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The Tararua Range provides the people of Wellington, Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu with an outstanding variety of tramping, hunting and walking opportunities in a wild, natural landscape at their back door.


At 116,535 ha it is the largest conservation park managed by DOC in the North Island.

The main entrances are:

  • Holdsworth on the Wairarapa/eastern side
  • Otaki Forks on the Kapiti/western side
  • Waiohine Gorge on the Wairarapa/southeastern side

Place overview


  • Camping
  • Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Walking and tramping
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      Getting there

      Via Holdsworth

      Holdsworth is the main eastern entrance to the forest park.

      Via Waiohine Gorge

      Waiohine Gorge is a popular southeastern entrance to the forest park.

      Turn off State Highway 2 just south of Carterton into Dalefield Road. Follow the road signs indicating Tararua Forest Park. The road-end car park is approximately 15 km from State Highway 2. Waiohine Gorge Road is a winding, narrow gravel road with one ford crossing a stream.

      Via Otaki Forks

      Know before you go


      The Tararua Forest Park is often plagued by bad weather, and especially the open tops are exposed to cold southerlies, the cause of several fatalities over the years. Weather conditions can change very quickly, and trampers always need to be prepared for the worst conditions.

      Routes across the tops are recommended for experienced trampers only. Good navigation skills are required, as particularly in misty conditions route finding can be difficult. Always carry a map and compass and know how to use them or ensure you have at least one experienced person in your party.

      Weather for the Tararua Forest Park.


      Pōneke / Wellington Office
      Phone:      +64 4 470 8412
      Full office details
      Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
      Phone:      +64 6 377 0700
      Full office details
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