Walking in Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve

Image: BackpackersGuide.NZ | Creative Commons


These short walks in and around Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve are ideal for families. There are four short walks through the forest which interconnect with roads around the reserve.

Track overview

225 - 680 m

Walking and tramping

5 - 10 min Easiest: Short walk

Dog access

Dogs allowed. Keep dog under control at all times.

About this track


From Geraldine’s main street, it is a five minute stroll to the Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve. The reserve offers four easy, shady walks through a rare remnant of lowland podocarp and hardwood native forest. Picnic facilities and toilets are available.

Kahikatea Track

Time: 10 min
Distance: 683 m 

This track connects Hislop Street with Totara Street picnic area. There are some fine kahikatea trees at the Hislop Street end where the land is wetter. Kahikatea can grow to be the tallest tree in the forest, reaching 40 metres.

Tōtara Track

Time: 5 min
Distance: 302 m 

This track connects Totara Street with Tripp Street picnicarea. Next to the track is the largest tōtara in the reservewhich is estimated to be 800 years old. Tōtara were usedby Māori to built canoes. A large tree could be made into a waka taua (war canoe) capable of holding 100 warriors.

Reservoir Track

Time: 5 min
Distance: 225 m 

This track connects Tripp Street picnic area with Bridge Street. The picnic area is a good starting point from which to explore the reserve. The iron gates on Bridge Street mark the old main entrance into the reserve.

Mataī Track

Time: 10 min
Distance: 680 m 

This track connects Tripp Street with Totara Street. The track passes some impressive forest trees including mataī with its needle leaves and ‘hammered’ bark.

Getting there

These walks are located near the township of Geraldine, a tranquil, rural town with a friendly village atmosphere. It is situated 2 hours (136 km) south of Christchurch, on the main highway (SH8) to Aoraki/Mount Cook.


Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 379 4082
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   christchurchvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   31 Nga Mahi Road, Sockburn
Christchurch 8042
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11089
Christchurch 8042
Raukapuka / Geraldine Office
Phone:   +64 3 693 1010
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   esienquiries@doc.govt.nz
Address:   13 – 15 North Terrace
Geraldine 7930
Postal Address:   PO Box 33
Geraldine 7956
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