The Akatarawa Forest is an important regional resource for motorised recreation. Permit systems are run for the two types of motorised recreation allowed in the Akatarawa Forest.
From July 1st 2014 four wheel drive clubs access will only be approved for current ARAC certified trip leaders. For safety and environmental reasons, no private 4WD trips are allowed into the Akatarawa Forest.
All motorised recreational users must comply with the Motorised Recreational User Code, developed by ARAC and Greater Wellington in 1997. The code explains the restrictions and behaviour standards necessary to meet Greater Wellington's statutory obligations to protect the environment, other recreational users and adjoining landowners.
ARAC and Greater Wellington have since developed 4WD access maps identifying specific tracks that are available for motorised recreation. Conditions apply to some tracks to minimise impacts and motorised use will no longer be allowed if conditions are not met.
Update 26/3/20: All trail riding and hunting permits are suspended until further notice, and no new permits can be applied for. Thank you for your understanding.
Good news! You can now get your trail biking permits instantly. We have received a lot of feedback over the years from our trail bikers. One of the things you wanted was instant permits and for us to make it easier to find these on our website. We have been working hard behind the scenes to make this happen for you. Just click on "Apply for trail biking permit", select the permit you want, complete your details and your permit will be emailed back to you within minutes.
Permits can now only be applied for via our website and are no longer available in paper format or from the Upper Hutt office.
Please remember that you must have your permit on you at all times within the designated area. To make things easier for you, you can simply take a screenshot of your permit and keep it on your phone. Then you can show the Ranger if you are asked so there is no need to print it out if you don’t want to. We hope you enjoy this new streamlined process!
Today there is an extensive network of roads and old logging tracks through the regenerating bush and pine trees of the Akatarawa Forest. The main four wheel drive roads through the forests are open to the public for quad and trail biking, and there is a trail bike zone through the forest. Trail bikes are not allowed elsewhere in the forest or in the other regional parks.
All casual trail bikers must have individual permits. Greater Wellington issues these permits at no charge.
There is a 30km per hour speed limit in the forest. Casual two- and four-wheel drive off-road racing, scrambling, motocross, and competitive riding or driving is not permitted.
Sensitive ecological zones
Trail biking is not permitted in ecologically sensitive zones such as:
Greater Wellington and the Akatarawa Recreation Access Committee (ARAC) have agreed guidelines for motorised recreation in the forest to help protect the environment, other recreational users and adjoining landowners. Your co-operation with this code will impact directly on the future access of motorised recreational users to this area – please respect it.
Distance: 22 km return
Leave Maungakotukutuku Road and climb up Perhams Road to Titi Ridge. Turn right and ride around an 8 km loop through exotic forest to the headwaters of the Whakatiki River. Follow Hydro Valley and Whakatiki Road back to Titi Road. Return down Perhams Road to Maungakotukutuku Valley.
Karapoti-Toi Toi Road
Distance: 41 km return
Ride 8 km up Karapoti Gorge past McGhies Bridge to the clearing. Cross the Akatarawa River West, climb over the Pram Track (530 m) and down to Dopers Creek. Turn left and climb steadily up Rimu Road. At Toi Toi Road turn right down Hydro Road to Orange Hut. From Orange Hut the return route is downstream to Dopers Creek and back over the Pram Track to Karapoti.
Akatarawa Forest Traverse
Distance: 27 km
This route links Maungakotukutuku Valley with Karapoti Road in Upper Hutt. Ride up Perhams Road to Titi Ridge, turn right and then left down Whakatiki Road. After crossing Dopers Creek climb steeply over the Pram Track (530 m) and down to the ford at Akatarawa River West. From here it is a gentle 8 km ride through Karapoti Gorge to Akatarawa.
Mini motorcross course
The Kapi Mana Motorcycle Club runs a limited number of mini-motorcross eventsnear the Bulls Run Road entrance to the Akatarawa Forest (via Cooks Rd and Moonshine Rd off SH58). These are ideal opportunities for young riders to participate in trail biking with appropriate supervision.
Please phone the co-ordinator Alan Cressey 04 563 7177