If you are heading down from Wanganui to Wellington and fancy some hiking on the way, stop by Tararua Forest Park. The park is a circa 2 hour car drive away from Wanganui and lies more or less on the way to Wellington. The Tararua Forest Park offers several options for hiking from day trips to short walks. Hence, even if you are driving down from Wanganui to Wellington in one day, you can still enjoy the beauty of the forest.
Already the road to the park is very scenic and you will expect to see a hobbit any minute. If you’re travelling a long way to the area, take a look at campervan hire for your stay.
We were lazy (but still wanted some trekking!) and chose the Kiriwhakapapa Loop trail which is an short and easy walk but incredibly beautiful. There is a spot where you can park your car or camper and just a minute away from the parking area you can start the loop trail. The trail will lead right through the forest, passing by a little creek. Once you enter the forest you will immediately hear birds that are communicating quite loudly. So don’t wear any headphones, stop chatting to your travel buddy and start listening to the forest.
If you decide to take lots of photos and really ‘experience’ the short trail, plan in around an hour for this walk. If you just walk through in a comfy pace it takes around 30min. So no excuses anymore! Just plan in a couple of hours more for your drive from Wanganui to Wellington and add in a super beautiful forest. Below are the photos I took of the Kiriwhakapapa Loop trail. Isn’t this tiny hike super peaceful and pretty? You won’t regret it :)