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Akatarawa Forest

Akatarawa Forest

Karapoti Road, Akatarawa, Upper Hutt, 5372

Turn off State Highway 2 at Akatarawa Rd towards Waikanae and follow for 6km. Turn left onto Karapoti Road and follow this to the park entrance.

For more information about other entrances check the Getting there tab in left hand menu.

Opening hours

Daily from 8am until dusk

Dogs are welcome. Please keep them under control and remove droppings. Dogs are not permitted, on the southern portion (Tulsa Park and Zig Zag entrance) of the Cannon Point Walkway as it crosses private land.

Thinning operations (tree felling) are underway in the Reservoir Ridge area. Expect road closures.

Hukinga Forest - Expect temporary road closures from thinning operations commencing 20 January 2015.

Akatarawa Forest firewood collection scheme ends

The Akatarawa Forest firewood collection scheme has been disbanded, with immediate effect. The scheme, which operated for nearly 30 years, was suspended earlier this year pending an assessment of whether it met appropriate injury prevention standards.

Its closure reflects the forestry industry’s changing approach to injury prevention, which is now based on the tighter standards covered by the Health and Safety in Employment Act and the Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations.

The regional council must apply the law but does not have the resources to monitor scheme permit holders and cannot assess individual members of the public’s competency to use a chainsaw. Permits applied a range of health and safety conditions to permit holders but our rangers have observed 17 breaches of permit conditions since 2013, and it’s simply fortunate that no-one has been injured.

An alternative scheme was considered however, it was found the price that would have to be charged for the safe provision of firewood from a supervised location outside the forest park would be similar to normal market prices for firewood.

GWRC has written to recent users of the scheme to inform them of its closure. For more information on how we have reached our decision, please go to:

About the Akatarawa Forest

Covering 15,000 hectares of wilderness area between Upper Hutt and the Kapiti Coast, the Akatarawa Forest is a rugged blend of native and exotic forest. Mountain, quad and trail bikers find a variety of gentle and challenging routes along the tracks and old logging roads. Also popular for horse riding, fishing, hunting and tramping, the Akatarawa Forest provides enjoyable and testing terrain for 4WD-vehicle club trips.



Devils Staircase - Closed to all motorised vehicles up to Labour weekend October 2015

Due to recent maintenance on this track the surface is extremely wet and needs to settle over winter. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

All enquires 027 248 1658


Park history


The Akatarawa Forest covers hill country between Upper Hutt and Paraparaumu. Translated to English, Akatarawa means 'trailing vines'. Māori used the forest for hunting and food gathering as well as an access trail to and from the Hutt Valley. The indigenous (native) forest of the area, covering approximately 14,000 hectares, has changed considerably since European settlement. These changes have been brought about by the introduction of animals, fires and logging of native timber including rimu.


Get in touch

Thane Walls

Phone: 04 830 4408 or 027 248 1658
Fax: 04 526 4171

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