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  • Mr and Mrs Walking with Kids

Melling to Petone Cycleway & the Hutt River Trail - Central Lower Hutt (Biking)

Updated: Jan 24

Saturday 18th November 2023

Location: Melling Train Station, Lower Hutt

The Melling to Petone cycleway is part of Te Ara Tupua, a new walking and cycling link between Wellington and Lower Hutt. It's a safe alternative to biking on State Highway 2.

The kids had watched this being built for months so were very keen to give it a go when it finally opened. We ticked this off as part of a much bigger loop around the Hutt River Trail which we're not covering in detail here.

We started at Melling Station, assuming that the Cycleway would follow Pharazyn Street. What we found was that it actually goes down the river bank and cuts over to the Hutt Expressway where the river bank passes Bridge Street.

We decided to bike down Pharazyn Street anyway, but cautiously took the footpath because of how busy the road was, keeping a close eye out for pedestrians and driveways.

We met the Cycle way at The Greenway, under the Normandale Overpass. The signage from here was very clear and easy to follow. We crossed the road and looped around the Bridge Street houses until we came across the first underpass to the main stretch of the Cycleway. It looked very fancy indeed.

The Cycleway was wide and smooth and made for us to go as fast as we could. We found three major drawbacks though:

  1. Noise and Pollution: The first was the noise and pollution from the Hutt Expressway. It was sometimes hard to talk to each other. We had to point things out to the kids early, so not to rely on last minute warnings. Because you're so close to the motorway you can smell the fumes of the cars and trucks as they thunder past.

  2. Commuter Cycleway: The second was that this was a serious lycra clad road warrior commuting path. We spent a fair amount of time watching out for other bikers and trying to stop the kids from swerving (so they didn't get cleaned out). We were surprised that parts of it were quite narrow, making it hard to bike side by side, unless we were watching out for bikers trying to overtake from behind. It's definitely a commuter trail and not ideal for leisurely family bike rides (Hutt River Trail trumps this in spades).

  3. Limited Exits: There are exits to the Western hills (Maungaraki and Korokoro) but they looked like they joined the road again (merging with traffic coming off the motorway) which would make us nervous with the kids. We also didn't notice any way to cross back towards Alicetown, as you're essentially blocked in by the train line on your left and the motorway on your right. It means you're a little bit stuck if you decide it's time to bail. You have to make it to Petone :)

We passed Petone Station and then went under the trainline again, popping out opposite Bunnings on Hutt Road. We kept going south until we came to the very west of Petone Beach (down by the rowing club).

From here the Cycleway converted to the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Poneke via a sharp left turn after the Petone Onramp. Taking us towards Petone foreshore.

We had to navigate a bit of carpark traffic, but eventually hit the very familiar foreshore trail at Petone Wharf.

From the wharf we left the Cycleway behind and meandered down the foreshore around all the pedestrians, dogs and bikes until we reached Hikoikoi Reserve. Over the Waione Street Bridge and back up the river trail, we were on our way back towards where we had started.

As we have mentioned before: when on the Hutt River Trail, we'd recommend you chose clockwise or anticlockwise depending on which way the wind is blowing as it's quite exposed.

Age of Kids: 8yr and 11yrs

Biking Time: About 30 minutes (the Cycleway, Melling to Petone only)

Distance: 5.6km (the Cycleway, Melling to Petone only)

Buggy Friendly: Not on the cycleway

Difficulty: Easy

Phone Reception: Yes


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