West of downtown Wellington and just west of the Karori suburb, the Makara Peak MTB Park has a 25km trail network. The trails roll thru arid scrubland and are predominantly purpose-built singletrack. There are trails ranging from easy to difficult, along with numerous stout climbs and gnarly descents.
To reach the mountain biking trailhead from Wellington on SH1, use the ferry terminal exit for Aotea Quay Avenue. Head south on Aeota Quay for about a kilometer. Turn right on Whitmore Road, which becomes Bowen Road, for 0.7km. Turn left on Tinakori Road for 1.6km. Turn left on Glenmore Street for 0.2km. Continue straight on Claytor Street for 1.1km. Turn left on Karori Road for 2.3km. Turn left on South Karori Road for 0.9km. Turn righ into signed parking area. While maps may indicate other parking areas, this is by far the best one.
If you feel like riding to Makara Peak MTB Park from closer to Wellington, you can try the 2km Deliverance Trail starting in Wrights Hill.
The southern half of the park is covered in regenerating native bush, mostly over 3 metres tall. The single tracks are sheltered but slow to dry out.
The northern and higher half of the park is dominated by gorse and barberry. The tracks are exposed to all winds, but dry out faster after rain.
Overall, Makara Peak MTB Park is the 2nd most popular mountain bike trail of all 41 mountain biking rides in New Zealand.