RIMUTAKA FOREST PARK
Rimutaka Forest Park
is a beautiful park cared for jointly by the Department of
Conservation and the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust. It has plenty of
walking tracks, swimming holes, camping grounds, bush cabins to
rent, barbecues, hunting areas, recreation areas, and much more. The
most popular entrance, via Catchpool Valley, is 15-20 minutes drive (12 km) down the Coast Road. It makes for a nice weekend drive, yet
is not too far away to be remote.
(Link to Rimutaka
Forest Park Trust web site
Kiwi are soon to be
reintroduced to the park, thanks to the hard work of members of the
Rimutaka Forest Park Trust in trapping the predators that have
previously made kiwi locally extinct, and to the Bank of New Zealand
Recovery fund. To ensure the ongoing safety of the kiwi, the
Department of Conservation has developed a dog control strategy.
Dogs in the park must be on a leash at all times.
Dogs are not permitted
in the Turere Valley.
Link to DOC web site
www.doc.govt.nz Rimutaka Forest Park dog management strategy -
creating a safe environment for North Island brown kiwi in the
Turere Stream catchment (PDF 429K)
See Events for details of kiwi release.
The Catchpool Valley
is undergoing a transformation as pine trees planted by the former
New Zealand Forest Service are removed to enable the return of
At the visitor centre
close to the entrance you’ll find information,
displays, toilets, a small shop and a 24-hour emergency telephone.
The gates close at dusk and reopen at 8 am. Remember, there is no
cell phone or radio communication in the Catchpool and Orongorongo
On these next few pages you will find: track details, shop open
times, some photos and hopefully enough reasons to go take a look
As you drive along Catchpool Road you’ll notice picnic areas
complete with barbecues and picnic tables, in open areas and
secluded spots. A picnic site can be reserved for a group for a
special occasion, using the barbecues provided or a liquid or gas
operated stove. Portable generators are not allowed in the park.
The campground is equipped with toilets, showers and gas barbecues.
Charges are: $8 a night, youth (5-15 years) $4 a night, under 5
free. Camping is restricted to the campground.
Bush cabins in the Orongorongo Valley can be booked through the
Catchpool Visitor Centre.
(Link to DOC web site
www.doc.govt.nz Bush cabins for hire)
Walks in the Catchpool
Valley are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Most walking
tracks begin at the road end.
30 min round
A bush trail specially designed for disabled or elderly people. The
walk begins near the visitor centre.
Nga Taonga Trail
30 mintues to Catchpool Road
This track begins just after the bridge over Catchpool Stream. It’s
of pretty easy grade and ends at the Catchpool Valley Road (the road
inside the park). Little information stands describe the plant life
of the forest. It’s about a 5 minute walk back to the carpark from
||20 min one
This is an easy walking alternative to the road from the Nga Taonga
Trail towards the visitor centre.
Five Mile Loop Track
hr 40 minute round trip
This starts from the car park at the top of Catchpool Valley Road.
Cross the footbridge to the left of the car park. The track is well
Clay Ridge Track
2 ½ hours to Mt McKerrow
From Clay Forks, this track ascends Clay Ridge to the east of Graces
Stream to the summit of Mt McKerrow ( 706m). A round trip back to
Catchpool carpark is possible by returning via the McKerrow track
and Orongorongo Tracks, total time 5 hours.
One of the most popular walks in New Zealand, this well developed
track passes through different types of bush to the Orongorongo
Valley and safe swimming holes. The track begins just after the
caravan in the picture.
Cattle Ridge Track
Around 3.5 hours
Begins about 10 minutes along the Orongorongo Track and moderate to
hard. A stiff climb leads you to awesome views of the Hutt and
Wellington. The photo to your right………etc
For your safety
1. Always take warm, waterproof clothing, food and
drink, even on short walks. Wear stout shoes or walking boots on
2. 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.
3. Check the weather forecast – the weather in the park
can change rapidly. The Orongorongo River rises quickly and can take
several days to drop to a level that is safe to cross.
4. Before going into the Orongorongo valley, advise
someone where you are going, when you are returning, and what they
should do if you fail to meet your deadline. Also tell them who to
contact (employer etc) if you get delayed in a hut by bad weather
and or flooded river.
5. Groups on overnight trips should always include
For the safety of
others and our wildlife
1. Dogs must be kept on a leash in the Catchpool Valley
and on park tracks.
2. Dogs are not permitted in the Landcare Research area
in the Orongorongo Valley.
3. Fires may not be lit in Catchpool Valley. Use the
gas barbecues provided.
4. Vehicle access to the Orongorongo Valley is by
5. Do not carry loaded firearms in Catchpool Valley.
6. Shooting is prohibited in Catchpool Valley and the
Orongorongo River bed.
(Link to DOC web site www.doc.govt.nz/ Hunting in Wellington Forest
Disorderly behaviour will result in eviction.
For more information or to hire a cabin or reserve a picnic site,
Catchpool Visitors Centre
Private Bag 43-902
Ph +64 4 564 8551
Open hours: 11am - 4pm
Fri, Sat, Sun,
Fri, Sat, Sun,
For general information and
Conservation Information Centre
P.O. Box 5086
Ph +64 4 472 7356