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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, some big hills
Well marked and easy to follow the route, there are a few tracks that lead off to the Hutt River Gorge but these are minor. The track can be very boggy when wet.
To start with you head across a grassy section, over a footbridge and zig-zag up about 160m into the regenerating manuka bush. There are sections of board walk here over the worst mud. The track then mellows out a bit but continues to climb another 120m over the next 1.5km before it starts to undulate up to the high point. Just before the descent you'll reach the Tussock Knob lookout with a bench seat. Worth stopping for the views here. The descent is steep (and drops about 290m) and fast all the way down to Rivendell where you turn right at the sealed road if you want to check the place out (100m to the main bridge and car park). Return the same way.
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Features of interest
As you get closer to the Rivendell end, you pass from regenerating forest into mature red beech, followed by mature broadleaf-podocarp forest with tall rimu, rata, miro and hinau. Plenty of bird life and views into the Hutt River Gorge. Kaitoke Regional Park is the catchment for the Wellington water supply. The two big twin lakes at the Te Marua end are the water storage lakes for the Wellington region.
Rivendell is the site of filming of Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are information boards scattered around detailing the filming locations. It's a nice place to spend a bit of time swimming if you need a break.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 55%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Two start points (either end). For this GPX the start is at the Twin Lakes Rd car park at Te Marua. When heading north on SH2 from the Hutt Valley you'll hit Te Marua and pass the golf course on your left. Follow the big sign for Kaitoke Regional Park and Stock Car Track on your left and take the road to the end car park (sign posted for the Ridge Track).
Alternatively, to start at the far end (main entrance), stay on SH2 for a couple more km's and take the left turn at Waterworks Rd (signposted Kaitoke Regional Park) and take the road all the way to the Rivendell car park.
No public transport. Plenty of safe parking at either end, but use caution and don't leave valuables in sight. Gates open from 6am till dusk.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
Stay on the main ridge following the orange triangles and well trodden path. There are a few tracks heading west/north west and pest control routes. Ignore these.
Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map.
There is safe drinking water at Rivendell, otherwise best to carry your own.
Can be very boggy after a lot of rain.
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