What to bring to the Forest

The tracks in Aongatete Forest are of a good standard but can become muddy after wet weather. They are not suitable for mountain bikes or push chairs.

Wear sturdy footwear and carry a comfortable pack containing a waterproof and windproof outer-layer, warm clothing, some high energy emergency food, a drink and a first-aid kit.

There are no toilets in the forest itself, but there is a public toilet at the project Kohanga (uphill from the carpark). Please don’t use the bush as a bog! 

If there are strong winds following heavy rain, there is a risk of falling branches and trees. At some times of the year, wasps can be a problem.

Mobile phone coverage is patchy and cannot be relied upon. If you are visiting alone we recommend carrying a Personal Locator Beacon, and making sure that you’ve told somebody where you are going and when you expect to return.

Please stay on the main tracks. The bait and trap lines that criss-cross the Forest have significantly higher physical challenges, and hazards including traps and toxins.

Do NOT bring your dogs unless you have a Department of Conservation permit to do so.

The project is trying to restore the natural bio-diversity of the forest, and many rare birds are vulnerable to dogs. The Project runs weka and kiwi aversion training programs for dogs from time to time (see the Calendar of Events for the next scheduled session). The dogs themselves are at risk from the traps and bait stations which are widespread through the Forest.

Hunters are permitted in the forest as long as they hold a current DOC permit and comply with its conditions.  These include “No fire arm shall be discharged in the vicinity of huts, tracks, campsites, road-ends or other public places” or “In a manner that endangers, frightens or annoys members of the public“. Permits can be applied for here.

In particular, extreme care must be taken anywhere near the lodge which has many guests throughout the year. If any hunting is planned near here, please contact the Lodge managers to make sure they are aware of your plans (email: aongateteoec@farmside.co.nz).

During the weekends, the general public make frequent use of the tracks and this is not a good time for hunting. When the Project is working in the Forest, laying bait or monitoring biodiversity, please refrain from hunting as members work “off track” throughout the forest. See the Volunteer calendar here. (NB bush activities are dependent upon weather conditions so this calendar is indicative only).