Options for people walking and on bikes
As walking and cycling are legally prohibited on all motorways, there is no provision for either activity on the Transmission Gully motorway.
The current State Highway (coastal route) is the preferred route for recreation and active transport because it is more scenic, less steep and has better connections with existing shared paths:
- Te Ara Harakeke (the flax pathway) between Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay
- Te Ara o Whareroa which connects Paekākāriki through Queen Elizabeth Park with the Kāpiti cycle route at Raumati
When Transmission Gully opens it will reduce traffic on the current State Highway (coastal route) and on SH58 west of Transmission Gully. Once traffic patterns have settled, Waka Kotahi will undertake a safety audit of SH58 between Paremata and Pāuatahanui and SH59 (currently SH1) between Linden and Mackays Crossing. This audit will help inform discussions about the future of these sections of road and what, if any, changes may be required. Walking and cycling needs will be considered as part of this process.
Waka Kotahi recognised that walking, biking or horse riding along the former SH1 between Paekākāriki and Paraparaumu would be made more challenging during and as a result of the construction of the Transmission Gully motorway. Te Ara o Whareroa, through Queen Elizabeth Park, was built in 2016 to provide a safer and more pleasant route for people than the existing State Highway. Connecting Paekākāriki with Raumati, it also forms part of the Kāpiti cycle route.
The shared path enjoys views of Kāpiti island, regenerating native trees and shrubs, the sand dune formations that Kāpiti is famous for, and great views of Transmission Gully.
With a sealed surface, it’s also suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and kids can bike to school safely and quickly through the park in all seasons. The path has been designed to meet a gradient grade 1 – the easiest level – for most of the distance. The cycling time from Tilley Road in Paekākāriki to Poplar Ave in Raumati is approximately 20 minutes.
Tracks to be built by the Transmission Gully Project
There are recreational tracks planned as part of the Transmission Gully Project. Other options remain open to be developed by others in future in the project area if there is sufficient support.
These will be completed during the final six months of the project, once the new motorway has opened to traffic.
- Pāuatahanui path – a shared path will be built beside SH58 (between the roundabouts), and a recreational path will follow the Pāuatahanui stream through the new Transmission Gully/SH58 interchange to provide a range of options better connecting Bradey Road to Pāuatahanui village.
- Flightys Road to Battle Hill path – a track will be built from the northern end of Flightys Road to Battle Hill Farm. This track has some challenging terrain, but the project is working with other groups to see if it can safely become a mountain bike track, as well as a walking one. Cattle grates will be installed on the path where stock are moved.
- Battle Hill Farm to Paekākāriki track – plans are being finalised for this track, but the proposal is for a short link from Battle Hill close to the motorway then a very steep uphill climb to an existing track on the ridgeline. Known as the Gas Track, the ridgeline track sits above the gas main that runs all the way from Taranaki to Wellington. The ridge has awe inspiring views of Kāpiti Island and on the right day you can see all the way to Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki.
Belmont Regional Park
For other recreational options – check out the Belmont Regional park, situated in the rolling hills between Porirua and the Hutt Valley.
The park offers bush-clad tracks for walking, running, mountain biking and horse riding. It’s also an excellent spot for a picnic, or an explore of the historic Korokoro Dam, Pareaho Pa, World War II ammunition stores and the original main coach road from Wellington.
Taking pride of place among the breathtaking views is Transmission Gully.
For a great view of Te Ara a Toa, the Cannons Creek viaduct, people can access the track from the top of Takapu road, as shown on the map below.
The Belmont Walkway will be re-connected under the Transmission Gully motorway at Wai o Hata (Bridge 19 – north of Te Ara a Toa) with a new carpark connection from Takapu Road. There will also be a new connection under the south abutment of Te Ara a Toa to link with existing paths into Cannons Creek.
The new paths will be completed in the summer of 2022, after the new motorway has opened to traffic. We expect to open the tracks to the public within six months of road opening.
For more information check out the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s website: