start of the reserve is quite difficult to find but essentially it starts around 50 metres

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 20 minutes to meander around the track return

Distance and Height

The track is around 1km long






Witako Reserve

Witako Reserve This longer route starts at the top of the Ecclesfield loop and follows some ridges and spurs to rejoin Pinehaven within Fendelton. The track is shown as unmarked but in 2012 was in a reasonable, followable condition. The route also has a number of side tracks but I didn't follow any of these.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 60 minutes one way to walk the track. If you want to return along the road allow another 10-15 minutes. Definitely not recommended for mountain bikers.

Distance and Height

The track is around 2.5km long




Silverstream Scenic Reserve

Silverstream Scenic Reserve This is really a group of linking 4wd tracks that can be accessed from either Mount Cecil Rd (off the Haywards) or the ECNZ Pylon track. This is a great area for mountain bikers but keep an eye out for walkers and hunters. Some good views out over the Moonshine and Hayward Roads.

Time and Difficulty

Allow around 1 hour to bike the back route and a little longer if you want to do it all. Walking can easily double this time and you will also need to get back to your car.

Distance and Height

Depends on the route you take but the main section around the back is 6.6km long




ECNZ Eastern Hutt Road

ECNZ Road Eastern Hutt










This awesome 4wd firebreak stretches between the top of the Blue Mountains in Upper Hutt through to the summit of the Wainuiomata Road. The road is in good condition in most places although be wary of ruts and puddles which can be surprisingly deep. A number of access points along the way can be used to shorten the road however if you're going the full distance either have two cars or make use of the Hutt Valley trains.

Time and Difficulty

If you're walking allow at least five hours but the bike ride can be done somewhere between two and three depending on how much actual riding you do

Distance and Height

The track is around 17.1km long and varies between 180m and 450m height above seal level.





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