Makara Peak is not just a mountain bike park, it is also a conservation park with a variety of native plants and animals. Makara Peak was cleared of native vegetation in the early 1900s and farmed through to the mid-1990s before it was turned into the park it is today. One small remnant of the pre-European forest exists (see below on the conservation map). Since then the Makara Peak Supporters have been working hard to help restore the area to its natural state and the park has now been classified as a Scenic Reserve.
Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park has 250 hectares of native bush at various stages of regeneration and makes up an important part of Wellington’s Outer Green Belt. The regenerating bush provides an exciting riding environment as well as protecting park users from strong wind and sun on a hot day.
Makara Peak is classified as a Key Native Ecosystem and is Wellington’s first Ministry for Primary Industries certified ‘carbon sink’ (a forest set aside for atmospheric carbon dioxide absorption). Close to Zealandia sanctuary and Otari-Wilton’s Bush, the park provides a safe corridor between reserves as well as an important habitat for native birds and other wildlife.
A main goal of the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Supporters is to restore the park to a healthy, thriving native forest full of native animals. Supporters are assisting this in a variety of ways including pest animal and plant control, protecting and reintroducing rare native plant species and planting thousands of seedlings.
By encouraging users to become involved with the park developments and restoration, Makara Peak Bike Park is an example of how conservation, community, and recreation partners can work together.
With the support of the Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council, this volunteer-driven effort managed by Makara Peak Supporters encourages park users to learn about their surrounding environment.