Sika and red deer are present, with sika numbers higher in the northern part, with reds favouring the taller forest to the south. Trophy sika are commonly taken from the area, while the red deer are better trophy potential than the neighbouring Kaimanawa herd.
Part of the Taupo Reserves and Conservation Areas, the Rangitaiki Conservation Area covers a little over 5100 hectares to the south of State Highway 5. The northern section of the area is fairly flat, and covered in manuka and monoao vegetation. The southern section towards the Okoeke stream is taller podocarp and beech forest, along with some manuka scrub, on moderately steep hill country.
Access is by vehicle on a dry weather track from State Highway 5 at the northern end. To gain access into the the Rangitaiki Conservation area you need to cross over private land. Please be aware and considerate of the private property you are crossing.
The boundaries are sign posted and it is important that you remain on the main access roads at all times. Your behaviour on private land will affect the continued use of such access for other users.
Foot access up the Okoeke stream from State Highway 5 is the only means to access the southern forest.
You will need the following Topo 50 map sheets:
Te Haroto BH38
Hunters are allowed to take hunting dogs (under permit) into this forest and must adhere to the following:
- all hunters entering DOC conservation lands must obtain a hunting permit
- the dog must be used for hunting and not just be there for company
- dogs are tied up at night
- any dogs that are lost in these areas are reported to the nearest DOC office immediately.
There are no DOC huts in the Rangitaiki Conservation Area.