Lower Hutt

Riverside Parking, Daly St, Lower Hutt, 5010

Type of Course – Riverside out and back

Shoes Required – Road

Things to know

Toilets are 300m from the start in Riddiford Gardens.

Free parking is available in Riverside Parking, limited to two hours.

Note: When driving to the parkrun do not attempt to enter the riverside carpark from the northern end as this area is used by the local farmers market on a Saturday morning. The entrance to the southern end of the car park is off Daly St.

Cafe: Buzz Café, 101 High St, Lower Hutt

Location of start:

Start is just south of the southern end of Riverside Parking, accessed from the roundabout on the junction of Daly St and Andrews Ave in Lower Hutt. 

The local landmark is the City Fitness Gym which is immediately over the stopbank and across the road from the start/finish area. 

Getting there by public transport

By train from Wellington or Upper Hutt, take the train to arrive at the Waterloo Interchange, no later than 7.15am. 

Then catch the number 160 Wainuomata to Lower Hutt bus from bus stop D to the Queensgate bus stop C in Bunny St. From there, walk west along Bunny St (south side of the Westfield shopping centre) and along Margaret St to High St. Turn left and walk down High St to Andrews Ave and then right into Andrews Ave. At the end of Andrews Ave walk up on to the stopbank and south 200m to the start/finish area. 

The Melling train line from Wellington does not run on a Saturday.

Getting there on foot

See above.

Getting there by road

From Wellington or Upper Hutt, travel along State Highway 2 until you reach Melling.

Drive over the Melling Bridge and turn right at the roundabout onto Melling Link. Turn right onto Rutherford St, turn right into Daly St just after King Toyota. Follow Daly St south until the next roundabout and then turn right up the short hill over the stopbank and into Riverside Parking. Park at the south end of the car park. 

Do not access the car park at the first roundabout in Rutherford St as this will take you to the Riverside Farmers Market. 


First run: May 5, 2012

Inaugural attendance: 84

Record attendance: 327 (11/01/2020)

Course records 

Women: Phoebe McKnight 16:59 (13/01/2018)

Men: Nathan Tse 14:55 (07/05/2022) 

The Story Behind Lower Hutt parkrun…

Richard McChesney, original event director

When I arrived back in New Zealand from the UK in 2012 I contacted Noel and Lian about starting a parkrun up in Lower Hutt. I saw them in mid February and more or less started working on getting it started straight away.

It had to be beside the Hutt River I thought so I started looking at different options in the Hutt area.

Initially it was going to start on the other side of the river because there was a car park by the church and I arranged with the church to use the car park. 

But two or three weeks before we were due to start we had a whole lot of rain and there were too many puddles. We would have gone up the trail on the opposite side of the river to Melling, then down the stopbank to the Ava railbridge, over the bridge and along the stopbank to finish where we now start and finish.

It’s a slightly different course to what it is now. We changed it because it would have otherwise discouraged people in winter, so we decided to go out and back at the last minute.

We almost had an unknown runner as our first finisher at our first event. Edwin Kaitany is a Kenyan runner, he was in New Zealand training with Wellington Scottish for a short period. When he finished he had left his barcode in his car and said not to worry about getting his result recorded. He ended up going back for it. Eight years later and he still has the course record!

In Week 7, Paul Sinton-Hewitt came to visit. We had hail during our parkrun and 38 finishers. I think that is the only time we have had hail during Lower Hutt parkrun.  When I said I wanted to start parkrun in New Zealand Paul thought it was a good chance to catch up with Noel and Lian.

On the Friday night we had a drinks night at the local pub so a few (maybe 10-15) parkrunners came along, not that parkrun meant a huge amount to them, because we were still only seven weeks old. Now, if Paul was to visit again, I’d imagine that the pub would be full of parkrunners.

We were about 20 weeks old when I found out I was going to be in Dublin for six weeks. We had a core team and Kent Stead had already started helping at that stage. At the time he was event director for Swimming NZ, he became a run director while I was in Dublin and Mark Malone got involved too. They then got other volunteers so we had lots of the roles filled rather than just a few of us doing everything.

Going away was good because it forced us to get a good crew together in a short time. Kent and Mark managed to organise a lot of that. I moved back to the UK at the end of April in 2014 – it was the week before Lower Hutt’s birthday so we brought our annual celebration forward!

Six years later, and Lower Hutt is still recorded as my home parkrun – and always will be.