Birds of the Wairarapa and where to see them
Info Fieldguide Checklist



Kiriwhakapa is a location in the foothills of the Tararua Forest Park and affords the visitor excellent opportunities for observing forest birds. Over half a century ago all this area was logged and the foundations of two old timber tram-lines are still present. Today there are several walking tracks which are well signed. The Loop Track is the shortest and easiest and returns you to your car in about 30 minutes.

Birds to look for: Look for forest birds such as Tui, Bellbird, New Zealand Pigeon, Pied Fantail, Grey Warbler, Tomtit, Whitehead, Rifleman, and possibly Red-crowned Parakeet and Kaka.

On your way in, watch for birds of the open country such as Australian Magpie, Australasian Harrier, Spur-winged Plover, New Zealand Pipit, Skylark, Yellowhammer and Eastern Rosella.

How to get there

Kiriwhakapapa map
The Kiriwhakapapa Road comes off Highway 2 some 16.5 kms north of Masterton and 5.5 kms south of the Ruamahanga River bridge as you come down off Mt Bruce. The road is sealed for the first 3 kms. The remaining 4.5 kms of gravel is quite good but in places the road is narrow and care is required on blind corners.


The Kiriwhakapapa Road leads into the Tararua Forest Park and at the road end is about a hectare of level grass with a number of open fireplaces and picnic tables around the forest edge. There is plenty of space for camping but no power points or caravan /motor home facilities. There is a large building providing shelter and quite adequate toilet facilities.

For more tourist information on this region, please check the Tourism Wairarapa Web site (

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