Plan & prepare

Check the Wellington alerts page for the latest information on facilities. 

Getting there

Information signage and shelter at Catchpool. Photo: Sally Airey.
Information signage and shelter
at Catchpool 

The entrance to Rimutaka Forest Park is on the Coast Road, 12 km south of Wainuiomata in the Hutt Valley. The gates at Coast Road close at dusk and reopen at 8 am.

Please remember

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash in the Catchpool Valley and on park tracks.
  • Dogs are not permitted in the Landcare Research area in the Orongorongo Valley.
  • Fires may not be lit in Catchpool Valley.
  • Vehicle access to the Orongorongo Valley is by permit only.
  • Do not carry loaded firearms in Catchpool Valley.
  • Shooting is prohibited in Catchpool Valley and the Orongorongo River bed.
  • Disorderly behaviour will result in eviction.
  • There is no cell phone or radio communication in the Catchpool and Orongorongo valleys. An emergency phone is located outside the field base.


  • If the ford across the Catchpool Valley Road is flooded, do not attempt to drive through it. The Nga Taonga Trail provides alternative foot access if the ford is impassable.
  • Check the weather forecast - the weather in the Rimutaka Forest Park can change rapidly. The Orongorongo River rises quickly and can take several days to drop to a level that is safe to cross.
  • Before you go into the Orongorongo valley, advise someone where you are going, when you are returning, what they should do if you fail to meet your deadline, and who they should contact (employer etc.) if you get delayed in a hut by bad weather and/or flooded river.
  • Always take warm, waterproof clothing, food and drink, even on short walks. Stout shoes or walking boots should be worn on tramping tracks.
  • Groups on overnight trips should always include experienced trampers.

Related links

Tramping and safety links


Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Wellington/Kapiti places


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Full office details