Welcome to

Tōtara Reserve Regional Park

A treasure of the Horizons Region

Tōtara Reserve Regional Park is one of the best and most accessible examples of the diverse lowland forest that was once widespread in the Horizons Region. Nestled in the Pohangina Valley, just a 40 minute drive from Palmerston North, it’s the ideal spot for a short visit or a longer stay.

The Reserve covers 340 ha of native forest and offers a wide range of attractions, including walking tracks, swimming holes, an adventure playground. It is home to many of our native taonga species and there is an abundance of native plants and wildlife. In order to protect our native flora and fauna, biosecurity control is undertaken by Horizons Regional Council and dogs are NOT permitted anywhere in the Reserve including the walking trails.

Camping grounds

There are two camping grounds in Tōtara Reserve, one large site (Kererū) on the northern side and a smaller site (Kahikatea) across the road to the east. The older Kahikatea site provides a sense of nostalgia and seclusion, while the newer Kererū site offers easy river access for swimming. Both camping grounds are open each year from Labour Weekend through to Easter.

Please note that no companion animals, other than disability assist dogs, are permitted within the Reserve. Please advise staff at the time of booking if you require an exemption for an aid dog. More critical information about the site can be read on the Terms, Conditions and Safety page.



Powered and non-powered sites are available at both the Kererū and Kahikatea camping grounds, with rates starting from $16 for two people per night.

Activities for the whole family

From nature trails and walking tracks with spectacular views, to swimming and fishing spots with cool, clear water, Tōtara Reserve offers something for everyone. When you stay at one of the camping grounds the Reserve is your playground.

A wide range of facilities

Tōtara Reserve offers all the facilities you need for your stay, but retains the simplicity and charm of a native lowland forest park. Choose from one of two campgrounds, both with electric BBQs, powered and non-powered camping sites, toilets and shower facilities.

Ensuring a safe stay

There a few things you need to know to help us ensure everybody that visits and stays at Tōtara Reserve remains safe, and that the Reserve’s mauri and natural features are preserved.