Forest Riding

There are many large forests within the Auckland region. Most are plantation pine forests, but there are also large tracts of native bush and forest. Several currently allow horse riding.

Plantation Forests

Plantation forests are usually pine forests in New Zealand. Some are privately owned and run, while others are Crown Licenced forests. This means that the Crown (we, through the government) own the land and lease out the right to cut the trees to forestry companies. Crown Licence forests and Crown owned forests are most likely to provide public recreation.

Abide by all rules set by the forest manager! Forestry is a dangerous industry, never go into an area where forestry operations are underway.

Auckland's Forests


Native or Conservation Forests

Native forests are much harder to get access to, due to the conservation arguments. However, even within native forests there are usually traditional routes (kauri, logging or historic roads) that can be opened to horse riders and non-motorised recreation.

  • Hunua - Hunua Regional Park is a conservation area of native bush and forest. The solitary horse trail is a bit boring but hopefully we will get more access to ARC Parks in the future.

Forest Riding Recommendations

  • Take a map, ride with a friend that knows the area or stick to marked trails if you are prone to getting lost. Pine forests in particular can be disorienting.
  • Wear a helmet! Even if you "never fall off", whacking branches with your head is not fun. 
  • Be aware of other trail users, and always courteous toward them. 
  • Be aware of pollen season if you are asthmatic or hay fever prone. Pine trees send out amazing clouds of pollen when flowering. 
  • Wear hi-viz gear. If you get lost it'll make it easier to find you, if there are hunters, poachers or other trail users - they can see you (and not shoot you!). 
  • Respect areas set aside for other users.