Wellington Regional Trails

Walking time

30 min






Single track

Walking difficulty

Easiest: Short walk


63m highest point


Yes (on lead)
Three people walking away from camera on a gravel path amongst grasses and flaxes, with trees in the background

About the trail

The Kahikatea Walk at Carter Scenic Reserve is a short, easy loop track. It meanders along boardwalks through the remnants of a flooded kahikatea forest and a drier forest section.

Known locally as Uhi Mānuka, this swamp and semi-swamp forest sits on two old terraces of the Ruamahanga River. It features grass, wetland, shrubland and forest, a reminder of the former landscape of the Wairarapa plains.

The variety of habitat types has meant the area has become a haven for plants and animals. Many of these species became extinct or reduced to low numbers when the land was cleared for farming in the 1880s-1900s.

You’ll discover rare native plants and fish, including swamp maire, small-leafed hoheria, brown mudfish, and banded kokopu.

The 2.7km out-and-back loop trail is an easy route, ideal for families and kids.

  • You’ll find Carter Scenic Reserve 12km south-east of Carterton on Gladstone Road.
  • From Carterton, follow Park Road to the end, then turn left into Carters Line and right into Gladstone Road. About 3km along Gladstone Road the reserve is signposted. The car park is another 500m down the driveway.