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Mountain biking and cycling

Mountain biking and cycling

Updated 1 April 2021 4:48pm

Pencarrow Coast Road to the lakes

  • Distance: 20km return
  • Time: 2-3 hours

The Pencarrow Coast Road, south of Eastbourne and around Parangarahu Lakes, is a flat and relatively easy mountain bike ride. Sea birds and plant life thrive on the exposed coastline, while the nationally significant Lakes Kohangapiripiri and Kohangatera are home to a variety of waterfowl, eels and freshwater fish. The area is exposed to both northwesterly and southerly winds, so take warm clothing, food and drink, and be prepared for headwinds.

From Burdan's Gate at the southern end of Eastbourne, follow the gravel track along the harbour to Pencarrow Lighthouse (7 km). Rounding the corner to the true shores of Cook Strait, the road crosses gravel and sand banks damming the two freshwater lakes. Please stay on the road to protect vulnerable coastal plants and nesting birds. 

More experienced cyclists may want to explore the headland between the two lakes, go through the gates where indicated and wind your way up the farm track to the top of the hill. The ascent beside the larger of the two lakes (Kohangatera) is the more gradual of the two.

Please note:

There is no public access along the coast road (Fitzroy Bay) between the Parangarahu Lakes and Baring Head without the permission of the two private landowners. If you require access, please contact the Park Ranger Jo Greenman at

Parangarahu Lakes Area

  • Distance: Approximately 22km
  • Time: 2-4 hours

Starting from Burdan's Gate and riding via the Lake Kohangatera entrance to Cameron Ridge, this trail provides a variety of challenges and great views of the lakes, Wellington harbour and Cook Strait.  North and down from the ridge is the scenic Cameron Creek Wetland, followed by a trail around the top of Lake Kohanapiripiri to the start of the Lighthouse Track.  Views from the Lighthouse and Bluff Point are fantastic and well worth the climb.


Northern Forest


Mountain biking is now available on designated tracks in the Northern Forest zone of East Harbour Regional Park.                        

Designated tracks include:

• Main Ridge Track from Wainuiomata Hill to Lowry Lookout
• Rata Ridge Track from Lowry Lookout to Stanley Street and Fraser Street (via Zigzag Track)

See the map at the right of this page for details.