Takapari Rd takes an 11 km climb up to A-Frame Hut. Enjoy extensive views to east and west coasts from the tops. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions. Check beforehand that the road is open for vehicles.
On the southern end of the Ruahine Range is the Wharite television transmitter. The access road to the transmitter provides a scenic drive up to a picnic area where views of the surrounding countryside, wind turbines and Palmerston North are found. This road can become impassable at times due to snow and other extreme weather conditions.
The forest park stretches almost 100 km from the Taruarau River in the north to the Manawatu Gorge in the South.
Ruahine Forest Park can be accessed from its eastern side and its western side. Restricted access to Ruahine Forest Park via a private road through Big Hill Station is permitted by agreement with the landowner. Learn about access to No Man's Road via Big Hill Station.
Ruahine Forest Park is characterised by a cool, cloudy climate with heavy rain at times. The area is renown for strong winds especially in the southern ranges, and there can be snow at any time of the year.
With heavy rain streams and rivers rise quickly. If there are no bridges, turn back and wait for the river levels to go down.
Crossing rivers: If you plan to cross an unbridged river, you must know how to identify an unsafe river, and where and how to cross safely. You should also be prepared for being unable to cross.
If the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe, do not try to cross. Turn back or wait for the river to drop - this often takes a few hours after rain, so be ready and pack emergency shelter and extra food.
A river is unsafe if there is:
Learn more about river safety on the NZ Mountain Safety Council website.
Extreme fire conditions can exist during summer. The park is a restricted fire area, which means permits to light fires are required all year round.
Only registered, avian aversion certified hunting dogs, Guide dogs, companion dogs (certified by the Top Dog Companion Trust) and dogs used for special services (including conservation management activities) are permitted in the park. All other dogs are banned. Hunting with dogs
The Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) topographical maps that cover the Ruahine Forest Park are:
Vegetation in the park varies as the altitude changes. Visitors may be treated to the sights and sounds of numerous native birds, but there are introduced animals as well. Find out about nature in Ruahine Forest Park.
The history of Ruahine Forest Park spans Māori and European settlement as well as early recreation.
Fulcher's Cottage, built in 1931 by George Fulcher, serves as a reminder of just how late the 'pioneering' spirit survived in New Zealand.
Ongoing/dates vary: Volunteer at Sunrise and Rangiwahia huts in Ruahine Forest Park.
Thanks to the Ruahine Whio Protectors, we’ve got confirmation that kiwi are present across more of the Ruahine Forest Park than was previously known.