A frosty morning in Pureora Forest Park

Image: Amy Templeman | Creative Commons


Pureora Forest Park straddles the Hauhungaroa and Rangitoto ranges west of Lake Taupo and east of Te Kuiti.


In 1946 Pureora Forest was one of the last native forests to be opened up for logging. Choose one of the walking and mountain biking tracks within the park and discover historic relics while enjoying the beautiful scenery. 

Find out more about the history of Pureora Forest Park including the Ongarue Tramway and Spiral which survives unmodified. 

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Camping
  • Four wheel driving
  • Horse riding
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Quad and trail biking
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Pureora Forest Park

About this place

Nature and conservation

Pureora Forest Park straddles the Hauhungaroa and Rangitoto Ranges between Lake Taupo and Te Kuiti. It is a hidden wonderland of tall trees, clear rivers and rare wildlife.

Forest Tower

This 12 m high tower is a 10 minute walk from Bismarck Rd car park. It gives you an entirely different perspective of life up in the forest canopy. It is a good spot for observing native birds such as kuku (kereru/native pigeon), kakariki (parakeets), and kaka (forest parrot).

The Buried Forest

1800 years ago a forest was knocked over, buried and preserved by a violent eruption from a huge volcano, whose remains now form Lake Taupo. In 1983 this remarkable forest was accidentally uncovered by a digger. Today the uncovered logs lie as they fell during the volcanic eruption.

Pouakani totara tree

The largest recorded totara tree in New Zealand is located on private land on SH 30, approximately 10 minutes drive east of the Pureora Field Base. It will take you 20 minutes to walk from the car park to the tree.

Book: The drama of conservation

The drama of conservation book cover.
Book cover

Learn more about Pureora Forest Park. The drama of conservation offers a sweeping history of Pureora Forest Park, one of the most significant sites of natural and cultural history interest in New Zealand. The authors review the geological history of the volcanic zone, its flora and fauna, and the history of Maori and European utilization of forest resources. Download order form (PDF, 439K)

Getting there

Pureora Forest Park lies between Te Kuiti, Taumaranui and Lake Taupo and is easily accessed by SH 30 and SH 32.

Know before you go

There is no fuel in Pureora, so ensure you have enough before you visit.

A small range of retail products are available at Pa Harakeke (open 7 days during the summer season, and Monday to Friday during winter).

The nearest facilities are at Benneydale, 15 minutes west along SH30.

Fletchers Road in Pureora Forest Park has suffered a large creek wash-out that is impassable to vehicles.

Okauaka Ford restricted to light vehicle use only

The Okauaka Ford, located near the end of Piropiro Road, is seriously undermined and a section is sagging. Restricted to light vehicle use only (up to 3,000 kg).

Keep vehicle well clear of the damaged upstream side of ford. The carpark and amenity area near the ford are still open and available for use. Construction to replace the ford will begin soon.

The Timber Trail and access to Piropiro Campsite do not cross this ford.

Topo maps

Because of the terrain and heavily forested nature of the park trampers and hunters are advised to obtain the relevant topographical maps available from the local DOC office:

  • Rangitoto range: NZTopo50 Bennydale BF34 1:50 000
  • Hauhungaroa range: NZTopo50 Piropiro BG34 1:50 000
  • Panirau and Waitewhenua: NZTopo50 Ohura BG32 1:50 000
  • Pureroa Forest Park: BF34; BF35; BG34; BG35; BH 34; BH35; BE34; BE35


Te Kuiti Office
Phone:   +64 7 878 1050
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   tekuiti@doc.govt.nz
Address:   78 Taupiri Street
Te Kuiti 3910
Postal Address:   PO Box 38
Te Kuiti 3941
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