The weather in Kaimanawa Forest Park is extremely changeable and visitors should be prepared for cold wet conditions even in summer. Frosts and snow are likely on high ground throughout the year.
The annual rainfall is approximately 3500 mm and decreases towards the east.
Check weather forecasts before you leave on the Metservice website.
Rivers can rise rapidly during and after heavy rain and caution is advised particularly when crossing larger rivers such as the Mohaka, Oamaru, Ngaruroro and Waipakihi Rivers.
Genesis Energy monitors flows in the Waipakihi River, see Genesis Energy website or phone +64 7 386 8113.
The maps required for longer trips into the Kaimanawa Ranges are NZTopo50 map sheets:
- BH35 Turangi
- BH36 Motutere
- BH37 Rangitaiki
- BJ35 Waiouru
- BJ37 Kuripapango
Be aware that in many parts of the park there is no signal for cell phones and VHF radio contact can be marginal. The most reliable communication is by the Mountain Radio Service. To hire a mountain radio or personal locator beacon, contact Central North Island Mountain Radio.
During periods of extreme fire danger the lighting of fires in the open may be prohibited. Portable stoves are preferable to open fires. If you must use a wood fire, obtain firewood from dead trees only.
Due to the risk of exposure to Giardia we recommend that all drinking water be treated or boiled.