New Year's Day adventure tramp: Remutaka Incline, Wairarapa


Happy new year 2019! We celebrated with a tramp on our doorstep: Remutaka Incline in the beautiful Wairarapa region of NZ. I would absolutely love to photograph an engagement session here, if this walk has special meaning to a local couple.

The 7km Remutaka Incline forms part of the Remutaka Rail Trail which in turn forms part of the 115km Remutaka Cycle Trail from Wellington to the wild coast on the south Wairarapa at Orongorongo. Phew!

The mountain fell railway opened in 1878 and was of service to the agricultural and social needs of the Wairarapa, connecting it to the major port in Wellington, for 77 years. The gentle walking, cycling and running route popular with families, follows the old rail route.

After a leisurely sleep in, we started from the Cross Creek carpark in Featherston, walked up the incline through the three tunnels to reach the summit; and back down again (totaling 14km). We could have continued a further 11km to Kaitoke but decided to leave that for another day.

The DOC website describes the innovative fell rail system: "It involved a centre rail - elevated above the running rail - gripped by a series of horizontal wheels fitted to the specially designed engines, and brake vans which took trains up and down the incline.". Technology evolved incredibly quickly making the fell system obsolete; and the incline was replaced by a tunnel through the Remutaka Range.

We loved the insight into the history of the railway, what it was like to live in this remote and beautiful part of the world. It was an adventure using torchlight to walk through the tunnels with oncoming cyclists! We also loved seeing the native forest regenerating after the fires caused by the sparks from the trains.

I hope you enjoy the photos of our adventure walk.

If you like these photos, you might like to check out my Lucalia Photography documentary style Wairarapa family photography; and engagement portraits.

Waking through Siberia Tunnel

Gorgeous native forest covered mountains, bordered by pines, fields and a babbling creek

Historic map showing the route between Wellington and Featherston

We saw plenty of wildlife including Tui, Kereru Wood Pigeon, Kāhu Australasian marsh harrier and this stunning Kapokapowai Bush giant dragonfly.

The forested section from the carpark to Cross Creek Station is delightful on a warm day

Cross Creek Station was once a thriving small community

Remains of rail yards at Cross Creek

The curves of the trail and the curves of the mountains melt together beautiful

Cyclists, trail runners and trampers share the trail in harmony

A babbling creek underneath the now-disappeared Siberia Curve

Gorgeous trickling waterfall beside the entrance to Siberia Tunnel

I love the vibrant green native forest

The Summit has a lovely assortment of picnic tables and historic rail engines and water tankers

Rusty pipes make an attractive reminder of industry long gone

The view from the trail towards Lake Wairarapa and beyond

If you like these photos, you might like to check out my Lucalia Photography documentary style Wairarapa family photography; and engagement portraits.

Lots of love, Sarah x

#wairarapa #featherston #bushwalk #tramping #wairarapafamilyphotographer #Wairarapaengagementlocation

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