Kaitoke Regional Park

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MondayOpen 24 hours.

TuesdayOpen 24 hours.

WednesdayOpen 24 hours.

ThursdayOpen 24 hours.

FridayOpen 24 hours.

SaturdayOpen 24 hours.

SundayOpen 24 hours.

Kaitoke, Upper Hutt

A lush sanctuary nestled in the foothills of the Tararua Range, Kaitoke Regional Park has an ethereal allure that captivates visitors new and old alike - and it’s not just down to its Lord of the Rings connections.

The park is perhaps best known as a filming location for the epic trilogy, and eagle-eyed Tolkien fans will recognise Rivendell and the Fords of Isen. Upon arrival, take a moment to absorb the kaleidoscope of greenery blanketing the undulating landscape. Towering native forests, with their ancient rimu and majestic beech trees, create a serene canopy that invites a sense of tranquility. The crystal-clear waters of the Hutt River meander through the park, gurgling gently to create a soothing soundtrack. It all lends the place a decidedly elvish quality, the perfect backdrop for reconnecting with nature.

Kaitoke Regional Park offers so much more though, doubling as a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. There are plenty of activities to get stuck into - hiking trails abound, catering to all levels of fitness, with several routes presenting challenging terrains and panoramic vistas at their summits. Keen mountain bikers can hit the trails via the Te Marua entrance, which offer an exhilarating adventure. Pedal through rugged tracks and open valleys to experience an adrenaline rush amidst the untamed wilderness.

And for something a bit more relaxing, birdwatchers can revel in the diverse local population, as tui, fantails, and kererū flit among the branches and put on a show.

Whether you’re wanting a peaceful retreat in the wilderness or an adrenaline-fuelled day out, there are few better places to get your fix than in the Upper Hutt’s very own slice of Middle Earth.

Words by John Son & Photography by Anna Briggs

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Location

Kaitoke, Upper Hutt

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