City Forests welcomes visitors to its forests to enjoy the recreational and educational opportunities the forests offer. Please be aware that this applies to specified areas and the extent of this access depends on forestry operations, and on the protection of the forests themself and the safety of all people who visit or operate in the them.

Attention recreational visitors to our Flagstaff forest.

Although harvesting operations are now completed at the Three Mile Hill end of Flagstaff forest, tracks and general recreational access in large parts of the southern end of Flagstaff forest will still be closed to the public from time to time while we carry out further operatons. Therefore please continue to read and obey all warning signs and stay out of any areas marked "Operational Area". If in doubt, please do not enter.

Do not enter the forest when there are strong winds. Trees can uproot, or branches, tree tops and cones may fall.

Please obey all warning signs you see in the forests. Keep yourself and others safe by staying well away from Operational areas such as active harvesting areas, even during weekends and after normal business hours, and even when it may appear that there is no activity taking place.

Forest Entry

Forest entry is generally by permit only (to be applied for at least two weeks in advance), but walkers are welcome in Ross Creek Forest and on the Flagstaff Creek Forest walking track at all times.

Mountain bike cyclists are welcome to use the purpose-built mountain bike tracks in Ross Creek Forest. The use of other City Forests' forest areas must be outside of normal forestry operational hours, i.e. during weekends, public holidays and weekdays from 6pm until dusk during the daylight saving period of the year. Forests may be closed at any time due to operations and hazardous conditions, so check this website for updates.

Hunting Permits

There are three hunting blocks in the Waipori Forest and one block in the Silverpeaks Forest.

The hunting blocks are available at weekends during daylight hours only and are closed during times of high fire risk and high winds, and at times when the forest is being used by other recreational users, e.g. car and trail bike rallies.

Hunting is by permit only. Permits are not issued as of right, but will be issued after a regular ballot from the applications submitted.  Successful applicants will be notified by post.

Note that possession of a valid hunting permit does not confer the right to enter an Operational Area. Please obey all warning signs.

Motorcycle Permits

Motorcycle access is allowed with a permit in Flagstaff Forest and Kaitangata Forest.

Approved permits are available in weekends only and are valid for three months.

For larger parties of riders please apply for separate permits for each rider or contact us for a special events permit.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is permitted in Flagstaff Forest outside of normal forestry operational hours.  Other areas require a permit before entry.

Mahika kai

Requests from local Māori (Ngā Rūnaka) to gather traditional foods (Mahika kai harvest) will be accommodated where it is considered safe and reasonable to do so in terms of City Forests operational activities.

Special Events

Special events in the forest, e.g. car and trail bike rallies organised by clubs, can be facilitated.

The taking of firewood, seedlings of any kind and Christmas trees from our forests is strictly prohibited.