The Tararua Range

Image: DOC

Introduction

The Tararua Range provides an outstanding variety of tramping, hunting and walking opportunities in a wild, natural landscape.

Highlights

At 116,535 ha it is the largest conservation park managed by DOC in the North Island.

The main entrances are:

  • Holdsworth on the Wairarapa/eastern side
  • Otaki Forks on the Kapiti/western side
  • Waiohine Gorge on the Wairarapa/southeastern side

Place overview

Activities

  • Camping
  • Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Tararua Forest Park

About this place

Getting there

Via Holdsworth

Holdsworth is the main eastern entrance to the forest park.

There is a daily rail connection and regular bus service between Wellington and Masterton (17 km from Holdsworth). Taxis or, for large parties, pre-booked buses, can be hired for travel between Masterton and Holdsworth.

Via Waiohine Gorge

Waiohine Gorge is a popular southeastern entrance to the forest park.

Turn off State Highway 2 just south of Carterton into Dalefield Road. Follow the road signs indicating Tararua Forest Park. The road-end car park is approximately 15 km from State Highway 2. Waiohine Gorge Road is a winding, narrow gravel road with one ford crossing a stream.

Via Otaki Forks

Otaki Forks is the main western entrance to the Tararua Forest Park. 

It is 19 km inland from Otaki township – approx. 1½ hour drive from Wellington or Palmerston North.

Know before you go

Weather

The Tararua Forest Park is often plagued by bad weather, and especially the open tops are exposed to cold southerlies, the cause of several fatalities over the years. Weather conditions can change very quickly, and trampers always need to be prepared for the worst conditions.

Routes across the tops are recommended for experienced trampers only. Good navigation skills are required, as particularly in misty conditions route finding can be difficult. Always carry a map and compass and know how to use them or ensure you have at least one experienced person in your party.

Weather for the Tararua Forest Park.

Contacts

Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
Wellington
6011
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
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