Ōtaki Gorge emergency track to Tararua Forest Park
IntroductionThis emergency track allows you to gain walking access to Tararua Forest Park from Ōtaki Gorge Road.
There's no vehicle access to this area currently because of a slip at Blue Bluff on the Ōtaki Gorge Road.
Walk to Tararua Forest Park from Ōtaki Gorge Road
You can walk via a newly established emergency access track which starts 11 km from SH1.
Distance: 5 km one way
Time: 2 to 3 hours one way
Dogs: No dogs are allowed
Hunting: Firearms must be carried unloaded with ammunition stored safely away.
The track is steep and slippery in places. This temporary emergency access track has been made possible through private land, courtesy of the private landowners.
Some topo maps may be incorrect – use the PDF map provided. A black dotted line on some topo maps shows an older version of the Emergency Access Track that no longer exists.
If coming from SH1
- Starting from SH1, follow the Ōtaki Gorge Road around 11 km until Shields Flat Carpark.
- Walk up the Ōtaki Gorge Road for 1.3 km from Shields Flat Carpark. There is a marked gate on the right-hand side – this is the start of the emergency track.
- Follow orange markers through the pine forest then a small section of the logging track before dropping down through native forest to re-join the Ōtaki Gorge Road.
If coming from Ōtaki Gorge/Parawai Lodge
- Follow Ōtaki Gorge Road out from Ōtaki Forks for around 2 km.
- Turn off to the left through private land on the marked dam track.
- Follow orange triangles and signage through native forest, along a logging track, then through the pine forest back onto Ōtaki Gorge Road.
- When on Ōtaki Gorge Road it’s 1.3 km to Shields Flat and around 11 km to SH1.
Roadside parking is available as well as at the Shields Flat carpark.