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Makara Peak is a world-class conservation and mountain bike park in Wellington. With over 40km of track, it is a playground for mountain bikers, … Read More
Makara Peak is a world-class conservation and mountain bike park in Wellington. With over 40km of track, it is a playground for mountain bikers, runners and walkers alike in a restored native forest bustling with bird life. The problem was the existing signage was outdated and wasn’t fit for purpose, often causing visitors to struggle finding their way within the park. The resulting wayfinding was developed in consultation with the park supporters, local council, and park users. It builds upon the existing internationally recognised mountain bike grading system and aims to make Makara Peak easier to navigate, increasing accessibility for new riders and tourists. The existing grading system is based off the long established Ski field vernacular and coding. This is due to many mountain bike parks evolving from mountain sides in the summer months. The wayfinding needed to stand out from it’s surroundings without visually polluting the conservation park, or diminishing the thrill and adventure of mountain biking while also being legible from a distance and when travelling at speed. A strong sense of colour coding was employed to denote the difficulty level of each track. The system is modular with each bollard containing a collection of pieces that work together to inform the rider where they are, the direction they’re heading and what the next track is. The modular system is designed to be updatable with pieces easily replaced over time as the park develops. Due to the park’s minimal funding, the modules attach to the existing bollard structures, reducing the installation costs. The individual signs align to a consistent screw grid. A template was provided for volunteers to pre-drill holes in the bollards resulting in easy alignment of each sign. Security torx head screws were utilised to prevent any would be thieves, as bikers often carry multi-tools. A scalable coding system was developed that sits at the bottom right of each sign. This code contains all the information including sign type, track name, distance, users, arrow direction etc. for easy sign creation and replacement in the future. Throughout the lower difficulty tracks (beginner and easy), helpful biking tips are placed contextually along the tracks to help educate new riders. The main entrance has a large map board that suggests routes to take within the park for different skill levels, educates new riders with biking tips, highlights key conservation projects the park has undertaken, provides essential safety and etiquette information, and asks for donations to continue the parks development. Reduced versions are positioned at alternative entrances and at key decision points throughout the park. This project has great potential beyond Makara Peak. We’re working to establish this as a nationally recognised wayfinding system resulting in a consistent visual language across all mountain biking tracks. Read Less
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Makara Peak is a world-class conservation and mountain bike park in Wellington, New Zealand. With over 40km of track, it is a playground for mountain bikers, runners and walkers alike in a restored native forest bustling with bird life.
The wayfinding system was developed in consultation with the park supporters, local council, and park users. It builds upon the existing internationally recognised mountain bike grading system and aims to make Makara Peak easier to navigate, increasing accessibility for new riders and tourists.
The existing grading system is based off the long established Ski field vernacular and coding. This is due to many mountain bike parks evolving from mountain sides in the summer months.
A strong sense of colour coding was employed to denote the difficulty level of each track.
Throughout the lower difficulty tracks (beginner and easy), helpful biking tips are placed contextually along the tracks to help educate new riders.
The wayfinding needed to stand out from it’s surroundings without visually polluting the conservation park, or diminishing the thrill and adventure of mountain biking while also being legible from a distance and when travelling at speed.
The system is modular with each bollard containing a collection of pieces that work together to inform the rider where they are, the direction they’re heading and what the next track is. The modular system is designed to be updatable with pieces easily replaced over time as the park develops.  
Due to the park’s minimal funding, the modules attach to the existing bollard structures, reducing the installation costs. The individual signs align to a consistent screw grid. A template was provided for volunteers to pre-drill holes in the bollards resulting in easy alignment of each sign. Security torx head screws were utilised to prevent any would be thieves, as bikers often carry multi-tools.
The main entrance has a large map board that suggests routes to take within the park for different skill levels, educates new riders with biking tips, highlights key conservation projects the park has undertaken, provides essential safety and etiquette information, and asks for donations to continue the parks development.  Reduced versions are positioned at alternative entrances and at key decision points throughout the park.
This project has great potential beyond Makara Peak. We’re working to establish this as a nationally recognised wayfinding system resulting in a consistent visual language across all mountain biking tracks.