Haere mai, welcome to Akatarawa Forest

Location Located in the hill country between Upper Hutt and Kāpiti Coast

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

A stream running through Akatarawa Forest
Birchville Dam 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

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 public transport

Take the 111 bus from Upper Hutt Railway Station (Mon-Sat) to the Totora Park entrance. Head to Metlink to plan your journey:

Button with the Metlink logo

By bike

Plan your route from the Hutt River Trail or Upper Hutt Station with the Hutt Valley cycle map.

By car

From Upper Hutt:

  • Bridge Road - via Akatarawa Road off SH2
  • Karapoti Road - via Akatarawa Road off SH2
  • 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.
Updated July 1, 2024 at 3:56 PM

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