4,111 ft
Distance
341 ft
Climb
-28 ft
Descent
00:14:56
Avg time

Varley's Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • E-Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Voted Difficulty
    Blue (1 vote)
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
    Yes up to Class 1
  • Ride in Rain
    Yes
  • Global Ranking
    #38376 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • #2192 in E-Biking
    • #1811 in Trail Running
    • #47130 in Hiking
  • Local Popularity
    70 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 70 in E-Biking
    • 85 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
  • Year Opened
    1998
  • Land Manager
    Wellington City Council

Named after Gareth Varley and built by Johnsonville Cycles in 1998/99, Varley's is a classic two way Makara Peak trail.

As an alternative entrance into the park from Makara Road, it's one of the more challenging climbs in the park. The gradient combined with steep switchbacks and some rocky sections make it a genuinely challenging grade 4 climb. All but the strongest and fittest riders will be huffing and puffing by the time they reach the top.

When combined with Zac's and Wahine (in the back of Karori Park) it's a great downhill alternative for intermediate riders looking for something different than Peak Flow and North Face - just watch out for uphill riders and walkers connecting in from Skyline.

In 2017 the Makara Peak Supporters, with help from a number of corporate work parties, built an extension from the water tank down to Makara Road to bypass the very steep tarsealed access road.

Access Info

From the summit head down Zac's Track or T3. Uphill riders can either go up Makara Road or the really keen can go up Wahine at the back of Karori Park.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Varley's mountain bike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    313 ft
  • Altitude min
    763 ft
  • Altitude max
    1,083 ft
  • Altitude start
    771 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,083 ft
  • Grade
    7.6%
  • Grade max
    -6.2%
  • Grade min
    52%
  • Distance climb
    3,182 ft
  • Distance down
    679 ft
  • Distance flat
    249 ft
  • Avg time
    00:14:56
  • Avg reverse time
    00:05:56
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Jul 24, 2022
Wet
Avg: 4.4 (8 votes)
Your vote: 0

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
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  • < 50%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
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  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
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  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
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  • Videos
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  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
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  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
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      Directions to varley-s trailhead (-41.282600, 174.716890)
      update trails status or condition

      Varley's Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Jul 24, 2022 @ 3:34pm
      Jul 24, 2022
      reporter Lots of debris on tracks following last weeks storm. Report on here any major issues or via www.makarapeak.bike
      Jul 22, 2022 @ 6:04pm
      Jul 22, 2022
      Jun 2, 2022 @ 12:44pm
      Jun 2, 2022
      reporter very wet. consider staying off the trails until they dry out a bit
      Apr 18, 2022 @ 6:29pm
      Apr 18, 2022
      Mar 10, 2022 @ 11:48am
      Mar 10, 2022
      reporter
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 1 rides
      • 16 miles avg distance
      6 Months
      • 136 rides
      • 15 miles avg distance
      All
      • 1,657 rides
      • Last: Jul 30, 2022

      Photos

      no photos have been added for Varley's yet, add a photo.

      Routes with this trail

      more »
      titledistance
      Skyline (The Full Version)24 miles
      The Makara 7043 miles
      Some tasty tech runs - with a nasty climb6 miles
      WUU2K 60km Route39 miles

      8 Reviews & Comments

      • + 0
      mylesarmstrong (Jul 7, 2022 at 2:41)
      When climbing there’s one corner that always gets me, there’s a fat root in the middle of it! Always a good descent, a change from most of the stuff in the park.
      [Reply]
      • + 2
      MattWilliams88 (Oct 27, 2021 at 18:29)
      Definitely the trail to try to practice your switchback technique!
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      andymutch76 (Oct 17, 2021 at 12:56)
      Switchbacks, switchbacks, switchback. Fantastic fun and has hardly changed a jot from when I last rode it. slightly weird riding it on a bike with a longer wheelbase but still one of the best trails in the park.
      [Reply]
      • + 3
      deester84 (Sep 24, 2021 at 4:50)
      Fantastic as an old school descent with lots of rock and plenty of switchbacks. Bit harder as a climb but please please please don't smooth it out like other tracks!
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      OliverRoozen (Feb 13, 2021 at 9:49)
      Update: I still cannot ride my bike up this track without walking nearly every switchback. I understand technical is fun and whatnot but this is the only entrance to the park from the Saddle and I think just a bit of smoothing could go a long way to making this doable.
      [Reply]
      • + 3
      antennae (May 5, 2021 at 19:10)
      It is all rideable and really rewarding to get up it clean.

      I believe the current plan is to build a new much-more-cruisy climbing trail up from the water tower, which will be a nice addition to that side of the park.
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      OliverRoozen (Aug 17, 2020 at 22:07)
      This track is very difficult, mostly because of its sheer gradient. Existing information is quite accurate in this regard. Makara can't seem to make their mind up over it being Intermediate/Advanced but it is definitely not Intermediate.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      sminchnz (Jan 4, 2019 at 17:12)
      Really fun descent, super technical ascent.
      [Reply]





      Videos

      more »
      youtuber ROCKS & SWITCHBACKS - Varley's Mountain...
      3:25 | 312 | Aug 30, 2020 , Wellington
      Varley's - Makara Peak Bike Park
      3:32 | 195 | Nov 22, 2020 , Wellington
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