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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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  • Golf

    Mangakino Golf Club

    Mangakino Golf Club is a flat undulating 9 hole easy walking course with picturesque views of Lake Maraetai and the surrounding forests.

  • Airport shuttles

    Four B Great Lake Trails Shuttle Services, Taupo

    Shuttle transfers for all sections of the Great lake trails in Taupo including booking the boat transfers for the Waihaha section.

    $30 - $500 Book now
  • Boutique & Lodge

    Kauri Point Homestay

    Luxury Lodge accommodation enjoying uninterrupted views of an ancient dormant volcano, Mount Tauhara. Arrive as a guest, leave as a friend. Relax and be spoilt from the moment you arrive. From sunrise to sunset your stay will be unforgettable.

    $250 - $375 Book now
  • Restaurants

    Lotus Thai Restaurant

    The Lotus Thai restaurant offers Taupo residents and visitors a true Thai experience.

  • Fashion & clothing

    Pascoes the Jewellers

    Pascoes the Jewellers stock the largest range of jewellery and watches in New Zealand and have been around for over 100 years. A family owned company with a long and proud history in the jewellery industry.

  • Art galleries

    Pihanga Art Gallery

    Showcasing and selling paintings, ceramics, sculpture, fibre art, jewelry, Harakeke flax art and woodturning created by a group of artists living in the Turangi Tongariro area.

  • Kayaking

    Kayak & SUP hire with LakeFun Taupo

    Kayak Hire on Lake Taupo. Great way to explore the Lake at your own time. Kayak to the World famous Maori Rock Carvings.

    $20 - $10,000 Book now
  • Florists

    Fantasia Florist

    We offer a wide range of gifts and floral solutions for people of all ages and for all occasions.

  • Florists

    The Flower Girl

    Kelly, The Flower Girl, has spent the last 10 years in the flower industry. Kelly's love for all things floral gives her drive, passion and determination to provide Taupō with the freshest flowers, friendliest service and most unique ideas for every occasion.

  • Apartments

    Voyager Apartments Taupo

    Voyager Apartments Taupo offering 1,2 and 3 Bedroom Serviced and Unserviced Apartment accommodation for a night or for extended stays. All apartments are fully self contained with full kitchens and Laundry facilities and spacious living accommodation

    $199 - $799 Book now
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