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Horse riding

Horse riding

Updated 6 December 2021 11:52am

Possum control operation, May 2021

Horse riding is not permitted in the Akatarawa forest from 27 May to 29 May 2021. The park will also be closed 7-10 days following this, exact closure dates are weather dependent. This applies to existing permit holders for this area, as well as those seeking new permits. This is for health and safety reasons, while we complete a possum control operation in this area.

After this area reopens for motorised recreation, do not bring dogs into this area until further notice. Baits used are extremely toxic to dogs.  Please check for notices on when this area will be safe for dogs.

For more information head to our Akatarawa forest page.

Horse riding gives you a different view of the Akatarawa Forest, and is a peaceful way to explore some of the more beautiful and little known areas of the forest.

To obtain a Horse Riding Permit, complete the form to the right and return to the Upper Hutt office, this will be signed off by Thane Walls, Park Ranger Akatarawa/Pakuratahi Forest.

For your own safety enter only with experienced companions, take LINZ NZ Topo50-BP32 map and a compass. Look out for mountain bikes, trail bikes and forestry service vehicles.

The best access points are via Maungakotukutuku Valley, Paraparaumu and via Battle Hill Farm Forest Park to the Puketiro Forest. Both have room to park horse floats. Karapoti Gorge is heavily used by trail bikers and we do not recommend riding your horse through there.

Maungakotukutuku Stream is part of the water supply for the Kapiti Coast. Please do not ride in or across the stream except to get to Perhams Road.

Beware of logging operations

From time to time logging operations require horse riders to take extra care when riding in this area.  Each week a Weekly Event Calendar is produced which notes these operations and any hazards that may be encountered.

Horse riding trails

Whakatikei Loop

  • Distance: 22 km return
  • Grade: Medium
  • Time: 4 hours

Starting at the Maungakotukutuku Valley, ride up Perhams Road to Titi Ridge, turn right and then left down Whakatiki Road. Turn right again to follow Hydro Valley Rd back through the Whakatiki Forest and back to Perhams Road.

Other forest areas

Clubs can access other Greater Wellington forests for events or organised group rides. Contact the Upper Hutt office for permits and entry keys.

Parts of the forest may be closed for logging, pest control or maintenance operations.Trails may be closed in wet weather to avoid track damage.