Haere mai, welcome to Akatarawa Forest

Location Karapoti Road, Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt 5372

This park offers incredible natural beauty and wilderness areas as well as a range of adventure activities.

Opening hours

Parks are always open to foot traffic.
Vehicle gates are open 6am - 6pm in winter, and 6am - 8pm during daylight savings

Opening hours

Parks are always open to foot traffic.
Vehicle gates are open 6am - 6pm in winter, and 6am - 8pm during daylight savings

A stream running through Akatarawa Forest
Birchville Dam in Akatarawa Forest
Roots of a tree in Akatarawa Forest
A view of a lake and hillside in Akatarawa Forest
Birchville Damn in Akatarawa Forest



Explore this rugged blend of native and exotic forest covering 15,000 hectares between Upper Hutt and the Kāpiti Coast. The trails and old logging roads are popular for horse riding, fishing, hunting and tramping and mountain biking. The Forest also has enjoyable and challenging terrain for quad and trail bikes, and 4WD-vehicle club trips.

Know before you go

  • Watch for notices of logging underway and when parts of the park are closed. 
  • Dogs are welcome in most areas but must be under control. Dogs must be on a lead on the southern portion (Tulsa Park and Zig Zag entrance) of the Cannon Point Walkway as it crosses private land.
  • Tracks are shared, so keep an eye out for horses, trampers, hunters and dogs

Park notices

Covid-19 update

Posted 25/1/22

The Wellington Region moved to the RED setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework at 11:59pm, Sunday 23 January 2022. Some of our regional parks facilities will require a vaccine pass.

Read the full guidelines >

Karapoti gorge washout

Posted 1/12/21

Karapoti road carpark entrance to Akatarawa forest is now open only to pedestrians, cyclists and two wheel motorbikes.  It is not suitable for quad bikes and extra care should be taken when traversing above the washout.

Logging in Valley View Forest

Posted 24/9/21

Logging operations have finished in Cruiser Drive but this area is still closed as road repairs are undertaken over the next month.

Harvesting is now underway in Lindsay’s Block at the end of Lindsay’s Road and is expected to finish in February 2022.

Clarks Creek Track between Valley View Road and McGhies Bridge will be closed from Monday to Friday 3am – 5pm for recreation, as shown on the map.

Download a map of the operational area

Sunset in AkatarawaGet your Special Access Permit

Do you need a key for a gate in one of our parks?

Log in to MyGW and apply for a Special Access Permit (not accessible on Internet Explorer).

Download the park brochure

Getting there

There are several entrances to Akatarawa Regional Park north, shown on above map.

By car

From Upper Hutt:

  • Bridge Road - via Akatarawa Road off SH2
  • Karapoti Road - via Akatarawa Road off SH2

Road washout notice:

Karapoti Road carpark entrance to the forest is closed to all vehicles due to a road washout and collapse in gorge. We're sorry for any inconvenience caused & thank you for your understanding.

  • Totara Park - via Tulsa road or valley View Road

From Haywards, SH 58:

  • Bulls Run Road - via Cook Road off Moonshine road from SH58.

From Pāuatahanui:

  • Battle Hill Farm Forest Park - via Paekākāriki Hill Road off SH58.

Between Paekākāriki and Paraparaumu:

  • Manungakotukutuku Road - via Waterfall Road off SH1.

By public transport

Take the 111 bus from upper Hutt Railway Station (Mon-Sat) to the Totora Park entrance. Plan your journey with Metlink.

Updated January 25, 2022 at 11:42 AM

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