Lower Hutt is on the outskirts of Wellington, on New Zealand’s North Island. The town is on the bank of the Hutt river, 15 km from downtown Wellington. Lower Hutt parkrun takes place alongside the river, close to the centre of town.
There is plenty of free parking (limited to two hours) at the Riverbank car park, 600 metres from the start. Note, there is also a farmers’ market at the Riverbank car park on Saturdays, so stick to the southern end of the car park (entrance off Daly Street). There are no toilets at the start. So if, like me, you need a pre-race nerve-related wee, you need to factor this into your arrival. The parkrun website gives directions to the nearest public toilets in Laings Road However, as there’s a Countdown Supermarket opposite the car park, I went there instead – also picked up some very nice post-run baked goods. The website suggests going for post run refreshments at Buzz cafe, but, as we had a ferry to catch, we had to make a hasty exit.
The course is a fast and flat out-and-back along the River Hutt. It has a total of 84 metres elevation. To limit congestion at the start, there are two different start points, with faster and slower runners starting in slightly different places.
The run takes place mainly on paved paths on the riverbank. There is a short grass section at the turnaround point.
There are no real hills or obstacles, apart from the turn at the halfway point, so it’s a nice easy parkrun – if running 5 km at 8 am on a Saturday morning can be described as easy! There is talk on the website about the possibility of wind, but we were lucky enough to have chosen a nice, calm day.
We were passing through Lower Hutt on our North-South New Zealand trip and were made to feel very welcome. It’s a very scenic route along the riverbank, so in all, a very pleasant run.