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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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  • Holiday homes

    Ngauruhoe Delight - Taupo Holiday Home

    Ngauruhoe Delight is a 3 bedroom Taupo holiday home with an elevated position to capture stunning lake views. This spacious holiday home is in a great location just a 5 minute stroll to the lake's edge.

    $135 - $390 Book now
  • Boat cruises

    Regal Flyer Luxury Charter Vessel Lake Taupo

    Enjoy the beautiful clear waters, sunshine and stunning views of Lake Taupo from the elegance of Regal Flyer. Up to 70 guests can enjoy the decadence of the Regal Flyer with a private charter.

    $600 - $1,850 Book now
  • Fashion & clothing

    Hartleys Taupō

    Hartleys is synonymous with ladies fashion retailing in New Zealand.

  • Scenic attractions

    Aratiatia Rapids

    Aratiatia Rapids is one of the most popular natural attractions in the North Island. Thousands of litres of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge.

  • Holiday homes

    Waipapa Cottage - Kuratau Holiday House

    This Kuratau holiday home sits above the pristine southwestern shores of Lake Taupo. Unwind indoors by the fire and admire the scenery, or dine alfresco on the deck with spectacular views.

    $263 - $567 Book now
  • Venues & accommodation

    Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels conferences

    Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels have the ideal venue for meetings, training seminars, formal dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions or product launches.

  • Travel Agent or Airline

    Cosy Kiwi Winter 12 Day Tour

  • Fashion & clothing

    Shirley's Shoes

    Shirley's Shoes is a men's and women's footwear store selling quality brands from New Zealand and around the world.

  • Fishing – Fresh Water

    Fishing Charters with LakeFun Taupo

    Great way to fish on Lake Taupo - Charter a private Fishing boat and catch the big one! Beautiful, comfortable boats, all weather boats.

    $10,000 Book now
  • Holiday homes

    Lakeshore Loft Apartment

    Lakeshore Luxury Villa provides exclusive holiday accommodation within the scenic natural landscape of 'The Point', a 24-hectare secure and private conservation estate perched above the famous Maori Carvings, on the shores of beautiful Lake Taupo.

    $300 - $400 Book now
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