Kaitoke is a small rural hamlet north of Upper Hutt, home to dairy farms and lifestyle blocks, as well as one of the Wellington Region’s most spectacular parks. It truly is recreational paradise, offering a multitude of outdoor pursuits and stunning natural amenities catering for a range of interests and abilities.
Located at the northern end of the Hutt Valley some six kilometres from the northern end of the Upper Hutt urban area, the valley lies at the southern end of the Tararua Range.
Mountain-bikers have easy access to the Rimutaka Rail Trail, and access to Tunnel Gully reserve. Walkers, runners and trampers can take on one of the many tracks in Kaitoke Regional Park (home to Rivendell, a Lord of the Rings filming location), Pakuratahi Forest Park or in the Tararua Forest Park. Hunters will also find these hills teaming with wild boar and deer.
The “Puffer” tramping track providing access into the Tararua Forest Park climbs from Kaitoke onto and along the Marchant Ridge. This ridge is the part of the Tararuas that is prominently visible from Wellington. The Marchant Track has a side track leading to the Tauherenikau Valley. The end of the Marchant Ridge (after four hours of ‘up hill, all the way, both ways’) leads to Mount Alpha, and onto The Southern Crossing. The entire track to Alpha skirts the Hutt Water Collection Area.
The first Youth Hostel in the North Island was established in the old Ministry of Works barracks at Kaitoke, which were behind the Post Office and alongside the Kaitoke Hall. The Post Office, the Hall, and the Youth Hostel were the only buildings of the settlement. Other facilities include a small airstrip operated by the Upper Valley Gliding Club for the purposes of gliding the area’s thermals.
The Pakuratahi River flows through the eastern Kaitoke Basin from its source in the Rimutaka Ranges. The Hutt River has its source to the north of Kaitoke, and much of the land in the vicinity is used as a water supply reserve. Filming, rafting, swimming and other human activity all take place downstream of the water intake.
There is no public transport service to Kaitoke, however there are school buses for pupils, and the 112 bus can be accessed in Te Marua, approximately 5 minutes away by car.
The Wairarapa train line can also be accessed nearby in Maymorn.
There are no schools in the valley, however Plateau Primary School is nearby in Te Marua, and the Mangaroa/Te Marua Playcentre is located nearby in Birchville.
The valley is home to Kaitoke Country Gardens, a restaruant, bar and function venue. There is also a dairy and Stonestead Devonshire Teas nearby in Te Marua.