Haere mai, welcome to East Harbour Regional Park

Location Eastbourne, Pencarrow Head and Wainuiomata Coast, Lower Hutt

This park is made up of three separate areas: the Northern Forest, Parangarahu Lakes, and Baring Head Ōrua-pouanui.

Opening hours

Parks are always open to foot traffic.

east harbour IMG 0283
Northern Forest A7305866 LR



Like a jigsaw, East Harbour Regional Park is made up of 3 separate blocks:

  • The Northern Forest, spanning hills from Eastbourne to Wainuiomata the forest has towering northern rata teeming with wildlife
  • Parangarahu Lakes, at the south end of Eastbourne and popular mountain biking around the coast to Pencarrow Lighthouse
  • Baring Head Ōrua-pouanui, accessed from Wainuiomata and offering rugged and remote landscapes with lighthouses and sweeping views of the Cook Strait

"This park has contrasting environments of native forest, waterways, beaches and headlands. If you're new to the area then Butterfly Creek walk is a good way to start exploring." Jo Greenman, Park Ranger

Learn more about Taranaki Whānui

Know before you go

  • Dogs are welcome in the Northern Forest but must be leashed. No dogs allowed in Baring Head or the Parangarahu Lakes.
  • Dogs must be on a leash on the Pencarrow Road south of Burdans Gate to the lower Pencarrow Lighthouse between 31 October to 31 July. No dogs are allowed on the Pencarrow Road between 1 August to 30 October.
  • Read these tips to respect the environment, the trail, and other trail users before you visit. The weather can be changeable and extreme on the southern coast so be prepared.
  • Watch for vehicles on Pencarrow Coast Road and in Baring Head.
  • No swimming  in Lake Kohangapirpiri or Lake Kohangatera. We do not recommend swimming on beaches south of Burdans Gate or in the Cook Strait as the currents are strong.
  • No quad bikes or trail bikes.

Download the park brochure

Getting there

By public transport


The Northern Forest is accessible by ferry from Wellington City. The East by West ferry departs from Queen's Wharf and lands in Days Bay, passing Matiu Somes Island on the way, making it an easy day trip from the city. 


Take the Metlink route 81 or route 83 bus to Marine Parade and Muritai Road (Mon-Sun) or routes 82, 84 or 85 (Mon-Fri). If you want to get to the Pencarrow Coast Road, stay on the bus until the last stop on Muritai Road. This stop will put you just five minute walk from the Bike Shed and a 10 minute walk from Burdans Gate. Head to Metlink to plan your journey:

Button with the Metlink logo

By bike

Plan your route from the Hutt River Trail or Hutt Valley train line with the Hutt Valley cycle map.

By car

  1. Northern Forest - The Northern Forest has a number of entrance points in both Eastbourne and Wainuiomata. If you're planning to use a specific track or trail, take note of the entrance point. Entrances are available in these areas and streets
  2. Parangarahu Lakes area

  3. Baring Head Ōrua-pouanui.

There are entrances at:

  • Eastbourne: Korohiwa Road (Bus Barn), Kowhai Street, Muritai Road and MacKenzie Road
  • Days Bay: Williams Park and Ferry Road
  • York Bay: Kaitawa Roa.
  • Lowry Bay: Cheviot Road and Dillon Street
  • Pt Howard: Howard Road and Ngaumatau Road
  • Wainuiomata Hill Road: Near the lookout. Approach the carpark via Wainuiomata
  • Wainuiomata: Lees Grove, Fraser Street, Gardiner Grove and Stanley Street


Some of these streets are narrow with restricted parking. Please be considerate of local residents and do not block driveways and entranceways.  

Park management

The Toitū Te Whenua Parks Network Plan provides policies and rules for the management of our regional parks and forests, including Parangarahu Lakes in conjunction with the Parangarahu Lakes Co-Management Plan.

Parangarahu Lakes Area is unique in that it is co-managed by GWRC and Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (for Taranaki Whānui). The co-management plan for this area was adopted in 2015. Aspects of this plan that relate to the GWRC recreation reserve surrounding the lakes have been carried through to the East Harbour Regional Park chapter of the Parks Network Plan.

Updated July 1, 2024 at 4:02 PM

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