Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve

Rabbits and sambar deer are present. Special restrictions apply to hunting sambar deer; you must contact the Palmerston North Office to obtain a permit. Some restrictions on deer hunting will be implemented in the future.

Possums are present but use of .22 and shot guns are prohibited, as is hunting during the hours of darkness. Permits to use traps are available from any DOC office.

General information

This reserve consists of foredunes near the coast, a band of parabolic dunes and ephemeral wetlands behind them, with older dunes covered in exotic grasses, marram and exotic tree species along the inland boundary. The reserve contains one of the last examples of a dynamic dune and ephemeral wetland system, which once stretched along the west coast. This reserve is heavily used by other recreational visitors; caution is advised.


Vehicles are not permitted in the scientific reserve. Access is from the beach at the end of Tangimoana Beach Road. Turn towards the coast off State Highway 1 onto Campion Road, south of Sanson. Turn left onto Tangimoana Road at the intersection and turn left onto Tangimoana Beach Road. Follow this as far as you can safely travel (closer to the beach, the road is closed as it is buried under several metres of sand).

Map information

NZTopo50 BM33

Warning: Grid references on the map below are in New Zealand Map Grid (NZMG).

Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve hunting map (JPG, 114K)


Dogs are prohibited in this reserve.

Hut information

There are no DOC huts in this reserve. 

Additional information

This reserve is heavily used by other recreational visitors and frequently used for scientific research.


For further information contact:

Te Papaioea / Palmerston North Office
Phone:      +64 6 350 9700
Email:   manawatu@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies