Remutaka Forest Park
A popular spot for picnics, day-walkers and escaping overnight where you can hear the call of wild Kiwi
The 22,000ha Remutaka Forest Park encompasses much of the Remutaka Range. Easily accessible from Wellington, the area is popular with trampers, campers, school trips and hunters.
Catchpool Valley is the most popular entrance to Remutaka Forest Park it is located 12km south of Wainuiomata, on the Coast Road, 45 minutes drive from Wellington City.
Within the Valley there are attractive short walks, a well-maintained campground, and places for picnics and barbeques for the whole family.
The most popular track in the Remutaka Forest Park is Ōrongorongo Valley which offers hiking tracks for all ages and fitness levels along with DOC huts you can book for an overnight stay. Allow at least 4 hours return. Keep your eyes peeled for stunning beech trees and a grove of huge northern rātā towering above the forest canopy as the track reaches its highest point. Cool off after your walk with a dip in Turere Stream below the arched bridge at the end of the trail or wander around the wide river valley to find one of several huts.
A shorter walk close to the car park and a great one for the kids to learn plant names is Nga Taonga Nature Walk. It climbs through forest along Catchpool Stream and you’ll find stunning nīkau palms, tree ferns, kāmahi and tawa trees all identified with plaques.
Wildlife is abundant in the Forest Park. Native birdlife, including kiwis, bellbirds, tui, kākā, kererū and ruru can be found. You can also get hunting permits for the small red deer population, goats, pigs and possums.
You can bring your pooch to certain parts of the Remutaka Forest Park but please keep them on a lead at all times to keep our kiwi population safe. Signs mark the areas which are closed to dogs, and also mark the location near the Coast Road / Catchpool Valley entrance where you can play fetch and let them off lead for a bit.
FURTHER ALONG THE COAST
A reward for a 45 walk at the end of Wainuiomata's Coast Road is finding up to 500 New Zealand fur seals who call Turakirae Head Scientific Reserve home each winter.