Kaimanawa Forest Park Weather, Maps & Safety

There are many safety aspects you need to consider before heading out into the Kaimanawa Forest Park.

 - The weather in the Kaimanawa Forest Park is extremely changeable and visitors should be prepared for cold wet conditions even in summer. Frosts and snow are likely on high ground throughout the year.

River levels can rise very quickly during and after heavy rain. Check the forecasts before you leave: www.metservice.co.nz

Maps - 
The maps required for longer trips into the Kaimanawa Ranges are NZTopo50 map sheets:

  • BH35 Turangi

  • BH36 Motutere

  • BH37 Rangitaiki

  • BJ35 Waiouru

  • BJ37 Kuripapango

 - Be aware that in many parts of Kaimanawa Forest Park there is no signal for cell phones and VHF radio contact can be marginal. The most reliable communication is by the Mountain Radio Service. The Central North Island booking office, phone +64 7 345 9687 or email cnimrs@clear.net.nz

River crossings
 - Rivers can rise rapidly during heavy rain and caution is advised particularly when crossing larger rivers such as the Mohaka, Oamaru, Ngaruroro and Waipākihi Rivers. Genesis advises flows on the Waipākihi River, phone +64 7 386 8113 or search ‘River Flow’ on www.genesisenergy.co.nz

During - periods of extreme fire danger the lighting of fires in the open may be prohibited. Portable stoves are preferable to open fires. If you must use a wood fire, obtain firewood from dead trees only.

Water - 
Due to the risk of exposure to Giardia we recommend that all drinking water be treated or boiled. Conditions can change rapidly. Be prepared!

Essential gear

  • A good raincoat and over-trousers 

  • Warm clothing (wool or polypropylene )
  • Strong, comfortable tramping boots or shoes for shorter walks
  • A first aid kit 

  • Food and water
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat, gloves and a warm hat

  • For tramping trips you will need other items such as a cooker, plenty of food and drink, a good map and compass or GPS.

 - Check the route with DOC staff before you leave and obtain up-to-date information on the area. Tell someone responsible where you are going and your estimated time of arrival back. Use the online intention system: www.adventuresmart.org.nz/outdoors-intentions


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