COVID-19 travel alert: Taupo region is currently at Alert Level 1. Learn more.

  1. Home
  2. Discover
  3. Highlights
  4. Kaimanawa Forest Park

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

Filter by
Map
Displaying 11 - 20 of 808
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Chris Jolly Outdoors - Guided Biking

    Take a tour of the Biking Capital of New Zealand with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Lake Taupo offers some of the most stunning scenic bike trails, and a guided bike tour is the perfect way to enjoy the experience..

    $300 - $500 Book now
  • Holiday homes

    The Lakehouse

    The Lakehouse is the perfect place to escape to as a family or group of friends.

    $150 - $650 Book now
  • Maori Cultural Attractions

    Go Explore NZ - Rotorua Guided Tour

    Come with us as we explore Rotorua; a cultural hub for New Zealand. Rotorua is rich in Maori history as well as geothermal activity. Enjoy some of Rotorua’s key attractions including Te Puia, the Redwoods and the beautiful Blue Lake.

    $229 Book now
  • Wedding venues

    Secret Garden

    Looking for somewhere to host your Special event Wedding or Gathering? Taupō’s “Secret Garden” is a gorgeous, tranquil venue located in picturesque Acacia Bay just 10 minutes from Taupō town centre.

  • Gifts & souvenirs

    Engrave It

    Specialising in awards, trophies, name badges and general laser engraving.

  • Cafes

    L'Arte Cafe & Gallery

    Come and escape the hustle and bustle of pavement dining and soak up our relaxed L’Arté atmosphere. A visual and edible feast. You won't be disappointed.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    Waikato River Trails

    Mountain bikers can explore a series of trails along New Zealand's longest river - the mighty Waikato River. The trails cover about 100 kilometres of previously inaccessible Southern Waikato land from Lake Karapiro to the Atiamuri Dam.

  • Cycling & mountain biking

    42 Traverse

    Known as the greatest mountain bike ride in the North Island, the 42 Traverse follows an old logging road through some of the most remote and rugged land in New Zealand.

  • Holiday parks & campgrounds

    Great Lake Holiday Park Taupo

    Welcome to our Great Lake Taupo Holiday Park for a great holiday break. Experience a relaxed peaceful atmosphere in our five acres of landscaped grounds. We are close to the great adventure activities, & restaurants & cafes Taupo has on offer.

    $22 - $140
  • Cafes

    Industrie French Kitchen

    Discover Taupo's French insipired kitchen and patisserie.

Previous of 81 Next

Share your #LoveTaupo stories with us

  1. Home
  2. Discover
  3. Highlights
  4. Kaimanawa Forest Park