Deer, goats and pigs are present.
Recreational hunting is encouraged.
- Because of a high level of public use, hunting or discharge of firearms is not permitted in the Catchpool Valley, Landcare Research block, the Orongorongo Valley within 200 m of the edge of the river-bed and within 200 m of the Orongorongo Track.
What to hunt:
- Small numbers of red deer occur throughout the park.
- Goats are found in open country.
- The best pig hunting is in low altitude gullies and valleys during winter.
The southern section of the park is well tracked, but there are few formed routes in other areas. Access is limited mostly to tracks that follow rivers into the park.
- Catchpool Stream / Park HQ: Orongorongo River (via Orongorongo Track) or McKerrow Track, with an unloaded firearm.
- Western Lake Road: Easement through Onoke farm settlement, to Battery Stream, and Wharepapa River and hut. Closed to hunters and dogs during lambing (1 August to 30 November).
- Western Lake Road – Rimutaka Incline: Legal access up Cross Creek.
- Rimutaka Summit: SH2 just downhill from the summit on the Upper Hutt side. Park boundary follows SH2 from the summit east to the ridge between Prince and Owhanga Rivers.
- Kaitoke: Rimutaka Incline and Pakuratahi River, access to the Greater Wellington Regional Council Upper Pakuratahi Forest Hunting Area. GWRC permit required. Ph: +64 4 526 4133.
- Hine Road: Whakanui and McKerrow Tracks.
- Mukamuka Stream – To Mt Matthews or Orongorongo Valley via South Saddle track: Permission required from Manager, Wharekauhau Station, Ph: +64 6 307 7570.
- Western Lake Rd – Waiorongomai Valley and Waiorongomai Hut: Walking access into the Rimutaka Forest Park, via Waiorongomai Station, is by the goodwill of the Matthews family. Only hunters and anyone with dogs require permission from Mr C.G.Matthews 06 307 7740
NZTopo50 BP33, BQ32 and BQ33
Dog access in Rimutaka Forest Park provides more information and a map.
- Check the special conditions on hunting permits online for hunting with dogs in this area.
- Lost dogs should be reported to the nearest DOC office.
- Dogs must be kept under strict control and must not disturb other park users, especially in the Catchpool and Orongorongo Valleys. They must not menace stock on adjoining properties.
Dog control in Catchpool Valley and Turere catchment
The 'No dog' requirements of the Conservation Act are strictly enforced within the Turere Stream catchment. Recreational hunting by permit issued under the Conservation Act is allowed, but dogs are excluded.
Areas of Rimutaka Forest Park requiring dogs to be kept on a lead at all times:
- Signs mark the areas where dogs must be on a lead
- The entire Catchpool Valley from its entrance at Coast Road to the upper car park, including all walks and tracks, picnic and camping areas except for the designated 'dog exercise area'.
- Whakanui Track from its start at Sunny Grove road end in Wainuiomata, for approximately three-quarters of its length to the Orongorongo River.
- McKerrow Track, Clay Ridge Track, Butcher Track, Cattle Ridge Track, and Orongorongo Track in their entirety.
Area of Catchpool Valley where dogs may be exercised off a lead:
- Signs mark the area where dogs may be off a lead
- Between the road and Catchpool Stream opposite the visitor centre.
Area of Rimutaka Forest Park closed to dogs:
- Signs mark the areas closed to dogs.
- The Turere Stream catchment from its headwaters to the confluence with the Orongorongo River. This is bounded by but does not include the Whakanui Track and McKerrow Track.
Places to stay in Rimutaka Forest Park
- Hunting permits are issued for deer, pig, goat and possum hunting for 4-month periods and all general hunting permits are issued online.
- Permits for rimfire and smooth bore calibres will only be issued under special circumstances.
- Special conditions apply to bow hunting. See Bow and Crossbow Hunting conditions and minimum criteria