Skip to content

Motorised recreation

Motorised recreation

Updated 7 September 2021 3:26pm

The Akatarawa Forest is the largest public space available in the Wellington region for off-road motorised recreation.

To protect the environment and safeguard the wellbeing of those taking part in motorised recreation, Greater Wellington allows four-wheel driving and trail biking in the forest, under certain conditions.

Four-wheel driving

Four-wheel driving is a permitted club activity, and participants must abide by conditions established in consultation between Greater Wellington and the Akatarawa Recreational Access Committee (ARAC) on behalf of 4WD clubs and other recreational users.

Casual four wheel driving is prohibited in the forest.

LUV (Light Utility Vehicle) or Side by Sides

LUV’s are permitted into Akatarawa Forest for recreational purpose with an approved club and ARAC/GW trip leader. Approved club and ARAC/GW trip leaders enter through the locked gates with the club’s electronic fob key.

Drivers must comply with the Motorised Recreational User Code. Head protection, ie, helmets to be worn by all people in LUV. Casual (non-club) entry or entry over/through fences and gates is not allowed.

Trail biking

Good news! You can now get your trail biking permits instantly.  We have received a lot of feedback over the years from our trail bikers. One of the things you wanted was instant permits and for us to make it easier to find these on our website. We have been working hard behind the scenes to make this happen for you.  Just click on "Apply for trail biking permit", set up or log in to your MyGW account, select the permit you want, and your permit will be emailed back to you within minutes. 

Permits can now only be applied for via our website and are no longer available in paper format or from the Upper Hutt office.

Please remember that you must have your permit on you at all times within the designated area. To make things easier for you, you can simply take a screenshot of your permit and keep it on your phone. Then you can show the Ranger if you are asked so there is no need to print it out if you don’t want to. We hope you enjoy this new streamlined process!

All trail bikers must have a permit. Greater Wellington issues these permits at no charge. Apply for your trail biking permit.