Beer while biking is a recipe for a bad time – but a nice ice cold beer after a hard day of biking? Well, that’s a perfect slice of heaven.
And that is exactly what Bike Wellington Mountain Bike Adventures offers. They give you the bikes, the helmets, the snacks and an experienced guide. All you have to do is pick your trail and bike it. All trails lead to Mac's Brewery on Wellington's beautiful waterfront and a craft beer-tasting platter as a reward for all of your hard work.
Guests of Bike Wellington are provided with bikes and safety wear, but you will not be riding some old rusty piece of junk. Bike Wellington provides Avanti Torrent 1 and Avanti Vapour 1 top of the line mountain bike models, which offer as smooth of an uphill ride as they do downhill with their full suspension. You feel like you are riding on a cloud.
Bike Wellington offers four different tours: the Aro Valley Adventure, the Makara Peak Explorer, the Wainui Discovery, and the Best of Wellington Tour – so grab a buddy or two and get to it.
Aro Valley Adventure
Like biking but don't necessarily like the 'up the hill' part to get to the good 'down the hill' part? The Aro Valley Adventure is the tour for those that like to coast downhill and feel the wind in their hair. You get picked up and driven uphill to a site where you can hop onto your bike and enjoy the ride down the hill.
There are various tracks to choose from based on your riding ability, and all of them include a stop at the Brooklyn Wind Turbine to take in the sights before either coasting it or ripping it up through the valley.
This track is recommended for beginners as it is mostly a downhill course, however it is 90 per cent single track that can contain some loose gravel, so it is recommended that you have at least have a little experience of mountain biking.
Makara Peak Explorer
Those with more experience should check out the Makara Peak tour. Makara Peak has quickly become New Zealand's number one mountain biking destination. The bike park there was established in 1998, and it boasts some great vistas, challenging bike trails and plenty of opportunities to spot the local wildlife.
The 250-hectare park offers multiple trails. There is the grand loop – by far the longest trail – which takes you to Makara Peak for views of Wellington Harbour and, on a clear day, the South Island.
The trails are rated grades three to five, primarily because the slender rocky trails and potential dangers of loose ground. It is recommended that you have good experience of mountain biking before trying to tackle this trail.
After biking up to the peak, you will get plenty of downhill time on the way down back down to the harbour and Mac's Brewery for your beer-tasting.
Wainui Discovery is a guided tour through the lush and tropical Wainuiomata Trail Park. This tour offers everything from steep and technical single track climbs to a leisurely loop.
The loop is a great trail for those who are using Bike Wellington for a family adventure. Wainui Discovery also features some unique downhill only tracks that offer some challenging drops for the braver mountain biking veteran. The trails range from the grade two loop for families to grade five trails for the more technically trained experts.
After a morning of biking, you are then driven to Days Bay for lunch by the water before hopping on a ferry cruise around the harbour. You then disembark beside Mac's Brewery for beer-tasting.
creativecommons.com/Emma Jane Hogbin Westby
The Best of Wellington Tour
Unlike the other tours, the Best of Wellington tour is for the mountain biker who knows what kind of experience they want. There is no set track or place on the Best of Wellington Tour. Instead, you tell your two guides if you want extreme drops, a smooth ride, technical trails or a fun and flowy track. Name the kind of track you want to experience and they will drive you to it.
As there is no set track or trail, this tour is rated on the full scale of grade one through to grade five. This particular tour is recommended for truly adventurous bikers who think they have experienced every trail that New Zealand has to offer. The guides have a few secret places up their sleeve, so you never know what you might get.
Get ready for a long day of riding on the Best of Wellington. Regardless of your choice, the riding lasts for six hours to really help you work up a thirst for that beer-tasting down at Mac's Brewery at the end of the day.