Mount Grey/ Maukatere Conservation Area

Image: Ronnie Penny | Creative Commons


The Mt Grey/Maukatere Conservation Area comprises approximately 1,700 hectares of remnant native forest and tussock grasslands within the Ashley Forest, a privately owned commercial forest.

Place overview


  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables


  • Hunting
  • Walking and tramping

Find things to do and places to stay Mount Grey/Maukatere Conservation Area

About this place

Nature and conservation

Mt Grey/Maukatere Conservation Area contains remnant native forest and tussock grasslands.

A prominent feature of the Mt Grey/Maukatere area is the native clematis vines with their eye-catching treetop display of white flowers during spring.


There is a variety of birdlife to be seen and heard in this forest area. Native species include pīwakawaka/fantail, korimako/bellbird, silvereye, miromiro/tomtit, riroriro/greywarbler, brown creeper, kererū/wood pigeon and tititipounamu/rifleman. Introduced species present include chaffinch, red poll, blackbird and song thrush.

History and culture

Mt Grey is named after Sir George Grey, Governor and Premier of New Zealand between 1845 and 1879.

Maori named the mountain ‘Maukatere’ (floating mountain) because the spirits of the dead are believed to leave from the summit on the long journey to Cape Reinga.

Getting there

From Amberley, follow Douglas Road, then Cramptons Bush Road until the road reaches the Lake Janet picnic area (17 km from Amberley). Turn left into Mount Grey Road, then right into Okuku Road to reach the Grey River picnic area (3.5 km from the the Lake Janet picnic area).


  • Just before the picnic area is a concrete ford over the Grey River – it may become impassable after heavy rain. 
  • The ford is only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles. We strongly recommend you park before the ford and cross on foot.
  • These roads pass through a commercial forest and may be closed at times. For the latest road conditions, phone Rayonier NZ Ltd, +64 3 310 7612.
  • Be aware of heavy vehicles and logging trucks on the roads.

Know before you go

The ford accessing the Grey River picnic area is only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles. We strongly recommend you park before the ford and cross on foot.

Note: The Grey River Campsite is permanently closed due to fire risk and vehicle issues crossing the ford.

Wasp populations reach high numbers from January to March – wear light coloured clothing and carry antihistamine cream/tablets as a precaution.


Rangiora Office
Phone:   +64 3 313 0820
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   32 River Road
Rangiora 7400
Postal Address:   PO Box 349
Rangiora 7440
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