We’ve got some bad news regarding the new Tunnel Gully Bridge. While the new bridge is all installed and ready, Upper Hutt City Council has required us to have an external engineer design the road up to the bridge. The timeframes required to meet with the local council approvals have meant that the roading work could not be completed before the holidays. We will begin work on this again once everyone is back for the new year.
We are really sorry for the delay. Pedestrian and cyclist access will still remain open and we encourage people to use Kaitoke Loop Road access as an alternative over the Christmas break as there is plenty of parking there.
The Tunnel Gully entrance to Pakuratahi Forest will be closed to vehicles for up to a month for construction works, starting 11 November. We wanted to make sure we let everyone know what is going on before we get started. This is so we can install a new bridge that will have a higher resilience to heavy traffic and high rainfall. We will be supplying a footbridge so that cyclists and pedestrians can still use this entrance.
Our current bridge has a loading limit that is sometimes ignored by larger vehicles. While it is inspected regularly, the bridge is at risk of being washed away or damaged in high rainfall events. For everyone’s safety, we agreed we needed to do something about this bridge.
While there is no vehicle access over the bridge during the works, there is room for about two cars to park close to the construction site. We ask that if these parks are full you do not park on the road as it is narrow and extra cars will become a hazard. Alternatively, you can park about 700m up the road or take public transport to stop Plateau Road (Near 232) and then walk down to the park entrance.
There are also other entrances available to visit Pakuratahi Forest via car, or check out Kaitoke Regional Park as another option.
We're sorry for this inconvenience, however this is important work that we need to carry out to future proof our park. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and here for more updates on the project.
If you have any questions, message us on social media, call the contact centre 0800 496 734 or check out the FAQs below.
Why is the bridge getting fixed?
The current bridge has a loading limit which large vehicles sometimes choose to ignore. The bridge is nearing the end of its life due to the beams and abutments being eroded and undermined by the water flow. The bridge also has to be regularly checked when there is a high rain event as it sits very low and therefore there is a chance that it could get washed away or damaged further.
Can I take my car there?
While there will be room for one or two cars to park on the road close to the bridge, we would recommend either parking further up near the playground or driving to the park via another entrance. There it is a decent walk however if you park near the playground.
Can I take my bike there?
Yes, you can still access the forest here with your bike. We will have foot access available for people to use while the vehicle bridge is closed. You will probably have to get off and wheel your bike to cross this though.
Can I still get into the forest this way?
Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to access the Tunnel Gully entrance to the forest. Cars will not be able to, however there are other entrances available.
How long is this going to go for?
Works will take up to a month to complete. The bridge has been constructed off site to reduce the time we will have to close the entrance for. Keep an eye on our Facebook and website for updates on the project.
How else can I get into the forest?
You can also get into the forest through the entrances at Collett’s Road, Maymorn Station, Kaitoke Loop Road and the Remutaka Rail Trail entrance. See the map below for alternative entrances.
Is there anywhere else close by that I could go to?
You can also check out Kaitoke Regional Park which is close by, or there are other entrances to the forest which you can access with your car (as above).
What will this do to the stream?
We are using a foot bridge to reduce the amount of people entering the stream. This will prevent people from bringing objects into the river on their footwear and will protect the banks. There will be a digger going across the stream. We have permission for them to cross the stream up to six times, which is the minimum amount of crossings that still allows us to do the work. This was all agreed on as part of the consent process. These measures help us to maintain the water quality of the stream.
How old is the current bridge?
The current bridge was built in the 1980s. It is nearing the end of its life and so needs to be replaced.
How am I meant to get across the stream?
We will have a footbridge available on site for you to get over the stream.
Can I bring my dog still?
You can still bring your dog in, however you will both still need to use the foot bridge.
Why is it taking a month?
We are hoping this work will take less than a month to complete but we will keep you updated as we continue with the construction works. We have constructed the bridge off site to reduce the amount of time that the entrance will be closed for.
How can I get there if I don’t have a car?
You can either walk or cycle down the road. You can also catch the number 112 bus to Plateau Road (Near 232) and walk the rest of the way into the park.
When is this work starting?
Work is starting 11 November, and we will keep our facebook and website updated as we know more.
Good news! Mangaroa Forest in the Pakuratahi Forest will be open again to the public on 28 September for limited access on weekends and after 5pm on weekdays. We ask that you please obey all Greater Wellington signage and do not go past the no public access areas, for your safety. We will have signs out so you know where you can go. If you would like any further information, please call our forest ranger on 027 478 8106.
A section of Pakuratahi Forest at the Colletts Road entrance in Mangaroa, Upper Hutt, will be harvested starting December 2018. Preparations for this operation will start 3 December 2018 at which point access to the forest will not be permitted.
7 January 2019 is officially when harvesting is due to begin, and it is expected this 180 hectare area will be completed in early December 2020, if all goes to schedule.
We will be very open with progress and provide updates via social media and this page. Updates will include new maps being printed and displayed at the entrance on Colletts Road to show where current harvesting is taking place.