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Kaimanawa Forest Park

Wild and ancient, the river-run mountains of the Kaimanawa Forest Park have long called to adventurers and hunters. Wild horses, sika and red deer roam the park, and the mostly untouched native beech forests are alive with native birds (including kiwi), insects, the large indigenous snail Powelliphanta marchanti, and native bats.

Lying to the south-east of Lake Taupo across the Kaimanawa Ranges, the vast park encompasses tussockland, native bush and shrubland. Visitors to the park can expect the unexpected, from the surprise appearance of a deer, wild horse, or recreational hunter, to New Zealand soldiers dropping in by helicopter to practice army manoeuvres in the park’s rugged terrain. 

There are beautiful forest walks for tramping, including one that leads to the rocky river canyon known as the Pillars of Hercules, and an easy forest loop with an unusual variety of native trees.

The Kaimanawa Heritage Horses

The park’s quiet, hardy mixed-breed wild horses have been living here since the late 1800s. After the New Zealand government declared them protected in 1981, the population grew so large they were endangering the natural ecosystem. The population is now maintained at around 300, with a bi-annual muster that aims to find homes for all the mustered horses.

Things to do in the Kaimanawa Forest Park

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  • Event services

    Taupō Pony Parties

    We want to help take the stress and hassle of organizing your childs next birthday party.

  • Sports & outdoors

    Taupo Rod & Tackle

    We specialize in all trout fishing equipment, fly fishing, spinning, trolling, harling and jigging. We have Taupō's best selection of flies and lures, and we know which ones are working!

  • Cafes

    Dixie Browns

    Located on the shores of Lake Taupo, the largest fresh water lake in the southern hemisphere; enjoy views of Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe while dining on Dixie Browns extensive menu.

  • Takeaways & bakeries

    Paetiki Pizza House

    Paetiki Pizza House has been serving delicious pizzas to its customers since March, 2016.

  • Cycle Hire

    FourB Bike hire and tours

    Hard tail, full suspension and electric Mountain bikes. Electric step through road bikes and race road bikes for hire.

    $25 - $180
  • Homewares & decor

    Lake Furnishings

    The little shop with everything truely does almost have everything! We believe your home should reflect your personal taste and style.

  • Holiday homes

    Acacia Haven

    Find true luxury in this three bedroom beautiful home located in tranquil Acacia Bay.

    $450 - $700 Book now
  • Taupo town shops

    Paper Plus Taupo

    Taupo's favourite book and stationery store.

  • Fashion & clothing

    Urban Edge

    URBAN EDGE is a locally owned and operated streetwear and lifestyle store in the heart of the North Island.

  • Venues & accommodation

    Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre

    All you need to do is ask. At Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre we are proudly locally owned and operated. So if we need to go the extra mile to make something happen for your conference or event — we can and we do.

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