Guided Tours

Queen Elizabeth Park

Akatarawa Forest


Waikanae River

Difficulty Levels

Queen Elizabeth Park

QEP bike tour
Queen Elizabeth Park is the last area of natural dunes on Kapiti’s coastline, and reminds us how the coastline appeared before large-scale human settlement.

With its 650 hectares of easy terrain edged by a sandy beach, riding Queen Elizabeth Park is a great way of exploring the coast, and Adventure Kapiti offers several different options to take advantage of this fantastic local resource.


image credit Greater Wellington Regional Council

The park is steeped in history including pa sites at Whareroa and Wainui beaches and evidence of the 20,000 strong US marine camps from World War II The Tramway Museum is situated near the MacKays Crossing entrance, with historic trams running on the 2km line to Whareroa Beach.



Akatarawa Forest

Bike trip in the Akatarawas

The Akatarawa Forest covers hill country between Upper Hutt and Paraparaumu. The park covers 14,000 hectares, and has changed considerably from its natural state during Maori settlement through to current day. The logging of timber was the most significant influence on the nature of the forest. For more than 100 years saw-milling was an important part of the economy of this area. During the peak period of 1900 to 1920 many families associated with saw-milling moved into the Akatarawa area. Small cottages or whares provided the barest essentials for the workers and their families.

Access was via Karapoti Road which was formed in 1911 as a tram track with wooden rails. Old tram lines, trucks and discarded machinery can still be seen today – relics of a bygone era. Readily accessible rimu, matai, totara, kahikatea and some miro were extracted, while isolated and un-merchantable podocarp remnants are scattered throughout the area.

Further change to the native forest took place from 1930 to 1957 – following further logging – with the scattered inter-planting of exotic conifers such as Douglas Fir, Lawson’s Cypress, Monterey Cypress, Western Red Cedar and Japanese Cedar. Today many of these tree species have blended in well with the surrounding native bush.

The combination of logging trails, 4wd tracks, and beautiful tracts of native and logging forest make for a rich vein of riding for the intermediate and advanced level rider, with a combination of lush wide tracks, and exhilarating and technical single track.


image credit Greater Wellington Regional Council

Campbells Mill Road – Akatarawa Forest

Through a beautiful combination of native bush and exotic logging forests, this ride takes you on a series of wide 4 wheel tracks, varying from rolling coasting, through grinding uphills, technical passages, to exhilarating down-hills. Suitable for the intermediate rider with a reasonable level of fitness.

Akatarawa Riding

Exploring the lush native bush of the Akatawara Forest Park in the vast 14,000 hectares. Accessing via the 4 wheel drive tracks, this ride can be tailor made for individual requirements.

Desending CMR

$300 Half Day cycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-small

*maximum four riders ( $75 each )

Campbells Mill Ride Description

We drive over to the Maungakotukutuku Valley and park at the entrance of Campbells Mill Road. From there we ride an easy 6km, half hour up an easy gradient through farmland to the forest entrance. A stop at the top to take in the spectacular views back toward Kapiti Island before we set off into the native bush.

We go straight into a 5km descent down Whakatikei Rd (Big Ring Boulevard), fast and flowing with some tight corners to catch you out. Stopping at a picturesque river at the bottom before climbing out through Norms Crossing and Hydro Valley Road via Orange Hut.

For the more experienced, the riding can be mixed up with 4wd and single track. But if its bush riding you’re after, the forest is riddled with tracks, old logging tracks and skid roads. A little walking can sometimes be required to link some of them, and that’s all part of the adventure. This is technical riding at its purest.

Air time in Akatarawa

Akatarawa Heli Bike

Take a panoramic helicopter flight to a specified landing site in the Akatarawas.  The helicopter takes the bikes and up to 6 riders get lifted to the top. A stunning and unique way to experience the Kapiti Coast, and to maximise your riding experience.  Find out more here.

3 person group – $325pp

Karapoti Classic Course

The Karapoti Classic is the longest running and best known Mountain Bike race in New Zealand. Staged in the back yard of the Kapiti Coast, this iconic event is a rite of passage to any serious mountain biking enthusiast.

Adventure Kapiti guides have been participating in the Classic for over 10 years, and take willing (and crazy) riders around the course, purely to experience the course, or to provide a thorough technical pre-ride experience for those preparing for the race.

Minimum 2 riders for this experience.

$220pp 6 hours cycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-small

Waikanae River Area

The Waikanae River flows from the western foothills of the Tararua Ranges about 50 km north of Wellington. The upper catchment covers 125 square kilometres of predominately regenerating native bush, mature forest and pasture.

The Waikanae River meanders through a diverse landscape which has changed significantly over the years. On the upper plain near the ranges, the rivers course cuts through alluvial gravels deposited by the river, before moving down through coastal sand dunes between Waikanae and Paraparaumu, to the sea.

Waikanae River and Estuary

The ride follows adjacent wide tracks up either bank of the Waikanae river. We enter on the road between Otaihanga domain and entering the Scientific Reserve. There is a clearly marked walking/cycling track as we exit Makora Rd and cross Otaihanga Road. New planting on each side of this track which emerged into an area of vacant sections (Petrel Close, Hana Udy Place). The roads are quiet and signs do show the Kapiti cycling route. We enter the Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve off Hana Udy Place. This is a wide 4WD track down to the beach meeting up again with the river. There are many other tracks through the bird reserve we can explore.

The track is flat across the entire length, and you can cycle across the footbridge. In summer we can walk across the river under the footbridge – the water isn’t very deep.

A new track goes across the middle of the reserve from gates at the fenceline at the end of Takahe Drive, across the main north-south track (you can exit at Hana Udy Place), and across a small bridge to the carpark by the river at the end of Otaihanga Road and up to Otaihanga domain. This is a good solid gravel track, is flat, and is another excellent option when open.

$95pp 2 hours cycling-mountain-bike-small-half

*minimum two riders 

Difficulty Levels

Difficulty and fitness level requirements are graded on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 mtb is for beginners and/or for riders with low levels of fitness, through to 5 mtb’s for expert riders of a high level of fitness.

cycling-mountain-bike-small Beginner with low level of fitness
cycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-small Rider with some experience – comfortable to ride 2 to 3 hours
cycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-small Mid level rider – comfortable to ride for 3 to 4 hours
cycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-small Experienced rider – comfortable to ride for 3 to 4 hours
cycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-smallcycling-mountain-bike-small Expert rider with high level of fitness