Wairarapa region

Aorangi Forest Park. Photo: Jeremy Rolfe.

Aorangi Forest Park

Map showing Wairarapa region.

Aorangi Forest Park in the Wairarapa is popular with recreational hunters and trampers. It also offers short walks with spectacular views.

The park and surrounding area features some of New Zealand’s most striking landforms. They include the Putangirua Pinnacles, earth pillars formed by the erosive forces of rain and floods; high slabs of rock known as Kupe’s Sail, and the coastal Whatarangi Bluff. At Cape Palliser, the southern coastal boundary of the park, there is a fur seal colony, a historic lighthouse and archaeological sites.

The park also contains Maori occupation sites - a kainga (a resting and eating place for travellers) and the Putangirua Pa site, on a steep outcrop.

The southern block of indigenous forest (7730 ha was gazetted as a State forest in 1900 and the northern block was added in 1936. The country between the two forest blocks was farmed, but stock was removed in June 1974 when the New Zealand Forest Service took over management and exotic species were planted to control erosion. The area was gazetted a forest park in 1978.

Alert/Important notice

 Pest control operation

There is a current Possum and Rat Pest Control Operation occurring in and around the Aorangi Forest Park. The toxin used is Sodium Fluroacetate (1080) which is highly toxic to dogs. Visitors should observe and follow instructions on warning signs in the area. Please refer to the DOC website Pesticide Summary (operation number LN125) for further information.
Issued: 26 August 2014


Aorangi Forest Park lies between Martinborough in the north and Cape Palliser in the south, covering a large part of the Aorangi mountains. By road the park is around 80 km south of Masterton and 100 km east of Wellington.

Find out more


Weather for Aorangi Forest Park - Wairarapa rural forecast

NZ weather


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

Alerts for Wairarapa places


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
 For hunting permits and other information contact:

Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
Phone:      +64 6 377 0700
Email:   masterton@doc.govt.nz
Full office details